How Should the Church Respond to Christ?

The Vision for Oak Hill Baptist Church 2022

Acts 1:5-11

I. Remain Focused on the Mission (Acts 1:5-7) They were asking Jesus the wrong question weren’t they? We get caught up in areas that take us away from God’s mission. Maintenance becomes more of a priority than the most important mission! The color of the carpet isn’t as important when our energy and focus is on making disciples. What is our mission? The Great Commandment and the Great Commission is our main mission! To love God and people and to make disciples, that is our mission! Our mission statement is in the bulletin: to know Christ, to grow in Christ, and to go for Christ! Our Connect Ministry has helped us to be intentional on welcoming and inviting guest. People on mission naturally want others to be on mission for Christ! Thank you for inviting friends! From January to December of 2021 we have had 8 new members, four new followers of Christ! We have had a 63% rate of returning guests! Thank you for being on mission. (Look at the slide and share details) This mission requires logistical craftsmanship! It requires prayer, people, the power of the Holy Spirit, time, and money. We have seen on many occasions, especially pre-Covid that we are expanding. God is leading young families with children to Oak Hill. This is not the norm for many churches, consider yourself blessed! The Building Expansion Team has a new momentum for our multipurpose building that we need! God is opening the door for this in a new way this new year, differently than we’ve previously thought! You will see a renewed game-plan in the near future. I want to remind you that God isn’t always very practical. We’ll see that in the book of Acts. What I mean is that we shouldn’t worry about the money to build this building, it will happen! He told His people to go into the Promised Land and they were disobedient, so they were made to wonder for 40 years. He used unpractical weapons of warfare at Jericho. He had them march around the walls with instruments instead of with swords. I wondered why God wanted me to preach through Deuteronomy, now I see, He is asking us to be obedient, to respond to His call! Come to the business meetings, you’ll hear the background behind the inter-workings before it’s presented to the congregation. In fact if you’ve been to the business meetings you recall that a children’s playground has been a priority, we’re happy to announce that an area has been selected for this! In 2021, God has lead the church to reconnect our Sunday Evenings to have Discipleship Groups and Team Kid. This has been an intentional focus on discipleship, growing in Christ that will only grow with your involvement. If you feel that you don’t need discipleship, you are the very person that needs discipleship! Tonight, in the Men’s Discipleship Group I’m starting a special study on Christian Leadership for Men! We want to be on mission today, tomorrow, and for generations to come if Christ tarries His return! The church has called a new Family Minister- Bro. Dalton Hicks. He’s been an assist to OHBC. I want to give him a minute to share his vision for children, youth ministry, and family ministry!
II.Reignite a Fire for Ministry (Acts 1:8) The fire comes from the Holy Spirit! The Holy Spirit is the fuel that will drive us away from maintenance continually toward ministry and missions.

Power (v.8) power is the supernatural ability given to believers by the Holy Spirit for gospel proclamation and healing. We see this all through Acts. Let me remind you that Acts is a historical account, not necessarily the way things must operate all the time. We must look at Acts in light of other biblical books. The way that we can focus on the mission and reignite a fire for ministry is through the power of the Holy Spirit!  

Witness (v.8) The word witness is one who testifies. In the Greek language, we get the word martyr from this word. Later on a martyr was one who was killed for their faith. Witness doesn’t mean being killed for your faith in this context of Acts 1:8, but those who are willing to die for Christ are indeed indwelled by the Holy Spirit. In Acts 22:20 The word witness emphasizes a martyr in this context, in reference to Stephen’s death, his martyrdom for Christ. The word witness or martyr took on a new meaning in Christian culture upon the continual death of Christians. The witness was willing to die for Jesus. God’s mission for believers is to witness to others about Jesus in three areas.

a. Locally– To our neighbors. What areas can we impact? The College, around the church,
b. Regionally– The use of Samaria would have been radical to the Jews! Jesus was asking them to cross barriers in order to rescue the unreached, the most unlikely according to the Jews. Who makes you uncomfortable? Is it the drug users? Is it the Republican, the Democrat, the Unvaccinated, the Uneducated, who is it? We are to love them with the hope of Jesus!
c. Globally– I’ve heard two statements many make concerning foreign missions. 1. Why should we go overseas when we have people here that don’t know Jesus? a. We are called to! b. They will not hear unless someone tells them. c. It is the heart of God for all tribes to hear the gospel. d. I have never known the people who make this statement to be urgent about local missions. An urgency for foreign missions always drives an urgency for local and regional missions! God is calling us to respond to missions! This is the time to go for Christ! 2. The second statement I’ve heard is that people will continue to give money so that they won’t have to go. I believe that short-term missions to somewhere outside of our comfort zone exposes us to the heart of God and His care for all people! I desire for us to plan to do missions on many levels this year!


III. Resolve to Prepare all for His Magnificent Return (Acts 1:11) According to Ephesians 4:12, pastor Dalton and I are “to equip the saints for the work of ministry…” You should be trained in a way that you can lead your coworkers, children, family members, and friends to Christ! To prepare them for Christ’s return! We must not waste time looking toward the sky, but staying busy sharing the gospel!

What is our vision for 2022? To Respond to God’s Call by remaining focused on the mission, reigniting a fire for ministry, and preparing all for Christ’s return. Will you join this vision, will you join along on this journey?