I think it would be fair to say that we all look to be comfortable in our lives. Even if you are someone who likes change, when change brings about discomfort in your life chances are it is not welcomed. It is our very human nature to try and settle in. To find the groups of people who are like us, think like us, believe like us, and vote like us. It gives us a sense of comfort in our surroundings and brings about security. In today’s message, Pastor Stephen shows that God has asked His followers to abandon their sense of security and comfort in order to accomplish something much greater. Because of this high calling from God, Pastor Stephen shows from the life of Jesus why our church has chosen to be Outwardly Focused.



  • The mission of our fraternity was similar to the mission of the church. It was to connect more young guys with our group because we believed that by being in Phi Tau, it made your life better. And you got to pay to have friends.

    Because of how it impacted me, I wanted to share that with other guys. I felt compelled to. Because I wanted them to experience what I have experienced. I wanted them to know the life change that could come by being a part of this group.

    Recruitment: Tension between preserving what we have and recruiting for the future That’s what we’re talking about today as we continue on in our series, This Is Us.
    Last Week: The Bible Never Changes – There is no other thing in your life/ 1,500 years.

    Then Jesus went out to the lakeshore again and taught the crowds that were coming to
    him. 14 As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at his tax collector’s booth. ||| “Follow me and be my disciple,” Jesus said to him. So Levi got up and followed him.”

    [Mark 2:13-14a] Tax Collector; Jesus always noticed the people that others looked past. [Mark 2:14b] Jesus’ reach is further than your run

    Out of Reach: Ordinary Peter, Outcast Tax Collector, Outcast Mary Magdelene, Outlaw Paul



    Everything in Jesus’ ministry went back to looking outside towards those who weren’t following him yet. But we are often the opposite. We are naturally drawn to what we already know, what we’re already familiar and comfortable with.


    Drawn to What We Know: Top 12 Movies of 2017, The Office,


    That’s just our human nature. That’s why most people would be more excited for a new Starbucks to come in down the road than new local place. That’s why we repeat the same traditions at Christmas and Thanksgiving every year. We love familiarity.


    We surround ourselves with people that think like us, that cheer like us, and look like us

    MLK/ Most Segregated Hour: Tendency to surround ourselves with what’s like us


    The tension though, is that. Christ commanded us to look outward and constantly be focused on reaching people that are different than us. But what churches often do is focus on who’s already here and who’s already like us and believes like us. We have to fight against this tension.



    We believe that God is growing Grace Church because we are unapologetically focused on thinking outward rather than inward. The decisions we make here are to reach those who are spiritually disconnected. We want to be a church that is more focused on what we are doing outside of the building than what we are doing inside. The inside matters, but it’s just the launching off point.

    “Would the town grieve if we had to leave?”


    Later, Levi invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. ||| (There were many people of this kind among Jesus’ followers) 16 But when the teachers of religious law who were Pharisees saw him eating w/ tax collectors and other sinners, they asked his disciples, “Why does he eat with such scum?”

    [Mark 2:15-16] Who you ate with was a reflection of yourself and your family; tax collector? Jewish leaders distanced themselves from Tax C. out of fear of being seen as corrupt.


    [Mark 2:17] When Jesus heard this, he told them, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.” #truthbomb

    Following Jesus means stepping out of your comfort zone. You can’t live a comfortable life and follow Jesus. Because with following Jesus comes sacrifice. Not for the sake of sacrifice, but because there are too many other people around you that don’t know Jesus. And if they are spiritually disconnected from him now, what if nothing changes in their life? What is their fate?

    Go and Tell: Luke 9, John 13, Go and tell
    The closer you grow to Christ, the more you should care about your friends that don’t know

    Him. Because God saved you to send you out.


    The world is not our enemy. The enemy is our enemy.


    There is an inconvenient truth that we don’t like to talk about. Hell is real. Jesus talked about it. A lot. We don’t like to think about the fact that the Bible clearly says it…We don’t like to talk about that. I don’t like to talk about it because I don’t want to come off as judgmental.


    \What pushes us to think beyond our own bubble and be outwardly focused comes down to one thing: to see one more person redeemed. One more life transformed. One more friend who was far from God become a follower for Christ.

    “Would your town grieve if you had to leave?”


    Don’t give up on your friends and family that aren’t following God. They may just be one conversation away. God saved you to send you out.