Today's Agenda

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OUT (WITH NEIGHBORS)

Welcome

Coming Next: Check out http://createchurch.org/read for information on the book study we start next Sunday. While purchasing the book is not required, you will get the most out of the series if you are reading along with us 1 chapter a day.

  • Online service testing in Jan-Feb  (1 of 6 team members)
  • Review calendar items below
  • Reminder about tax-deductible end-of-the-year giving at createchurch.org/give.

UP (with God) 

Music

Toplic intro and split into groups of 3-5 people to keep discussion moving.

 

 

 

IN (WITH EACH OTHER)

Food


Coming next

Next Series

Starting January 4 we will go through the book "The End of Religion." Purchase a book to get the most from this study. Bring a friend who has serious questions about God or who you think would enjoy this study. 


Sync to the Calendar

More sync options on our calendar page.


Giving

100% of gifts are invested into advancing our mission to go and make communities of disciples in every neighborhood and people group.

If you consider Create your church

  1. Ask Jesus about your relationship with money. Which master has your heart?
    Matthew 6:21-24

  2. Be generous according to your ability. Calculate according to your income. Give an amount that demonstrates your trust in God. 
    Deut 16:10-17 | 1 Cor 16:2

  3. Give a gift that moves your heart and feel God’s delight in you!
    2 Cor 8-9

Create Church operate with financial transparency. Please e-mail stewardship@createchurch.org if you would like to serve with the generosity team.

October 2014 Given: $2205 Goal: $4000
November 2014 Given: $2220 Goal: $4000

December Giving

fundraising ideas for schools, churches, and youth sports teams
 

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LOG IN TO SCHEDULED GIVING

 

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Create Church
12299 Champlin Dr Suite 201
Champlin, MN 55316


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more on our reading plan: My Daily Muse


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Garden

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Launch Pad

Lab

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Starfish

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Today's Notes

INTRO: CHURCH INTRODUCTIONS

Every church has its own ways of communicating important news. Some churches use signs on buildings, and some use websites and social media. Some churches have paper bulletins that tell the church's news. But sometimes these bulletin introductions can be more confusing than helpful.

Imagine being a first-time visitor to a church and reading some of these announcements in the bulletin:

  • Don’t let worry kill you. Let the church help.
  • Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our church.
  • Eight new choir robes are currently needed, due to the addition of several new members and to the deterioration of some older ones.
  • The Reverend Adams spoke briefly, much to the delight of his audience.
  • Due to the Rector’s illness, Wednesday’s healing services will be discontinued.
  • For those of you who have children and don’t know it, we have a nursery downstairs.

Sometimes introductions aren’t done really well. That’s OK when it’s a funny line in a bulletin, but the truth is that sometimes, our introductions of Christ can be just as confusing.

Sometimes we send messages about Christ and what it means to follow Him that we don’t mean to send. We need to get back to who Christ really is.

Today, as we close our Rulebreaker series, we’re going to see how God breaks the rules of religion by reaching out to the wise men, and as we do we’ll discover that Christmas introduces us to Christ.

SPLIT UP INTO GROUPS OF 3-5 PEOPLE

BREAK THE ICE INTO A DELICIOUS BLENDED DRINK

  1. Say your names and quickly share about a time you broke the rules in a game.
  2. Pick a Discussion Mover (DM) for today. This person's job is to (1) be vulnerable (2) keep discussion moving (3) make the "do it" section as impactful as possible. You can nominate a DM, spin something to choose someone at random, or ask the group if you can volunteer. 
  3. DM: Ask right now what the group's expectations are for this discussion. Is this a place where we can be honest with each other? Do we want Jesus to speak to us? Are we willing to follow Him? Pray for God to speak with you and guide you.

BACKGROUND

Through our Rulebreaker series, we’ve talked about how God broke the rules of nature, law, and society, and we’ve done so by looking at many of the traditional characters we find in the nativity scene – Mary, Joseph, and the shepherds. Today we turn to the wise men. The wise men, called Magi in this passage, were astrologers from Persia.

When the Magi arrived in Israel, they formally introduced themselves in Jerusalem, which would have fulfilled custom and protocol. Their presence wouldn’t have been out of the norm in Herod’s ruling court in Jerusalem, but they would not have fit in among everyday Jews in a place like Bethlehem, in part because of their practice of astrology or divination. But despite the fact that these Magi actually broke the rules of the Jewish religion, God still chose them to be a part of the birth of Jesus.

In Deuteronomy 18, we see that divination – looking to the stars for divine signs and messages — was forbidden by the Jewish law. But here, God sent out a birth announcement about His Son to people in a foreign land of a foreign religion with a message in a star. What God was sending into the world was so important that He wanted everyone to have a chance to find it. He wanted to make sure that even unreached and untouched people could begin to discover Immanuel — God with us. By using a star, God blew the top off the Jewish religion and announced that His Son would not be confined by religious expectations.

To get a picture of what God was doing here, think of the TV show Undercover Boss . In this show, bosses break the rules of their companies and work at entry-level, glamour-less jobs. They go to these extremes so that they can connect with real employees and find out what the company really is like.

The Magi found the king of the Jews because God broke the rules of religion to speak to them in a language they would hear. And by following the star through which God spoke to them, the Magi were introduced to Jesus, the Christ child.

READ MATTHEW 2:1-12 AND ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS

  1. Why do you think God sent a star to get the Magi's attention? Come up with at least three ideas.
  2. Compare what motivated Herod versus what motivated the Magi to visit Jesus.
  3. How did the Magi respond when they met Jesus? What does the response say about them? In what ways would this be surprising to Mary and Joseph? 
  4. In what ways was God coming to Earth as Jesus like the show "Undercover Boss?"

GOD THE RULEBREAKER

Throughout this Rulebreaker series, we’ve been introduced to Christ. We saw how Jesus was not just any baby but the Son of the Most High because God broke the rules of nature and called the virgin Mary to give birth. And so we saw that the Christmas story tells us that miracles are possible. Next we saw how Jesus fulfills the law because God broke the rules of law by telling Joseph to stand beside Mary instead of divorcing her, which shows us that the Christmas story tells us that salvation is here. Then we saw how the birth of Jesus is good news of great joy for all the people because God broke the rules of society by choosing smelly shepherds to be the first hearers and the first heralds of the birth of Christ. So we learned that the Christmas story tells us that revolution is rising up.

Now we see today that God broke the rules of religion so that He could let wise-man astrologers from Persia know that the king of the Jews had come. Once again, Christmas introduces us to Christ.

Sometimes, our religion can get in the way of our worship. We get so concerned about the rules and disciplines and minutiae of the practice of Christianity that we forget or overlook or even ignore Christ. That’s why we need a rule-breaking story like Christmas. We need to be reminded once again of who Jesus is, why God sent Him, and what God’s heart for all people really is.

God’s heart is for all people. God will break the rules – even His own rules of religion, as He did in this passage — so that anyone and everyone can meet Christ. As a result, we must incarnate the story of Jesus to the people in our lives. Even those we least expect may come to worship Christ.

As we are introduced to the person of Christ over the rules of religion, and as we share this revelation with others, revival starts to break out in our lives and in our world. The real Christ brings new life, and Christmas reminds us how this new life, this revival, changes us and our world. 

(Citation: Ideas in the application were developed with the help of the IVP New Testament commentary as found at www.gospelcom.net)

A CALL TO BREAK THE RULES

Because Christmas introduces us to Christ , we must be willing to break the rules just as God did. We follow the Christ we meet at Christmas every day. So doing things the same old way with the same old people for the same old reasons isn’t enough. With God all things are possible, and that means all kinds of ideas are on the table. As we look to help others meet Christ, we don’t need to expect everyone to meet Christ as we did. Instead, we should look for innovative and imaginative ways for people to come in contact with the Son of the Most High.

We celebrate Christmas every day by living out what we’ve learned in this Rulebreaker series. And as we do,

  • We’ll discover that miracles are possible because Christmas points us to the Creator.
  • We’ll find that salvation is here and that Christmas reminds us of what’s really right.
  • We’ll be reminded that revolution is rising up because Christmas awakens us to those away from us.
  • And as we do, we will see revival break out around us just as it has broken out in our lives because Christmas introduces us to Christ , and we will seek ways to introduce others to Christ.

This is what a Rulebreaker Christmas is all about, and this is what makes a Christmas worth celebrating not just on December 25 but every day.

DID JESUS FORCE PEOPLE INTO HIS WAY?

 As we think about how Christmas introduces us to Christ, we naturally start thinking about how we might be able to introduce others to Christ. Often, churches create outreach programs and teach evangelism techniques to help us introduce people to Christ.

But as we interact with people who aren’t Christ-followers, we sometimes make a mistake by trying to enforce the rules of our religion on them. This has led to huge political and personal conflicts through the years.

  1. Should we as Christians expect non-Christians to act like Jesus? Why or why not?

  2. What are some of the big conflicts you’ve seen between Christians and non-Christians? What caused those conflicts?

  3. What happens when Christians try to enforce Christlike ethics on non-Christians? How do you think that makes non-Christians feel? How does that impact non-Christians’ behavior?

  4. What is more effective in helping people around us to live like Jesus?

READ MATTHEW 12:1-14 AND ANSWER THE FOLLOWING

  1. What religious rules were at work here?
  2. How did Jesus break the rules? Why did Jesus break the rules?

The Message version expresses Jesus’ point here this way: “There is far more at stake here than religion. If you had any idea what this Scripture meant — ‘I prefer a flexible heart to an inflexible ritual’ — you wouldn’t be nitpicking like this.”

Jesus breaks the rules for those broken by the rules. He came to show us the true intent of the rules. Jesus said later that He came to fulfill the law, not to abolish it. The Sabbath was about rest, healing, and recognizing that God is in control and that He will take care of you; Jesus did just that for the man with the crippled hand. So what the religious referees saw as breaking the rules, Jesus saw as fulfilling them.

Today, we want to challenge you to break through a rule. Identify a rule or assumption about how you should do things as a Christian that you think is in desperate need of change. Discover a way you can break through that rule to show the expansive love of God to someone who has been broken by the rules.

This is a dangerous assignment, so be sure to discuss your rule-breaking here inside your group before you begin.

FINAL QUESTIONS

As we close our Rulebreaker series, we want to make sure to say out loud how we have been introduced to Christ.

  1. How do you view God differently because of this study of the Christmas story?
  2. How do you view what God calls you to do differently because of this study of the Christmas story?

Let's continue to see how God broke the expectations of society, the laws of selfishness, and the rules of religion by studying the book "The End of Religion" starting next week.

 


Feel alive, joyful, healthy and whole by doing these simple practices: 

CARVE OUT TIME TO HEAR THE HOLY SPIRIT

coming Jan 2015

Commit to at least one hour per week of listening to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Some may choose to take a prayer walk or a once-per-week time of solitude and listening to God. Others may segment their hour into daily increments of ten minutes per day for six days of the week. The point is to have a specific time of just listening in silence, not speaking or asking for anything, just letting the Lord speak to you. What is He asking you to do? Who is He putting on your heart? Take note or journal what you hear, verify with scripture and those in church community with you, and immediately put His words into practice. 

#GARDEN #UP

READ A CHAPTER A DAY FROM THE BIBLE

introduced Fall 2013

Pay special attention to learn more about Jesus, his ways and means. Ask God to speak to you as you read, and do what He says. Discuss what you read with others. Write what you are doing and learning in a journal. Sometime we read sections of a book together. Invest in your personal and family growth by reading and attending things will help you grow into who God created you to be. Sign up for the daily reading at http://mydailymuse.org.

#GARDEN #LAB #UP

E

EAT TOGETHER

introduced Summer 2014 

Eat 2 meals each week with others. 1 with someone IN your faith community, 1 with somone OUT who, as far as you know, is not a Christ-follower from the places you live, work, or play. Practice generous hospitality and invite people into your life. Around the table, gospel things happen. Your IN meal is a great place for a Huddle conversation, where you share about your life, what God has been saying to you, and what you've been doing about it.

#GARDEN #LAB #IN #OUT

A

ACT AS A MISSIONARY

coming Feb 2015

Act as a missionary every day. God has sent you. As a faith community, we are a collective of missionaries. We want to stay mindful of opportunities to engage in mission on our day-to-day journey. To do this keep a daily journal of how you have worked with Jesus during the day. Ask yourself how you responded to his promptings and if there were any instances or opportunities where you resisted Jesus during the day.

#LAUNCHPAD #LAB #OUT

T

TELL YOUR STORY

March 2015

Tell your story to someone this week. Listen to others' stories. Be humble and vulnerable. Telling your story doesn't mean to tell your whole life story, rather it means to tell the truth about who you are, and use words to share things about your life that will help people see the work of Jesus in your life. The listening side of this is the drawing out of other people's stories. Ask great questions. Listen intently. Don't "one up." Pray for others, and tell them you are praying for them Be present in your relationships and conversations, and be aware that God is already at work in your lives and desires to help you go one step forward into the story He created you to live.

#LAUNCHPAD #LAB #OUT

E

EXTEND A BLESSING

Fall 2014

You are blessed to be a blessing, so give something that would be received as good news to 2 people each week – for 1 person in your Christian community and to someone who is not following Jesus from where your live, work, or play. Blessings can range from a simple encouragement to a small gift or gesture. Recommended is finding a something to do with someone that would be a blessing. Use great discernment and transparency with your loved ones when extending blessings to someone of the opposite sex.

#LAUNCHPAD #LAB #IN #OUT



Coming March 2015: Forge Minneapolis 

Discover what you are made to do.

Believe that you are a minister, and that God has already sent you on a mission to represent Jesus with the people where you live, work, and play.

Step into the adventure of asking Jesus to give you His heart for the people in your neighborhood you already live in or group that you already identify with.

Are you equipped to make a Jesus-like impact in your world? Go on a 3-month mission trip without quitting your job, leaving your neighborhood, or hanging up your hobbies. This is a chance to invest time in the lab of learning and start to launch out in love with the community He puts on your heart.

A full 9-month mission trip starts September 2015.

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