Church Planting

Summer 2013

Recently, I read a quote that made me think. It came from A.W. Tozer. He said, “I remind you that there are churches so completely out of the hands of God that if the Holy Spirit withdrew from them, they wouldn't find it out for many months.”  How long do you think it would take for us to discover the Holy Spirit had withdrawn from Western Reserve? Would it be an instant discovery? How many of us would never notice?

On July 1, I will begin my twentieth year of service at Western Reserve. I am proud of the progress we have made. However, I will admit we have not made as much progress as I had hoped. The reason for our stunted growth is not a lack of human effort. Many hard working volunteers fill our building each week to maintain our organization. Our problem is more spiritual in nature. We need a revival. In other words, we need to experience the Holy Spirit, first hand. 

It is for this reason I have decided to make a major investment in time in the Book of Acts. Over the next three summers I will be preaching through this spirit-filled book. It was the Holy Spirit that planted the church originally and it will be the Holy Spirit who rebuilds the church. I have called this entire body of work Church Planting.  Below, you will find my tentative preaching schedule for this summer. We are going to look at the first eight chapters. The next two summers, we are going to look at how Paul helped spread the Good News to his world.  

The Great Commission says we are to make disciples. We are to baptize them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. (Matthew 28:19) Does anyone here feel qualified for that task? Is it possible we have no energy left to make disciples because we spend all of our energy maintaining our building and meeting the budget? Or, maybe our problem is deeper? Maybe we are like those pre-Pentecost disciples. We have heard about the Holy Spirit, but we don’t understand it; we have heard about the Holy Spirit, but we have never experienced it. That is why the Book of Acts is so important. I ask that you begin to pray for this sermon series now! Pray for two things. First, pray that by Labor Day you will have a clearer understanding of the Holy Spirit. Second, pray that by Labor Day you will experience the Holy Spirit. Never forget, Jesus expects us to make as many disciples as possible. Human efforts are not enough. We need the Holy Spirit.

In His Service, Russ Adams                                                                             

  May 5 - Ascension Day - "In Awe"   Acts 1: 1-11  pdf 
  May 19 - Pentecost - "Is Revival Still Possible?"   Acts 2: 1-21   pdf 
  June 2 - "What Does God Expect?"   Acts 2: 40-47


  June 9 - "Worth the Risk"   Acts 3: 1-10   pdf 
  June 16 - "Is there a Witness in the House?"   Acts 4: 1-22   pdf
  June 23 - "Will You Pray with Me?"   Acts 4: 23-31   pdf
  June 30 - "The $10,000,000 Challenge"   Acts 5: 1-11   pdf
  July 14 - "Growing Pains"   Acts 6: 1-7   pdf
  July 21 - "False Testimony"   Acts 6: 8-15   pdf
  July 28 - "Be Prepared"  Acts 7:54 - 8:1   pdf
  August 4 - "Is God Really in Control?"   Acts 8:2-8          pdf
  August 18 - Mission Trip Reports    
  August 25 - "You've Fallen - But You Can Get Up"   Acts 8:9-25   pdf
  September 1 - "The Bible is..."   Acts 8: 26-49   pdf

                     Note: to read the archived sermon, click on "pdf" next to each scripture reference