Church Planting, Part 2

Summer 2014

A.W. Tozer once wrote, “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.”  That quote makes me ask you this question. How long do you think it would take for us to discover the Holy Spirit had withdrawn from Western Reserve Church? Would the Holy Spirit’s exit be an instant discovery? Would the Holy Spirit’s exit be a slow erosion? How many would never notice the Holy Spirit was gone? Do you think the Holy Spirit left Western Reserve years ago?

On July 1, I will begin my twenty-first 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. Beginning last summer, I began preaching through this spirit-filled book. It will take four summers to complete. Acts tells us clearly, the Holy Spirit planted the church originally, and it will be the Holy Spirit who rebuilds the church now. I have called this entire body of work Church Planting. Below you will find my tentative preaching schedule for this summer. Last summer, we looked at the first eight chapters. This summer, we will look at chapters nine through twelve. During the summer of 2015 and 2016, we will 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). Do you 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 him; we have heard about the Holy Spirit, but we have never experienced him. That is why the Book of Acts is so important. I ask that you begin to pray for that 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

 June 22, 2014 - "Throw it Away"  Acts 9:1-9   pdf
 July 6, 2014 - "Awkward Obedience"  Acts 9:10-19a   pdf
 July 13, 2014 - "Discipleship 101"  Acts 9:19b-31   pdf
 July 20, 2014 - "God's Unknown Resurrection"  Acts 9:32-43   pdf
 July 27, 2014 - "Discovering God's Will"  Acts 10:1-8   pdf
 August 3, 2014 - "The Day the Law Died"  Acts 10:9-23a   pdf
 August 17, 2014 - "Everyone Welcomed"  Acts 10:23b-48   pdf
 August 24, 2014 - "Living with Criticism"  Acts 11:1-4, 18   pdf
 August 31, 2014 - "An Encouraging Word"  Acts 11:19-26   pdf
 September 7, 2014 - "Effective Prayer"  Acts 12: 1-11   pdf

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