Tom Scott - 9/03/2014

Acts 8:26-35


Date: March 10, 2014

Going to the mall for a teenager can be more about the people that you see there than the stores within the complex. Hanging out at the mall is something fun to do on the weekend or at least it used to be.  Friends get together to talk about stuff and check out what is on sale.  Churches are often rated on their friendliness. This was the point of the message yesterday.  We are supposed to be a place where people can come and do life together. Friends can come together to worship the Lord and share in a Bible Study.  Philip was sent by the angel out into the desert to meet a man who was reading from the book of Isaiah.  Together they would share a chariot ride through the desert.  Here are five questions to help you reflect on the message:

1. When you walk into the Lego store the clerk will greet you and ask you who the set is for.  Most of the time there is someone at the door of the store or restaurant to greet you.  If you walk into a store and no one greets you, it is highly unlikely that you will purchase something there.  Do you have an experience of a store or restaurant that was less than friendly to you and have you given them a second chance?

2. Philip was asked to leave a thriving church to head out into the desert.  While he is waiting for his next assignment, an angel tells him to catch up to a chariot on the road.  Philip will talk to the man about an Old Testament passage of scripture from the book of Isaiah.  From this conversation, Philip was able to share the good news with the Ethiopian Eunuch. How easy would it have been for you to do what Philip did here in this story?

3. The first suggestion that I shared from the story, when it comes to being a guest friendly church, is to offer people a warm greeting.  Paul says, in First Corinthians chapter 16, that we are to greet one another.  As a church, this should be something that all of us do when we see a guest coming through the doors. Churches that are truly friendly make it a point to value their guests.  What can you do next Sunday to offer someone a warm greeting?

4.  For the second suggestion, I had us look at the way Philip talked to the eunuch as they rode through the desert. Philip would listen to the eunuch and address his concern.  When it comes to being a friendly church today, we need to provide our guests with a positive experience.  The first twelve minutes that a guest comes onto the church grounds are critical to his/ her decision on whether or not they will return.  What are some things you could do to ensure that people have a positive experience when they come to church?

5. My third suggestion for becoming a guest friendly church was to share good news with our guests.  No one likes hearing bad news.  The apostle Paul says that we have been given a treasure to share with people. It is the spreading of good news.  Philip shared this good news about Jesus with the eunuch and as a result, the eunuch asked to be baptized in water.  Now it is our turn to do the same with those we run into today. Have you ever shared the gospel message with someone?

Many churches talk about being the friendliest place in town, but the reality is that they are not.  If we want to impact lives for God within this community, then we need to work on being friendly towards those who come to visit the church.  As we look forward to the next couple of months and the special activities we have lined up, let’s all do our part to value our guests.

Have a great week in the Lord and remember that Spring is less than two weeks away!

**************************SERMON OUTLINE***********************************

March 9, 2014

Introduction: Have you walked into a store and been completely ignored?Has there ever been a time when you felt unwelcome at a church?  Philip had an opportunity to go and speak to a man returning home fromworship one day.  The man would come to know Jesus Christ as his Savior as a result of that chariot ride through the desert.  People are looking for a friendly place to come and worship the Lord.  

I.Philip did what.

A.  Philip went out to the desert road.  Acts 8:4-5

B. Philip ran up to the eunuch’s chariot.  2 Kings 10:15-16

C.  Philip told him the good news about Jesus.  Luke 8:1

II.You’re asking me to do what.

A. We need to offer a warm greeting to our guests.  1 Corinthians 16:19-20

B. We need to provide a positive experience for our guests.  James 2:3-4

C. We need to share good news with our guests.  2 Corinthians 4:7

Conclusion: This morning we have looked at what can happen when we are obedient to the call of God on our lives.God can do amazing things through us when we are willing to reach out to those He puts in our way.  People are more inclined to accept the invitation of a friend. Let’s be sure to extend a warm greeting to one another today, especially those who might be guests.

Key Thought: People are more inclined to accept the invitation of a friend.

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