2 Pillars Church

10:15 AM

We nailed down a start time for 2 Pillars Church–Northeast worship gatherings:

We recently announced our public launch date, but left you hanging regarding the exact time of our Sunday gatherings. Well, we've finally arrived at a start time: 10:15AM.

Conveniently, we're starting fifteen minutes later than our sending church. Do you think I'll have time to grab a few pointers from Todd's sermon before I preach each week? 

 

A Story of Redemption

Tim Burge, a member of the 2 Pillars Church community, shared a before-and-after snapshot of his new life in Christ on the 2PC blog today:

He willingly paid the horrible penalty necessary for humanity to be redeemed and reunited with Him in eternity, and in paying that price and rising again, He defeated the hold that sin and death had had over us. Despite my horrible brokenness (and my tendency to revert to seeing Him as a scowling, disappointed patrol cop), I know that He loves me perfectly and fully. It paints a sharp contrast for a journey I know I’ve only just begun.

Praise God.

Easter: The Superbowl of the Church World?

I wrote the following for a post that appeared on the 2 Pillars Church blog yesterday.


 

On Easter, Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. A friend of mine calls Easter Sunday the “Superbowl of the church world.”

As with all metaphors, you can’t apply too much pressure or it will inevitably break. That said, the Superbowl reference does a decent job of illustrating the significance of Easter Sunday in a way that is easy to understand.

Superbowl Sunday is the most anticipated, most popular, and most-watched sporting event in the United States—by a long shot. The NFL season is a long road that leads to this single destination.

Similarly, Easter is the most significant, most anticipated day in the church world.

But why?

Surely Easter baskets can’t hold a candle to Christmas trees loaded with presents! So, what makes the Easter celebration of Jesus’ resurrection so significant?

The Resurrection Is a Miraculous Event

My ninth grade biology teacher began our first day of class by directing our attention to a dead frog floating in a jar of formaldehyde. He promised an automatic “A” to anyone who was able to bring the amphibian back to life.

As you have surely guessed, none of us collected on his offer that year. We all had to earn our grade the old fashioned way.

You see, despite all our medical breakthroughs and scientific advancements, humanity hasn’t managed to find an answer to the problem of death. As the saying goes, nothing is certain but death and taxes. Death is the inevitable, inescapable fate that awaits us all.

This is precisely what makes the resurrection of Jesus so extraordinary and miraculous. Following his crucifixion, Jesus was dead. Lifeless. Just like that frog in the jar in my ninth grade biology class.

The story doesn’t end there, however.

Jesus rose again! He rose in victory over death. This resurrection wasn’t metaphorical or figurative. It isn’t a fairy tale we tell our kids. It was actual. It was physical. It happened. Jesus defeated death.

The Resurrection Is Foundational to the Christian Faith

Not only was the resurrection a miraculous event, but it is also foundational to the Christian faith. In the Bible, the Apostle Paul explains:

Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:12–14)

Paul is saying here, among other things, that if Jesus wasn’t raised from the dead, then the Christian faith is in vain. It’s worthless. In other words, if you’re a skeptic looking for the most effective way to undermine the Christian faith, then the resurrection is your point of attack. If Christ wasn’t raised from the dead, then Christianity crumbles.

So, on Easter Sunday Christians are celebrating the very event that defines and upholds their faith.

The Resurrection Is Essential for the Christian Life

The resurrection isn’t merely significant for the Christian faith in general, however, but also for the Christian life in particular.

By faith in Jesus, one is united with Him in His resurrection. Jesus’ victory over death and the grave becomes our victory over death and the grave. Jesus victory over sin and Satan becomes our victory over sin and Satan.

This victory allows the Christian to turn from the sin that once enslaved her and walk in joyful obedience to Jesus. It also gives the Christian hope—a hope that will not disappoint. This hope is the ultimate and eternal answer to the universal problem of death. Through faith in Jesus, we look forward to eternal life in Heaven with Him.

Jesus Is Risen

This Sunday at 10:00AM, 2 Pillars Church will be gathering to celebrate the miraculous resurrection of Jesus Christ. It’s going to be a party!

Not a Christian? That’s okay.

If you would like to hear more about Jesus, His resurrection, and what it could mean for you, then I invite you to join us.

Jesus is risen. He is risen indeed!

2 Pillars Church Website Redesign

The new, redesigned 2 Pillars Church website.

After months of work, I present to you the new, redesigned 2PillarsChurch.com!

Our website has needed some serious TLC for some time now. With help from a local entrepreneur and the hard work of three developers in the 2 Pillars body, we were finally able to go live this week.

I'll be posting in the future about some of the back-end details, including why we chose Squarespace, the platform on which our new site is built.

Until then, give it a look and let me know what you think.

Near South Neighborhood Carnival

Bounce House On Sunday, 2 Pillars Church took over a small, little–known park in Lincoln and put on a neighborhood carnival. In addition to serving food, we charged each of our small group Gospel Communities with the task of sponsoring some kind of booth or game.

The above photo shows our GC's contribution to the event.

Overall, the event was a success. It's difficult to estimate the number of people we saw, but I would guess it was close to 200 people or more. Further, the majority of those in attendance were not associated with our church in any way.

I overheard one woman say, "I haven't seen anything like this happen here in the twenty years that I've been around."

What a fun way to bless our neighborhood and get to know our neighbors!

 

 

Church Planting and Preparing for Reproduction

Scott Thomas outlines five reasons for planting churches in a recent post at ChurchPlanting.com. Among them, he discusses the importance of reproduction for the local church:

Aubrey Malphurs believes that the secret to a vibrant Christianity is a pregnant church, culminating in reproduction. He emphasized the importance of a sending church preparing itself for reproduction (Nuts and Bolts of Church Planting, Malphurs, 2011). As a church is developing leaders, clarifying vision, sending people and resources, articulating doctrines and strategizing for mission, it will have a spiritual vibrancy accompanying these pre-birth activities.

Thomas summarizes this way:

A church on mission prioritizes its sending capacity over its seating capacity. This reproductive generosity brings health to the mother church as well as to the baby churches.

Something that Todd Bumgarner said from the very beginning is that 2 Pillars is going to be a church that plants churches. Just like a engaged couple discussing future family plans and their desire for children, reproduction was part of the vision of 2 Pillars before it was even planted.

The prayer now is that God would bless our plans and preparation and continue to grow 2 Pillars in size and maturity in order that we might give birth to another church to be planted in the city of Lincoln.

Why plant more churches in Lincoln? Check out the entire post here.

The Scope and Subtlety of the Gospel

I'm currently reading Unbelievable Gospel: How to Share a Gospel Worth Believing by Jonathan Dodson in preparation for an upcoming Classroom Series session 2 Pillars Church is holding on Evangelism. In the opening chapter, Dodson observes the following about the gospel:

The gospel is both bigger and smaller than we think. Sometimes we can’t imagine the scope of the gospel, as news so good that it changes everything—society, culture, and creation. People really need to hear this. This vision of reality is better than anyone can imagine. The good news of the gospel is better than the best news people can conceive. Others times, we can’t imagine the subtlety of the gospel, that it brings us exactly what we need in Christ: acceptance, approval, forgiveness, newness, healing, worth, purpose, joy, hope, peace, and freedom, all in Jesus. The gospel is bigger and smaller than we think, as big as the cosmos and as small as you and me. It is the good and true news that Jesus has defeated sin, death, and evil through his own death and resurrection and is making all things new, even us!

This is the good news of the gospel. This is the message Christians are called to share. This is the message Christians get to share! It's implications are huge and cosmic on the one hand, subtle and deeply personal on the other.

I'm really looking forward to this upcoming installment of the Classroom Series. We'll be seeking to grow in our own understanding of this good news and our calling to proclaim it. We'll also spend time discussing the practical how–tos of evangelism. It's shaping up to be a great morning.

Join us on April 20 if you're in the Lincoln area.



© 2019 Adam Stahr ¯\_(ツ)_/¯