Sermon Series “Love Big”

Five week series exploring the multiple love relationships that lie at the core of Christianity; that define what it means to be a Christian.

Video MessageResources
Week 1:
Love Self and Nature
Monday Memo notes
Week 2:
Love God
Monday Memo notes
Week 3:
Love Your Church Family

Monday Memo notes

Here are a couple things you can do this week: 
1. Daily pray over the eight traits of a healthy family listed above. Pray them for the KW church family, and for your own place in it. 
2. The majority of the traits of a healthy family above can be acted upon, not merely thought or prayed about. So this week, see if you can do each of the following at least once: 
– If applicable, engage in a direct, even-keeled conversation with someone about a decision that needs to be made (#1 above). Likewise, invite someone else into a win-win conversation about that decision to be made (#3 above). 
– Go out of your way to thank someone else in the KirkWood family for the ways that they’re not you, and for how you’ve benefited from those differences (#2 above).
– In writing or verbally, be constructive or encouraging to someone at KW (#4).
– Circling back to a theme from the first week of “Love Big,” doing something this week that helps you take personal responsibility for your own wellbeing (#6 above). 
– Spend time with someone at KW that you trust, and purpose to be open with them connecting with them below the surface level, soul to soul (#8 above). 
3. Read this article, cited at the end of the sermon yesterday, by Michael Frost (who wrote “Surprised by Joy,” which we read together as a church last summer) on churches sometimes being a “lonely crowd” and not family: The Lonely Crowd: churches dying due to friendlessness
Week 4:
Love Your Neighbor and the World
Monday Memo notes

1) Do you have a favorite non-profit or agency that tries to champion neighborly love around the world? Let Pastor Chris know – We’d like to donate up to $2000 from The Blessing Fund this week to such causes. 
2) Pray each morning that you’d love your neighbors throughout the day as you love yourself and your own. You can use the seven bullet points above to guide your prayer. Ask God to give you opportunities to encourage, care for, and support the people with whom you speak and interact, even if in small, specific ways. 
3) Here are four of Gary Chapman’s five love languages: words of affirmation, spending quality time together, giving a gift, and acts of service. Look for an opportunity to do each one at least once during the week to a different neighbor you encounter (a coworker, store worker, fellow customer, someone in your actual neighborhood, etc.) 
4) Bible reading this week: Explore the three different references in the epistles to the 2nd great commandment. In each case, the commandment takes on a different hue, and is shown to be applicable in multiple situations: 
Romans 13.8-14 NRSVA
  Gal 5.13-15 NRSVA
James 2.1-13 NRSVA
5) A few short videos: 
– A heartfelt, vulnerable story about not loving your neighbor:
Love Your Neighbor – Annie’s Story
– A contemporary Christian song about loving our neighbors:
Toby Ferrari – Love Your Neighbour
– What does it look like when a church prioritizes freeing their attenders to love their neighbors?:
The Missional Church… simple
Week 5:
Love and Our Future
Monday Memo notes

1. Keep that short list of related but different verbs from Matthew 7 close at hand this week: think, pray, or journal about what questions you need to be asking in your life right now, what you need to be praying about on a regular basis, what you need to seek by investing time and energy over the next few weeks or more, and on what “doors” (opportunities) you need to be knocking. 
2. Read Isaiah 43.18-19 every other day this week so that its crucial message sinks in and takes root: Isaiah 43.18-19 NRSVA
3. Here are three pieces about how to approach an unknown future, from a leading church consultant named Susan Beaumont. Though she’s writing about congregations, her insights are equally applicable to an individual Christian life too: 
  The Future Doesn’t Exist Yet
  Overwhelm: Not a Problem to be Solved
The Good Old Days and Other Works of Fiction
4. For those who appreciate a good poem, here are two exquisite ones on the future: 
  The Future by Matthew Arnold
  A Short Analysis of Emily Dickinson’s ‘The Future never spoke’