Madison Church

Embodying Faith through Community Engagement | Created For Community (Part 3) | Stephen Feith

September 02, 2023 Stephen Feith
Madison Church
Embodying Faith through Community Engagement | Created For Community (Part 3) | Stephen Feith
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Have you ever pondered on the story of the Prodigal Son, considered its profound message, and sought to connect its teachings of grace and forgiveness to real-life challenges? Well, join us on this journey as we draw deep lessons from this biblical parable while reflecting on the nine-year journey of Madison Church. We'll share stories of resilience, strength, and faith that led us through daunting trials, including the shut-down of our two locations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In this challenging world where faith often wavers, we need more than the typical Sunday gathering. What if every believer took Paul's teachings to heart, grew more like Christ, and embedded themselves deeply in the church body? In this episode, we emphasize the indispensability of community involvement in the church, inspiring one and all to live out their faith not solitarily, but as part of an interconnected, supportive community. We call on everyone to come together as believers, learn from one another, and inspire each other to acts of love and good work.

As we conclude our series on living out faith between Sundays, we reiterate the significance of gathering as believers. Over 2,000 years ago, the early church met to share meals and learn from the apostles. We encourage the same today and challenge ourselves to continue meeting, not just on Sunday mornings, but at gatherings and small groups throughout the week. Let's transform our faith into a daily journey, not just a Sunday gathering. Get ready for a deep dive into faith, community, and connection. Let's explore this journey together.

Support the show
Speaker 1:

Hello and welcome to Madison Church. My name is Stephen Feith, lead pastor. For some of you, it's the second time you've heard that, but only this part gets saved to you too, so I'm going to reintroduce myself to get again and say it's a pleasure to have you all with us today. We're excited that you have joined us and want to extend a warm invitation to you and your family and friends to join us next Sunday as we celebrate nine years of life and ministry while on mission as Madison Church. As I look back on our journey the past nine years, it's been quite a ride. Those initial years, those couple of years, we were running on adrenaline and caffeine and some of us were running on a little bit more than that and it was filled. Every day was an adventure and there was a ton of excitement, and yet there were a ton of challenges as well. Then, just a few months after we celebrated our fifth anniversary, we celebrated our fifth anniversary in 2019, and then, just six months later, the entire world shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This was right after we had opened up our second in-person location as well, so we went from one location to two locations, to no in-person locations. It was difficult to navigate through those times. I didn't get into church planting thinking that someday I was going to have to lead a church community and a church organization through a global pandemic. But that's what happened and that's what we did. We got through it and over the past year or so I've experienced some of the most fulfilling moments at Madison Church and I'm so happy to see our church community shaping up and stepping up all into what God has for us. As I was preparing for the talk today, I thought a lot about the year before we began Madison Church. I've shared how I've moved to Madison, how I met the first people in Madison, how our church went from just a couple of people to where we are today. But this week I went back a little bit further than that and I was thinking about the year leading up to moving to Madison, and it was a year filled with fundraising, and there's nothing fun about fundraising. I was working to secure all the resources we needed to purchase the items that we needed, like a sound system, a sound system we still use today. We bought the camera with the money we fundraised that. You're the camera I'm still speaking to to this day. Additionally, there were trainings that I needed to attend, so that way I would do this well and we would be a healthy church. There's costs to doing things like getting bank accounts open and applying for all the paperwork you need with the government to collect donations, starting a church. It is quite expensive and it took up a lot of my time, but it wasn't just time. At that time I was making a whopping this is going to be hard for you to believe a whopping $9 an hour working at a grocery store. I know it is hard to believe, and it was that money, that $9 an hour, that was covering expenses like the fuel in my car and cheap hotels. As I drove all over Missouri and Illinois and into Wisconsin to speak to the different church leaders and different churches about our vision of Madison Church, I even at one point went as far as Pennsylvania. But regardless of where I found myself in the end of 2012, middle of 2013, wherever I found myself, I was unwavering in my enthusiasm, as I still am today. I still feel very enthusiastic about what God has given us for a vision for this faith community. It is just absolutely incredible to reflect on how far we've come since those early days and I really can't wait to see what this next year holds for Madison Church. In our next series, disruptive Church our next series is called Disruptive Church we're going to talk about what's going to happen as we walk into year 10 and beyond, so that way we can fulfill what I think is God's mission and vision for our church. But, as for today, we're continuing and finishing up a series called Created for Community. So thank you all. For those of you who joined us, whether you've joined us in the past couple of weeks, the past couple of years or you've been with us since day one I just want to say thank you for being a part of our journey. Together we're going to continue to grow and evolve and make a positive impact in the city and the places that we call home. Whenever I was fundraising, I had one talk written out and I could do that talk in seven minutes or 20 minutes, or if they gave me a full kind of time slot, it would be the 3035 that I speak here at Madison Church, and the story I would tell often is a story that you've probably heard before. It's the story of the prodigal son found in Luke, chapter 15. If you're unfamiliar with Jesus', parable. It's about a father who has a son who wants to leave home. Now, this isn't like your normal scenario. This isn't the kid turned to 18 or became an adult and moved out into the world. I mean, those are usually pretty good things, whether they go to school or they pick up a trade or they're just becoming more independent and living their own lives. Those are good things. But in this case the son does it prematurely, in a very terrible and disrespectful way. The son tells his father he wants his inheritance so that he can leave and live life the way that he wants to live. In essence, this son tells his dad I wish you were dead. You being alive does nothing for me. I just really want your stuff. I don't care about our family's legacy, which I'm a part of. I'd like to leave that. So just, would you give me all of my stuff? Now we might expect, I mean, if some of you, if some of your kids, came up to you and said that I mean, let's be honest, and somebody would be calling, maybe like a hotline or something right. But in this case the father, the father agrees to the son's request. Kind of remarkable, maybe. Kind of we don't really understand it. I certainly don't understand it. And after the son gets the money which we're taking his dad some time because his dad would have had to cut up some land and parcel it off and sold it. So after the father gets the money, gives it to the son. The son goes out and we read in Luke 1513, that the son wasted all his money in wild living. This isn't that hard to believe. For those of you who have older kids, you know when they turned 18 or 21, however old they were when they left home for the first time, can you imagine figuring out where all your money and your assets were? Figuring out the top number what are you worth? What's your net worth? Cutting that in half, giving that child then a check for half of what you were worth and said you know what? Go to the UW of Madison and do whatever you want, be smart, use common sense. You just know that wasn't gonna happen. No matter how smart and responsible your child is, if you gave them half of your net worth, they're probably gonna spend a lot of money buying drinks, buying rounds of drinks and going to parties and having fun with all of their friends. They would do exactly what this person did 2,000 years ago. They would waste all that money on wild living. And that's what the son did. That's what our kids would do, I would imagine. In most cases he wasted it all. He wasted his inheritance, he wasted his father's wealth, he wasted that part of his family's legacy. It was all gone, it was nonexistent, it wasn't there anymore. And as though that wasn't bad enough, jesus continues the parable and he says a famine hits the land. The son now finds himself without a home, he's got no job and he is starving to death. This was 2,000 years ago. So when a famine hit the land, the only thing there was to eat was whatever your family had been storing up and putting off to the side. And so for a son, for a person who left home and he's out on his own and he's a nomad, there was nothing. There was no food for him. He gets a job feeding pigs and we see that he hits his low. In verse 16, says that the young man became so hungry that even the pods he was feeding the pigs looked good to him, but no one gave him anything. Imagine being so hungry that you're in the desert and it's hot and there's a famine in the land. It's a million degrees outside and you're sitting there with pigs and it can't smell great and you're looking at the slop, the pods that they're eating, and you're so hungry you think to yourself I would love to dig in to some of that. I mean my kids. They won't eat anything that's not a chicken nugget or a french fry. And this guy, he's sitting there thinking how good does this pig slop look? Okay, so that's rock bottom. Okay, that's rock bottom. And it's at this point that he decides he's going to go back home. The son hopes that if I go home and I tell my father I've messed up, that he will forgive me and that his son, his dad, will take him back, not as a son, not as a son, but as a servant, which is still bold, if you think about it. To waste all that wealth, to have disrespected your family that way, to fail I mean just rock bottom, fail, to have nothing to show for it. Everyone else was right, you weren't right about nothing. And to go back, it takes a tremendous amount of humility. But he realizes that if he doesn't go back to his father, he's going to die because the path he chose, the decisions that he made from leaving his father's side, his father's estate, his father's kingdom. The choices that he made led him to a path in which not only did he have nothing, but he was all alone. Can you imagine having all of that money and it says that he wasted it. He's buying drinks for everyone and really living it up, as I already mentioned, but then when he ran out of money, there was nobody there. He was used for his wealth. I can imagine that there were people there who were gladly there beside him while he was buying the drinks, while he was spending the big money shopping sprees and all that but when he needed help, he finds himself only in the company of pigs. You see, the path he chose led him to facing death. He knows that his father is gracious. He knows that his father is loving. He knows that his father is forgiving. He mentions that himself. He says my father treats servants better than I'm being treated right now. And the son goes home hoping that his dad will take him back as a slave. Now, if you know the story, you know that the father enthusiastically welcomes his son back. It says that while the son was a far way off, that his father was sitting there waiting for him sees him and runs to him. He doesn't wait for the kid to come home. He doesn't slap him around, he doesn't do any of that. He doesn't even scold him. He embraces him with a hug which could not have smelled good if you think about where he's coming from, he couldn't have smelled good. He hugs him and he restores his son back to being a family member, gives him a ring, gives him a jacket that, puts shoes on his feet. He says welcome home. It's not hard for us to relate If you're a follower of Jesus and watching or listening we don't presume that everybody is but if that's you, we can all relate to the younger son, can't we? At some point in our lives we think we know best. We know the plan for our lives. We know the purpose, we know the direction, we know what we wanna do. We know what's best for us. It's my will, not God's will, and we kind of go off and maybe it's not as disrespectful or big as Father give me half of everything I want. I'm out of here. But we know what it's like to walk on our own path. We know what it's like to maybe have some good moments apart from our father, apart from God. But I think a lot of us know what it's like to be apart from God and to experience that loneliness, that isolation, to not have anyone around you that you can count on, reach out, to call out for help. I think for some of us, whether we're dealing with an addiction of some kind, we see ourselves literally facing death, like the sun did. We know that if we don't make changes, we are standing at death's door. This is human nature. We want our autonomy, we want to control our destiny until we don't, until we realize that life is empty without God in it, because we were never made to exist outside of a relationship with God. You and I weren't meant to venture out apart from the kingdom of God, even though that's what we do. And so we can all relate to this younger son who says I got to go home, and we do go home. But for those of you who are really familiar with the story and imagine a couple of you are you know that this isn't the way that the story ends, and you know that there's another character who is about to enter. There's an older brother, and so, while the father, after welcoming the son home. The father calls all of the neighbors and has this big party to kill the fattened calf, which, back in the day, is just like this is a huge celebration. And so they invite everyone over. They're having a huge party. I know that the neighbors had to be confused. You see, throwing a party for the kid who just went and wasted half of everything he had. Now we're having a party that doesn't really fiscally make sense. So you can imagine that culture culturally. That was weird and in that culture there's a lot of shame. This was a kind of a shame culture and so the father is almost bringing shame on himself by loving and accepting the son back home and then opening his house so his neighbors can come in and kind of judge him for being so gracious. There is the older brother I just mentioned. He's out in the field, he's still working and he's kind of like noticing, you know, son's going down, he's working late, he's putting in the extra hours, he hasn't been home all day, he doesn't know his brother's home. But he starts to hear the music, he starts to see the lights, there's a bunch of people at his house and as he comes off he he's wondering what's going on what's going on. Why are we having this party, dad? Don't you understand how embarrassing this is? Why are you so clueless, dad? And we can relate to the older brother, and here's how Because if you're a follower of Jesus, sometimes we can get caught up in working in the field and doing God's work. You might be someone who is very convicted. You know what God's plan is for your life and what God wants you to do. And you're out there. You're doing the work. You're praying day and night. You're making financial sacrifices. You're practicing generosity. You're saying no to Starbucks every day so that you can say yes to giving to God through a local church. You're the one who wakes up early on the weekends to set up for a church gathering. You're volunteering, you're playing the piano. You work with the kids. You're the one who initiates all the relationships around you. No one ever reaches out to you. You find yourself always reaching out to everyone else. We can relate to the older brother because we feel like we're the ones out in the fields working and, just like the older brother, we might begin to feel jealous and maybe that's how you feel. We can be jealous of the attention and celebration that someone else gets that when a new believer or someone new comes into the community, we can become jealous upon the way that God celebrates their return and we can kind of maybe even feel a little bit ignored. In that case we might feel a little bit of righteousness. The older brother felt righteous about it right. He believed that he had done everything right and that his choices were better than his younger. But the father wasn't throwing a party for him, for the son who did everything right. He was throwing a party for the son who didn't do anything right. This could lead to feelings of resentment. It could make us isolated. Well, if I've got to do everything, then I'll just do nothing. And this can be very confusing for all of us. And so we can relate to the younger brother. We come home and at that point it's really exciting. But then we become the other brother in the story. I think this is intentional. What would God say to you and me today if we find ourselves in the shoes of the older brother? You don't have to speculate, I don't have to speculate. We read in verse 31,. The father says to his other son Look, dear son, you have always stayed with me and everything I have is yours. We had to celebrate this happy day, for your brother was dead and has come back to life. He was lost, but now he is found. And what I've always found most interesting about this entire parable I love the parable from beginning to end. If I could only have one page in the entire Bible for the rest of my life, it would be the page that Luke 15 is on. But what I find most interesting in this passage is that's how the story ends. We're never told how the older brother in the field responds. There are several ways that he could have responded and I think that Jesus intentionally I mean Jesus is very, a very intentional speaker. I think he leaves the parable out that way because he knows that for centuries and centuries and centuries that the older brother, that you and me, that those who call ourselves Christians and followers of Jesus and we're living out on mission for him, we know, he knows that there are going to be several ways that we can respond, and how Jesus hopes we respond is found in the New Testament. Jesus tells us to love one another in John 13, 34 and 35. He says a new command I give you love one another as I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this, everyone will know that you are my disciples if you love one another. And Paul adds to it in Galatians 5.13, you, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free, but do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh. Rather, serve one another humbly in love. And Paul continues. He says carry each other's burdens and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. Paul, writing a different letter, this time to the church in Ephesus, says be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other just as Christ God forgave you. And finally, james says pray for one another. Says, therefore, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. So when you and I, we find ourselves in these situations, where maybe we feel like the older brother and we feel a little bit resentful and righteous or confused, how are we to respond? Well, we respond with love. We respond by serving each other and bearing one another's burdens. We respond by forgiving one another and encouraging one another and praying for one another and showing up and showing hospitality to one another. And it seems so simple, but experience tells us it's not. Experience tells us it's not Now. I'm not saying or trying to insinuate that you, you're watching or listening right now. I'm not trying to insinuate that you get jealous or upset when somebody gets baptized. I'm not saying that at all. I would have that really, really hard time believing. Anybody who goes to Madison Church feels that way, but it's not always just the new believer or the young believer, but sometimes it's those who are kind of in the middle and they're on a journey and we don't perceive that they're doing as much as we are. And it's in those situations that we might begin to feel all of these things. And maybe I should have said that sooner, but that's where I'm heading with this is that we can begin to feel like we're doing all of this work and people around us aren't keeping up. But we know that Jesus challenges us to live like him and to continue to show grace, love and forgiveness. That doesn't make sense. That might even bring shame to us, as it brought to the father in the story. And so the encouragement for all of us today, whether we're a new believer, we're just kind of finding our way. We're somewhere kind of in the middle. We're not all in but we're definitely not out, or whether we're that person who's all in. The challenge for us today is to get involved, to get involved in big ways, and I'm not just talking about our Sunday gathering, I'm not just talking about our small groups. This is the culmination of the series where we have been heading. It's to live out of faith between Sundays. That includes Sundays. So it includes Sundays, but it exists outside of Sundays as well, with each other. I love the words of Paul going back to Ephesians, in chapter 4, verses 15 and 16. He says we will speak the truth and love, growing in every way, more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. He makes the whole body fit together perfectly and, as each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love. I want to echo what Paul is saying here. If you're watching or listening, we need you. If you're not involved, we're missing out. Without you, we can't grow into all what God has for us. We won't be healthy and full of love without you. Paul says as each part, as each part, as you and me and the person sitting behind us and in front of us are listening, and the suburb next to us this particular weekend as we each do our own work. It helps people around us grow, the people in our church community, so that we can be healthy and full of love. Imagine a church community where every member, regardless of their role or background, is regarded as an integral part of the greater whole. It moves us way beyond individualism, which is terribly common in today's world, where it's my personal faith in Jesus and it's my personal devotion and I read the Bible. It moves us beyond that. Paul is saying get beyond that, because it takes each and every one of us to do all of the things that Christ has for us. And as we appreciate and grow in our interconnectedness, we naturally become more inclined to reach out and form other connections with a wide array of fellow believers. You see, our faith is not meant to be lived out alone. We are not just the younger brother at one point, we're the older brother at the other point. And every day, as the older brother, we have to decide as we come home are we going to celebrate what God has done, even if it wasn't through us, even if it wasn't necessarily with us, and remember the words of the Father who says even if it didn't happen that way, all I had was already yours. And so we continue to make the choice every day to say yes and to follow obediently. But we're not supposed to do this alone. And going back to those early days and reflecting on where we've been as a church and where we are going, madison Church truly exists to equip and empower every single one of us to live out what God has called us to do. The mission at Madison Church, as I mentioned a little bit earlier, is to connect people with God and each other, and that's way more than a pithy statement that we put on our website. It is really why we exist. It's the filter our leadership teams use when deciding what we should or shouldn't do. That is our why. If it doesn't connect people with God or each other, we're simply not going to do it. That's the why. But what do we do? How do we move it beyond? I said it wasn't just a statement. You're saying, okay, how is it not just a statement? This is why, because the mission means that we connect with God when we grow spiritually and we connect with each other the church, fellow believers, when we gather together and we connect with each other, the world, those who aren't part of the Christian community, when we give back. Growing spiritually happens when you and I pray regularly, when we read the Bible daily and when we're baptized. And if you haven't been baptized yet, if you're kind of earlier talking about the younger son, you relate a lot to that. You've kind of found yourself at a dead end. You're watching or listening right now You're saying I'm the younger son, I'm not the older son, not yet anyway, but I'm the younger son and I'm ready to come home. Next week, on September 10th, we are having baptisms during our gathering and I would love to talk to you about that. If that's your step, there's so much extra made about this decision to follow Jesus. It's a serious decision, it's an impactful decision. I'll talk to you about that decision, but for right now, if you're made the choice, you said, hey, my road has gone as far as I want it to go and I'm ready for a new direction. Baptism is the decision that you need to make next, gathering together happens when we share meals together. I'm not just talking about our community lunches once a month, but I'm talking about getting together outside of these organized Madison church activities to share meals with each other, whether that's a brunch on a Saturday, a dinner on a Friday night, going on on double dates or just doing something like that. We want people, we push people to gather together in small groups and, of course, anytime you gather together and you're getting lunch with people, you're doing life together in ways that are beyond surface level. There's going to be conflicts. I really hate to break that to you. I know that makes most of you just want to give up on this whole thing, but there's going to be conflict and the good news is is that Jesus guides us through healthy conflict in a Madison church. This is such a big deal that we put it on the website that, hey, we value biblical conflict resolution. And you know, in my experience, my strongest, my healthiest and my best relationships aren't those without conflict. But they're those relationships I have with people that I'm not worried about the conflict, I'm not worried about messing up, I'm not worried about them messing up. I know it's going to happen, that's inevitable, and I'm really excited that these relationships were able to work through conflict, no matter how big or small they are, and giving back happens when we use our gifts to serve each other through volunteering, when we use our resources to financially contribute to the mission and when we use our influence for Christ and His kingdom. One of the things that sometimes gets a little hard is that and I think it was my generation and probably younger is that we tend to see generosity as I either give my time or I give my money, and the thing is is that Jesus clearly distinguishes the two. He clearly distinguishes the two. You see, you are to serve and you are to give. You're to be generous anyway, and those aren't optional. And he talks about serving and using our gifts and being an active member of the body of Christ in one way. And then there's completely different lessons when talking about greed and generosity and giving back and contributing and helping the poor and using our money for good, and so it's not an either or it really is a both. And If you're a follower of Jesus here today, it's both what we do with our hands and feet and what we do with our wallets and our finances. And this is the why, how and what behind Madison Church and how we plan to help, equip and empower you to make the decision every day to follow Jesus, and so we need to create spaces for that to happen. If all we did was write a blog post, you just listened to this message and we said, okay, have at it. I don't know how effective that is, and so we've created spaces. One of the spaces that we have is this online space that you are watching right now. Very recent research shows us that somebody will watch our church gathering. They'll watch me speak. I feel so bad for them. They'll watch me speak anywhere from four months to 12 months before they ever come out in person, and I guess at that point, if you listened to me for a year before coming out, you're really gonna like Madison Church, because the people at Madison Church are so much better than me speaking and I'm not saying that like in just, I really do mean that. But usually people will visit us online and then they'll come in person, and at that point, they're looking to engage people, they're looking to engage God, they're looking to move beyond wherever they've been watching or listening into this space, and we work really hard so that our in-person gatherings on Sunday are a time of focus when people can connect with God in a very, very tangible way. But we know, as we've stated before, even in the last couple of weeks, that our Sunday gatherings aren't the greatest place for relationships with other people to grow. There's only so much time before and after a gathering to catch up and to learn about one another, and it's not like you're gonna be in the hallway pouring your guts out as people are going back and forth to fill up their coffee. And so we need small groups, and that's what this series has been all about. It's been get in a small group, get in a small groups. We have several small groups. They're filling up. I wanna ask if you haven't signed up yet. Signed up, they're about to start soon. But we wanna move beyond that and these are organized. So make no mistake about it, these are organized. Our gatherings on Sunday they're organized, and by that I mean they're planned. That you might come and say, well, there's nothing organized about that. That's fair, we're just not good at executing. But there is a plan. And then our small groups they go from this place where there's a lot of kind of this unknown-ness. You can kind of come in and sit down and you can maybe sneak out. And the small groups it's about getting to know one another a little bit better. That's the next step. But as we finish this series, I don't want you to get confused that small groups, they're not the final step. You see, church online might be one of the first steps, and the Sunday gatherings the next step, and then the small groups the next step. But really the next step and there is a next step beyond that is having relationships, meaningful, deep and personal relationships with those around you who are connected to Madison Church. And, as I've said before, I'm not saying you can't have work friends. I'm not saying all of your friends have to be Christians, I'm not saying that at all. But I'm not saying swing the pendulum the other way and have the exact opposite of that where you don't have any. That would be wrong and an error in the other Direction. And let's strike balance in which, yes, absolutely have work friends and friends who don't believe the same as you. That's great. I have that in my life. But I also have friends within Madison Church whom I'm connected with, who know me and love me, and it can help me and I can help them and I know them, and together we make each other Better. And so that's where these small group communities come into play. If you're just coming to Madison Church and you're getting to know people, you get into a small group and you get to know a lot of people in a deeper way. And if you've already been involved in a small group community, you have some phone numbers. I want to challenge you. So the first challenge is to get involved in a small group community. If you haven't signed up yet, do it. But my next challenge is, if you have been, don't just show up but get together with somebody at least once in the next couple of months. Get together with someone outside of that Organized a small group. It could be for coffee, it could be for brunch, it could be for rock climbing or golfing. I go golfing a lot and I invite people I know to golf who golf to golf with me. It could be any of those things to get out and again, it may not be your best friend, but you're taking steps in that direction of getting to know other people and how to navigate these relationships. As I wrap up, today the writer of Hebrews writes something that I think is very profound, that I want to close on. He's. He or she says Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good work. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. I Find it a little bit fascinating that, on the one hand, the passage in acts that we talked about how the early church, the early believers, we're getting together and sharing meals and having communion and and learning from the apostles and we kind of accept that as the norm oh yeah, that's just what they did. But the writer of Hebrews points out that's not just what they did. The writer of Hebrews asks us do not neglect our meeting together, not like this could happen. We could. Eventually, they point out, as it's already happened, as some people do. You see, even 2,000 years ago, there are reasons to not gather with other believers. People found other reasons Not to, and maybe they were too busy, maybe they didn't like those people, maybe they disagreed over politics and Caesars and empires. But the author of Hebrews, as they get ready to close their letter, implores believers, says please continue to meet together. And I extend that to you today as the challenge as we go forward into a new series, as we close up this series. Let's continue to meet together on Sunday mornings, during our gatherings during the week, at our small groups and All of those in between times. The Madison Church isn't organizing, but that you are.

The Journey of Madison Church
Prodigal Son and Older Brother
Community Involvement in the Church
Importance of Gathering Together as Believers