Courthouse Campus

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6851 Courthouse Road
Chesterfield, VA 23832

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Service Times

Saturday 6:00 PM

Sunday 8:30 AM

Sunday 10:00 AM

Sunday 11:30 AM

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804-778-7800

Chester Campus

Address

13930 Happy Hill Road
Chester, VA 23831

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Service Times

Sunday 11:00 AM

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804-778-7800

Amelia Campus

Address

8741 N. 5 Forks Road
Amelia Court House, VA 23002

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Service Times

Sunday 11:00 AM

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804-778-7800

Sermons

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Called to Transform Our World

Date:12/29/19

Series: The Gift

Speaker: Ronn Stern

Introduction
• Christmas season is ending, the holiday celebrating our Savior’s birth has passed for this year.
• Many of us received all kinds of gifts for Christmas: technology, clothing, games, tools - gifts are useful, gifts that are heartwarming, and gifts that are in fanciful.
• For example, I received a fanciful gift that features a bust of Darth Vader that hovers in mid-air, unconnected to anything, as if by the Force;
• my family received an incredibly gracious gift of Christmas dinner at the
house of new friends, as they opened their home and their hearts to us.
• All of these gifts give us an opportunity to look to God the Father with a
grateful and humble heart as they remind us of the gift he gave to us in the form of his only begotten son.
• A sacrificial gift, intended to provide us with an eternal relationship with the source of joy and happiness, God himself.
• Many of you have probably heard me say that the Christmas season is my favorite time of year
• and that my wife Troi and I named our daughter Autumn Noel, because of my love for the time of year and holiday.
• Our family looks forward to this time of year so much, I think some of our friends may think its a little extreme.
• For example, on Thursday of this week, my daughter Autumn sent this text to our family …
• So it is with a wistful smile we bid farewell to Christmas.
• New Year’s Day is in front of us and Christmas day is behind us -
• it seems to be a natural time to pause in our lives and look back as well as look forward.
• Review the accomplishments of 2019
• Here at Southside Church, we can look back on amazing changes God has wrought through his people in 2019.
• Of course, the most important accomplishment He worked though Southside Church is that, through his grace, God brought over 160 people to saving knowledge and relationship with him in 2019.
• I’d like us to pause here for a moment, mentally gather around the fire so to speak.
• For example, 11 children accepted Jesus as savior through the outreach of the teachers at Guardian Christian Academy
• 2 students through the outreach of the mentors at XZone™
• and 2 people at our Chester campus accepted Christ this past year
• We can also look back and be reminded of what we are, and have become, as a church during the last year:
• we are … the Body of Christ /
• we are … Christ-like Disciples /
• we are … Missionaries /
• we are … Ministers /
• we are … a Family of Families
• Talk of generations of families
• Look ahead to 2020 with 20/20 vision
• Having looked back we can also look forward to what God may accomplish through his people here at Southside Church.
• For example, we will be officially opening a new Southside Church campus in Amelia Virginia next weekend.
• We will be receiving an incredible influx of visitors through the Guardian Christian Academy Sports Complex,
• many of whom probably have no church home.
• We will be sending missionaries and ministers to the Dominican Republic, Panama, and Kilmarnock Virginia to “take a cup of cold water” in Christ’s name.
• We will also be learning about the supernatural transformation power of the Holy Spirit at work in His people.
• Here at Southside Church, we believe we are called to Impact families to transform the world.
• And so, next week we begin the sermon series Transform Me which naturally leads us to say “to transform the world.”
• Transform me to transform the world.
• We will study what it means to ask God to transform my family … to transform our world /
• Transform my church … to transform our world and so on.
• Therefore we look forward to a year of transformation.
• And as we look forward to the year 2020 I want us to ask the Lord to bless us with divine 20/20 vision to His plans and will.
• Lord bless us with 20/20 vision for the year 2020.
• Transformation is needed to accomplish God’s goals for us
• And transformation is what the Bible tells us is needed in order for God to accomplish his goals for us.
• God’s word speaks specifically to this in the New Testament, within Paul’s writing to the group of Christians meeting in the city of Corinth.
• Corinth was situated in the far south portion of Greece, located near the Mediterranean sea.
• 2 Corinthians 3:17-18
"17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 We all, with unveiled faces, are looking as in a mirror at the glory of the Lord and are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory; this is from the Lord who is the Spirit.” (HCSB)

• 2 Corinthians Chapter 3 is known as the chapter of Living Letters, where the Apostle Paul tells those of us who follow Jesus that our lives are records written not in ink but in the Holy Spirit’s work in our hearts and actions.
• In Paul’s day, Jewish leaders who travelled to other towns would carry letters of commendation with them. These letters served as a way for the traveler to introduce himself to the local synagogue leaders. The letters would contain the high points of achievement of the letter bearer’s life.
• The New Testament has evidence that the early Christians also carried these kinds of letters. Instances of this are recorded in Acts 18:27 and again in Romans 16:1.
• Paul points out in his writing to the Corinthian church that God had written these kinds of letters too (3:2-3).
• Paul writes that the Corinthian Christians are letters “written on our hearts, known and read by everyone. You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.”
• He points out that the way the Holy Spirit commended the gospel of Jesus Christ was through a supernatural transformation that is written by Him in the lives of those who believe in Him.
What does transformation mean
• Dictionary definition: a complete change in the appearance or character of something or someone (Cambridge)
• a thorough or dramatic change in form (Miriam Webster)
• Biblical definition
• The New Testament speaks of transformation in two important sets of verses, in the book of Romans and in the book of 2 Corinthians.
• In the Greek language of the New Testament, the authors used the word metamorphosis for the English word transformation.
• In biology, metamorphosis is defined as “a profound change in form from one stage to the next in the life history of an organism, as from the caterpillar to the pupa and from the pupa to the adult butterfly.” (Miriam Webster)
• It’s easy to see this kind of metamorphosis, or transformation, on the outside of an organism.
• But this transformation doesn’t occur only on the outside,
• the appearance is actually a result of an inward change.
• In the example above, the caterpillar doesn’t slide into a butterfly skin or attempt to mimic a butterfly.
• It transforms into a butterfly and is no longer a caterpillar.
• This kind of change is a great example of how Scripture intends for Christians to transform into a likeness of Jesus Christ.

• What does transformation look like in my life?
• when I look in the mirror what do I see?
• Am I able to look beyond the surface, and see a transformation inside?
• This is a tough question and might be one we don’t want to ask of ourselves.
• Do I see more of me or more of Jesus?
• Are my words more like His?
• Are my actions more like his?
• when people “read” my life, do they see me? or do they see Jesus?
• what does my heavenly Father want people to see? me or Him?
• Biblical examples
• Saul of Tarsus - a man of hate transformed into a man who wrote the Bible’s definition of love in 1 Corinthians chapter 13
• the Apostles - cowards transformed into some of the world’s bravest men
• Woman at the well (John 4 ties into the harvest verses below) -  promiscuous adulterer transformed into a powerful evangelist
• Personal examples
• my life - hellion to a man preaching the gospel and in love with Jesus Christ
• but examples of transformation aren’t just seen in the “bad” folks of society.
• biblical transformation occurs when a person turns from placing themselves as the center of their life to allowing Jesus Christ to become the center.
• Southside Church is full of these examples
What will transformation look like in 2020
• We should use this time of looking back and looking forward to recognize that we stand in a unique place in time, history, and geography.
• God has put all of us here specifically because he has a plan for what he wants to accomplish for his eternal kingdom through the work of Southside Church
• Looking back we see what we have become as a Body of Christ -
• looking forward we can see what transformation is yet to come.
• how does this apply to me?
• what does this look like when I allow the Holy Spirit to transform me?
• John 4:31-38
31 In the meantime the disciples kept urging Him, “Rabbi, eat something.” 32 But He said, “I have food to eat that you don’t know about.” 33 The disciples said to one another, “Could someone have brought Him something to eat?” 34 “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to finish His work,” Jesus told them. 35 “Don’t you say, ‘There are still four more months, then comes the harvest’?
Listen to what I’m telling you:
Open your eyes and look at the fields, for they are ready for harvest. 36 The reaper is already receiving pay and gathering fruit for eternal life, so the sower and reaper can rejoice together. 37 For in this case the saying is true: ‘One sows and another reaps.’ 38 I sent you to reap what you didn’t labor for; others have labored, and you have benefited from their labor.” (HCSB)
• Look at the ministries and agencies of Southside Church, tools gifted to us by
God in preparation for working in His harvest felids.
• Look at these Gifts:
•  XZone after school programming - with children from all over Chesterfield county coming to the Courthouse Campus for mentoring
• Footsteps counseling - with several locations and people from the entire metro area receiving Christian counseling
• Guardian Christian Academy preschool / elementary school / high school - drawing hundreds of students every day to learn about Jesus Christ and receive a high level of excellence in education
• Eastern Nazarene College - a partnership with a Nazarene institution of higher learner where college students will be learning AND serving here at Southside Church
• And a great example is the new GCA SportsComplex.
• This magnificent gift from God is a harvest field planted miraculously by the Lord literally at our back door
• And I believe that for many of us He may be saying … Listen to what I’m telling you:  Open your eyes and look out your backdoor, for the fields are ready for harvest.
•  Let us study what this transformation of the Courthouse Campus will mean for the mission of God at Southside Church
• While these examples are specific to the Courthouse Campus, the principles are the same and applicable for our Chester Campus and the work God is doing there.
• The GCA Sports Complex has a 21,000 square foot state of the art gymnasium
• with 4 regulation size volleyball courts,
• 2 regulation basketball courts,
• and 2 regulation-sized baseball cages.
• This incredible gift from God, this tool to accomplish his mission, means that the Courthouse Campus is being visited by hundreds more people each week in 2020 than in 2019.
• Hundreds of more people, who desperately need to hear the message of Jesus’ gospel of good news for their souls and their lives.
• hundreds of people who need to feel and see God’s love in action in their lives.
• Hundreds of more people in 2020 than in 2019 and this is God’s gift tous.
• A couple of weeks ago, on the first Sunday the gymnasium itself was open for baseball players, I visited the gymnasium between services.
 • The batting cages were filled with young men, who don’t attend Southside Church and many of whom probably don’t attend church anywhere.

• story of two waiting players
• Jesus said, “Listen to what I’m telling you: Open your eyes and look at the fields, for they are ready for harvest.”
• God is calling on you and me to open our eyes and look at the harvest field he has planted at our back door and see the harvest is ready.
• Southside Church is now the contact point for these precious people coming to the GCA Sports Complex.
• This means that in 2020, we as a church will have tremendously more opportunities and places for us to serve than we did in 2019.
• For example, the Gymnasium concession stand is a pivotal place for us to serve as servants to the people God is leading here.
• Perhaps God is calling you to join the Southside Church Serve team and serve in the gymnasium concessions.
• Additionally, the Courtyard space between the gymnasium and the Courthouse building is a pivotal place to serve. This geographic space has the ability to become a spiritual bull-work.
• A place where we are members of the Body of Christ at Southside Church can say hello to all the new people who will be using the courtyard as part of the gymnasium.
• It is a God-given gift that allows us to serve them and to tell them about Southside Church,
• and tell them “we want you here, we love you, and we built this for you”
• Additionally, perhaps God is calling you to join the Serve team and be a greeter inside the gymnasium,
• to thank people for coming and to tell them how happy we are they are here.
• Here, at a CHURCH, with a sports complex built specifically for students and people from Chesterfield county to engage in sports activities surrounded by God’s love and His people.
• A church that has a Christian school for educating boys and girls in the way of the Lord and in an environment of educational excellence
• A church that has after school mentoring aimed specifically at students and teens that may have no other opportunity for this kind of love in their lives.
• A church that has a full time, professional mental health counseling center that literally engages in over 1,000 sessions helping people a month.
• Think of how unique an opportunity we have here.
• I know of no other church, anywhere, so situated in this time and place in history -
• no other church so poised to love their community in a way that is so impactful, so immediate, and so easily accessible!
• Now is the time for us to pray for God’s transformative power,
• Now is the time to look forward to a year of transformation -
• this personal transformation which in turn transforms our church,
• which in turn transforms chesterfield county,
• and then the state of Virginia, the USA, and the world.

• In this season of Gifts, we have recognized God’s Gift to us in the form of His Son Jesus Christ.
• We have recognized the Gift God gives us through the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit
• Resolve to allow the Holy Spirit to do His work in us
• One important way we can allow and encourage the Holy Spirit to work in our lives is to engage in the January Southside Church prayer and fasting initiative.
• Resolve to take the power of that supernatural transformation and use it to serve at Southside Church in 2020
• I don't normally go in for New Year’s resolutions.
• Let’s look at this as a resolution to the Lord.
• Can we recognize that we stand on the brink of the year 2020 and ask the Lord to bless us with 20/20 vision to see our selves as he sees us?
• can we ask him to bless us with 20/20 vision going into the year of 2020?
• And can we resolve that we will continue to be a people of transformation?
• Not transformation for the sake of change but for the sake of God’s vision?
• For the sake of our hurting family members, our hurting friends, our hurting neighbors?

Response
•  Sign up to serve in 2020 in His harvest fields.
• Call to prayer to ask the Holy Spirit for His transformative power in 2020
• Ask our Father “do you want me to serve here at Southside Church?”
• “Where are you calling me to serve?”

2 Corinthians 3:17-18
"17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is
freedom. 18 We all, with unveiled faces, are looking as in a mirror at the glory of the Lord and are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory; this is from the Lord who is the Spirit.” (HCSB)