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The Lost One

Evangelism Community Compassion

Source: Sermon: "Better, Greater" by Jim Miller, September 20, 2015, Glenkirk Church

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: James Miller | Date Posted: 2015-10-02

Scripture: Acts 2:46 ; Isaiah 6:8

Author: James Miller


A couple were out walking their Jack Russell Terrier, Charlie, in the mountains.  A squirrel walked passed and Charlie broke free, pulling his leash behind him.  Just that quickly, the couple realized Charlie was gone.  

They stopped and asked some hikers if they had seen Charlie, but no luck.  They stopped by the ranger station and asked if anyone had found Charlie, but they hadn't. They called their Bible study back home and asked them to pray for Charlie.  They called the local radio station to ask them to announce that Charlie was missing.  This was no small matter.  There were coyotes in the hills.

Through the course of the day, the community mobilized.  A biker road through the hills calling Charlie's name.  Rangers drove the mountain roads looking for the dog. Members of the Bible study actually drove in to help search.  As the sun was setting, it looked like the dog might be gone. Then they got a call.  Campers had found Charlie hiding underneath a car that was parked exactly where they had parked that morning.

The couple describe this as the most profound experience of community they've ever had.


What if the church were united around the search for lost people?  In the book of Acts, the community gathered and united for the mission of reaching a lost world, and it was the most profound experience of community they had ever had.

"Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved" (Acts 2:46-47).

I Wish My Teacher Knew ...

Community Transparency Encouragement

Source: “Colorado Teacher Shares Heartbreaking Notes From Third Graders” By NICOLE PELLETIERE, posted Yahoo! News from ABC’s Good Morning America, 4/16/15

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-04-18

Scripture: Ephesians 4:16 ; Galatians 6:2

Author: Illustration Exchange


“I wish my teacher knew I don’t have a friend to play with me.”

“I wish my teach knew I don’t have pencils at home to do my homework.”

“I wish my teacher knew how much I miss my dad because he got deported to Mexico when I was 3 years old …”

“I wish my teacher knew sometimes my reading log is not signed because my mom is not around a lot.”

These are just a few of the heart wrenching notes which Kyle Schwartz, a 3rd grade teacher at Doull Elementary School in Denver, CO, received from her students. The notes were in response to an assignment which Schwartz designed in an effort to better know her students and their needs.  The instructions were simple: Complete this thought--I wish my teacher knew ...

"As a new teacher, I struggled to understand the reality of my students' lives and how to best support them. I just felt like there was something I didn't know about my students."

Students were given the choice to remain anonymous or sign their names if they felt comfortable. Most not only signed their names, but were willing (anxious even) to read their responses in front of the class.

"Building community in my classroom is a major goal of this lesson. After one student shared that she had no one to play with at recess, the rest of the class chimed in and said, 'we got your back.' The next day during recess, I noticed she was playing with a group of girls. Not only can I support my students, but my students can support each other."

Schwartz is sharing the results of her assignment on social media in the hopes of encouraging other teachers around the country to give their students a forum for transparently sharing their inner thoughts and struggles.


Pastor, how well do you understand the reality of your parishioners' lives and how best to serve them?

Our pews are filled with people hiding behind their hymnals and bulletins, struggling silently with life’s challenges.

Perhaps it’s fear of judgment, or maybe it’s fear that no one would really care anyway.

What if you asked your people to complete this thought--I wish my pastor knew …?  Is it possible that what you learned from their responses could help you foster an environment of safety and transparency—an environment where they could feel safe to share their inner thoughts and struggles? Not only would you be better able to support your people, but your people would be better able to support each other.

“He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. 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” (Ephesians 4:16, NIV).

“Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2, ESV).

“Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results” (James 5:16, NLT).

The Trajectory of Language

Communication Relationships Community

Source: MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE by Richard Swenson, pp. 50-51

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2013-02-14

Scripture: Ephesians 4:29

Author: Richard Swenson


Developed language is an ability unique to man:

By one year of age, infants are using one or more words with meaning. By eighteen months, their vocabulary consists of 20 words, and one-fourth of their speech is intelligible. By two years, their vocabulary grows to 200 words, and two-thirds of what they say is intelligible. By three years, the vocabulary has ballooned to 1,000 words, 90 percent of which are intelligible.

By the time they enter school, the vocabulary has risen to 3,000 to 4,000 words. This trajectory of language and vocabulary acquisition continues in an upward climb (except perhaps for the adolescent years, when vocabulary regresses back to a few words such as "boring" and "whatever").

The average adult has an active or use vocabulary of 10,000 words and a passive or recognition vocabulary of 30,000 to 40,000 words. For comparison, WEBSTER'S NEW INTERNATIONAL DICTIONARY defines 400,000 words, and the English language provably contains one million words--no one knows the exact number.

Richard A. Swenson, MD, is a medical doctor and award winning author of several acclaimed books. He travels extensively, speaking to a variety of business, denominational and government groups on issues of faith and reason, stress, complexity, social change, and management.


Swenson concludes:

We spend ten to twelve cumulative years of our lives talking. And of course this talking is in the context of other people. Helen Keller deaf and blind since infancy maintained that the gift of hearing was far more important than the gift of sight--because hearing allows the gift of speech, and speech allows the nurturing of relationship. Language connects us to the hearts of others in a way that nothing else can.

"Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear" (Ephesians 4:29, ESV).


Gratitude Trumps Loss

Gratitude Cynicism Community

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-11-06

Scripture: Galatians 6:2

Author: Lane Wallace

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The Importance of Every Member of the Church

Spiritual Gifts Holy Spirit Church/Body of Christ

Contributed By: Joe Chebat | Date Posted: 2019-03-06

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 12:12 ; Romans 12:4

Author: Joe Chebat

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Pressure to Conform

Conformity Fellowship Transformation

Contributed By: Stephen Kingsley | Date Posted: 2019-01-29

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 6:14 ; Romans 12:2

Author: Stephen Kingsley

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Prairie Schooners

Missions Compassion Servanthood

Contributed By: James Miller | Date Posted: 2018-10-06

Scripture: Matthew 25:29 ; Matthew 28:18

Author: James Miller

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You Are The "Fiber Optic Light" Of The World

Jesus' Love Compassion Holy Spirit

Contributed By: Dan Kelley | Date Posted: 2018-07-13

Scripture: John 8:12 ; John 15:5

Author: Dan Kelley

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The Spider (Delivery) Man

Church/Body of Christ Spiritual Gifts Encouragement

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2018-07-02

Scripture: Hebrews 10:25 ; Ephesians 4:16

Author: Illustration Exchange

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I Know How You Feel!

Empathy Compassion Disappointment

Contributed By: Mitchell Dillon | Date Posted: 2018-04-25

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 1:4 ; 2 Corinthians 1:6

Author: Jeff Passan

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