The Church We All Want

Bible Text: Acts 2:42-47 | Speaker: Sam Chacko | Series: Acts: His Church. His Mission. His Family

The Church is Born

Bible Text: Acts 2:13-41 | Speaker: Sam Chacko | Series: Acts: His Church. His Mission. His Family

The Kind of Person God Uses

Bible Text: Acts 1:12-26 | Speaker: Sam Chacko | Series: Acts: His Church. His Mission. His Family | United in Prayer
12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives, which is near Jerusalem—a Sabbath day’s journey away. 13 When they arrived, they went to the room upstairs where they were staying: Peter, John, James, Andrew, Philip, Thomas, Bartholomew, Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot, and Judas the son of James. 14 They all were continually united in prayer, along with the women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.
Matthias Chosen
15 In those days Peter stood up among the brothers and sisters—the number of people who were together was about a hundred twenty—and said, 16 “Brothers and sisters, it was necessary that the Scripture be fulfilled that the Holy Spirit through the mouth of David foretold about Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus. 17 For he was one of our number and shared in this ministry.” 18 Now this man acquired a field with his unrighteous wages. He fell headfirst, his body burst open and his intestines spilled out. 19 This became known to all the residents of Jerusalem, so that in their own language that field is called Hakeldama (that is, “Field of Blood”). 20 “For it is written in the Book of Psalms:

Let his dwelling become desolate;
let no one live in it; and
Let someone else take his position.

21 “Therefore, from among the men who have accompanied us during the whole time the Lord Jesus went in and out among us— 22 beginning from the baptism of John until the day he was taken up from us—from among these, it is necessary that one become a witness with us of his resurrection.”

23 So they proposed two: Joseph, called Barsabbas, who was also known as Justus, and Matthias. 24 Then they prayed, “You, Lord, know everyone’s hearts; show which of these two you have chosen 25 to take the place in this apostolic ministry that Judas left to go where he belongs.” 26 Then they cast lots for them, and the lot fell to Matthias and he was added to the eleven apostles.

Go and wait…

Bible Text: Acts 1:1-11 | Speaker: Sam Chacko | Series: Acts: His Church. His Mission. His Family

Introduction to Acts

Bible Text: Acts 1:1-3 | Speaker: Sam Chacko | Series: Acts: His Church. His Mission. His Family | I wrote the first narrative, Theophilus, about all that Jesus began to do and teach 2 until the day he was taken up, after he had given instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. 3 After he had suffered, he also presented himself alive to them by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God.
Acts 1:1-3

Core: Mission Driven

Bible Text: Matthew 28:16-20 | Speaker: Sam Chacko | Series: Our Core | Core Value #4: Mission Driven

We believe that the church has been given one mission: make disciples of all nations. This means that we have been called out as missionaries, inviting people to be followers of Jesus wherever we are. Each of us has a “sphere of influence” where we live, serve, work, and play. We interact daily with neighbors and coworkers and we believe that Jesus has placed us in these spheres to be witnesses of who He is.

Whether we are accountants or teachers we are all called to be missionaries with a heartbeat of discipleship. A disciple is one who follows, learns from, and obeys someone who is greater than themself, seeking in everything to be like their master. Our desire is to make more disciples of Jesus. As disciples we seek to follow Jesus, learn to be like Him and obey what He is teaching us through His word. As disciple-makers we are calling others to follow Jesus, teaching them His Word, and exhorting them to obey His commandments.

As we intentionally inject the gospel into everyday life (where we live, serve, work, and play) we call those who do not know Jesus to follow Him and those who claim the name of Jesus to love and obey Him. In every situation we seek to help others find life, place, and meaning in Christ.

This is not simply a mission to make converts, as if relationships are merely a means to an end, but rather a welcoming of others to experience true life in communion with God and his people. We believe that evangelism is merely the first step in disciple-making and that helping walk someone into maturity with Jesus (teaching them to observe all that Jesus commanded) should always be a natural next step. One should not be separated from the other.

 

Core: Diverse Family

Bible Text: Ephesians 2:18-22 | Speaker: Sam Chacko | Series: Our Core | Core Value #2: Diverse Family

We are God’s people made in His image for the sole purpose of glorifying Him for all of eternity. We are called to be one body, who live not for ourselves but for one another and for Jesus.

Often, when the scriptures talk about the people of God they are referred to as the Children or Household of God (Rom. 8:16-17, 1 Tim. 3:15). We love this image because it paints a picture of what our spiritual family should be like. You don’t get to pick your family of origin – you’re born or adopted into it. If we get into a fight with one of our siblings, we don’t give up and find another family. We work through our problems and move forward. Likewise, if our sibling is about to do something that is foolish or harmful, we don’t stand by idly. We step in to gently bring them back from harm. Finally, not everything that happens in our family of origin is a trip to Disney. Most of our experiences with our families are mundane, everyday life. Most of our time is spent washing dishes or cleaning the house, and only every now and then do we get to experience these “mountaintop” moments like a family vacation. So it is with our spiritual family: we grow together, live life together, fight together, and stay together.

At LOFT, our family is ethnically, generationally and denominationally diverse. We make space for everyone, mourning together in our grief and celebrating together in our joy. We are authentic and transparent with one another as we journey together, seeking Jesus in everyday life.

As one body we seek to recognize our individual roles and responsibilities to one another. The growth of the body is not limited to one individual member or a few select members but rather to the entire body as a whole (Rom. 12:4-5, 1 Cor. 12:12-31). When we recognize our responsibility to shepherd one another we in turn live healthier and holier lives.

Core: Christ Centered

Bible Text: Acts 9:1-18 | Speaker: Sam Chacko | Series: Our Core | Acts 9:1-18:

1 Now Saul was still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord. He went to the high priest 2 and requested letters from him to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any men or women who belonged to the Way, he might bring them as prisoners to Jerusalem. 3 As he traveled and was nearing Damascus, a light from heaven suddenly flashed around him. 4 Falling to the ground, he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?”
5 “Who are you, Lord?” Saul said.
“I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting,” he replied. 6 “But get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”
7 The men who were traveling with him stood speechless, hearing the sound but seeing no one. 8 Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were open, he could see nothing. So they took him by the hand and led him into Damascus. 9 He was unable to see for three days and did not eat or drink.
10 There was a disciple in Damascus named Ananias, and the Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.”
“Here I am, Lord,” he replied.
11 “Get up and go to the street called Straight,” the Lord said to him, “to the house of Judas, and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, since he is praying there. 12 In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias coming in and placing his hands on him so that he may regain his sight.”
13 “Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard from many people about this man, how much harm he has done to your saints in Jerusalem. 14 And he has authority here from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.”
15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, for this man is my chosen instrument to take my name to Gentiles, kings, and Israelites. 16 I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”
17 Ananias went and entered the house. He placed his hands on him and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road you were traveling, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”
18 At once something like scales fell from his eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he got up and was baptized. 19 And after taking some food, he regained his strength.