Preach The Gospel, Win Disciples

January 31, 2021

David Sorn

As we are just 7 days out from opening up our building, Pastor David leads us to an important Scripture for this critical time in our church’s history.

Preach The Gospel, Win Disciples

January 31, 2021

David Sorn

As we are just 7 days out from opening up our building, Pastor David leads us to an important Scripture for this critical time in our church’s history.



Morning. Well, here we are. One week away from opening up our building.

…which is something we’ve been dreaming about for a long, long time.

And so next Sunday, February 7th, will be a VERY special day in the history of Renovation Church.

Our very first Sunday worshipping together in this building that God has provided for us.

Speaking of that, we are calling next Sunday, “Building Dedication Sunday.”

That’s because next week… we want to, very intentionally, dedicate our new building to God…to whom this building is from and for.

We are going to have 3 services on Sunday the 7th: 9:00, 10:15, & 11:30

In a few days, we’re going to send out a link for you to register which service you’re going to attend (this is for adults & kids…everyone who’s coming)

We’ll only do the registration thing for Opening Sunday, because we just really have no idea how many people are coming, and a quick online Registration System will help us spread out the services.

And also, perhaps most importantly, it’ll let us know if we need to add another service.

We don’t want to turn anyone away…and capacity, due to social distancing is obviously limited.

Speaking of Social distancing, we will continue to do an excellent job taking all of the right precautions while we meet.

It’s a public indoor space, so masks are obviously required.

Our rows are spaced out 6 feet (so we only have half of our chairs out)…we’ll space you out between households.

Because of lower numbers of adults per service, kids classes will only have about 10 kids per class

And even though it looks beautiful and we’re excited to use it, we won’t be opening our café yet for safety reasons.

Another COVID note worth mentioning is that this is a brand-new building with excellent ventilation technology

So, if you’re coming, and you’re a little nervous about it, I want you to know that while we’re committed to opening up and preaching the Gospel from this building, we’re also committed to your safety.

Also, I know from our Ministry Leaders that the majority of you are coming back at this time, but if you are waiting until you get vaccinated, I want to let you know you will still indeed be able to watch the service live online for the time being

We will be broadcasting the 10:15am service live


This morning, as we open up our Bibles, I want to look at a very simple verse.

It’s a verse I’m praying over our church, and I hope you will too.

It’s from the Book of Acts

(Renovation App)

(Weekly Verses)

The Book of Acts in the Bible is the story of how the early church got started after Jesus ascended back to heaven.

Much of the 2nd half of the Book of Acts focuses on the life of the Apostle Paul and his missionary travels as he preached in different cities and started churches.

Our verse for today is from Acts chapter 14, verse 21.

Paul, and his friend Barnabas are traveling through what is modern-day Turkey and preaching the Gospel.

The Gospel is the Good News that Jesus can save you.

They’ve just left the town of Lystra and have arrived at the city of Derbe.

And it’s here, in Derbe, that we get this powerful verse.

(Acts 14:21a) – NIV

They preached the gospel in that city and won a large number of disciples.

It’s a simple statement.

They preached the gospel in that city and won a large number of disciples.

A simple statement, and there are a lot of similar ones like it in the New Testament.

Much of the NT is the story of people going to cities, praying for their city, bringing the good news to their city, and making disciples.

And that’s our vision.

To boldly proclaim the life-changing news of Jesus and win a large number of people, in this city, from the grips of darkness and into the light of Jesus!

And so we are going to preach the Gospel, and preach the Gospel and preach the Gospel

I’ve been mentioning to you that we believe the Lord has told us that we need to preach the Gospel and give people an invitation to accept Christ every week once we open up the building.

And we’re doing that because

1) We just believe that God has so clearly told us to do that, and we want to obey

And 2) We know there are going to be SO many new people walking in here over the next 12 months that we want to steward this season of our church’s life well.

As I said to you a few months ago, my preaching isn’t going to change.

We’re not becoming a seeker sensitive church, nor will we water-down Scripture in anyway whatsoever.

That’s far from who we are.

We’re going to boldly, and unashamedly teach Scripture and offer salvation at the same time.

And personally, I just don’t think you see that very often in churches anymore.

Churches tend to be one or other

Either they boldly teach the Bible, but don’t talk about salvation for unbelievers.

Or, they always talk to unbelievers, but then water down the Bible.

We believe the Bible calls us to clearly challenge believers from the Scriptures and offer salvation to unbelievers

And so for a season, (maybe 6 months, 9 months, 12 months, however long the Lord tells us to), we’re going to give an invitation for people to accept Christ every single week.

So please, invite your friends, your family, your co-workers, your neighbors, your dentist, your chiropractor, your mechanic, your server, you name it.

Salvation is going to ring out loudly from this place.

As verse 21 said, “We are going to preach the Gospel in this city and win a large number of disciples”


And as we ‘ve been saying, “I believe that’s going to happen in 2 major waves”

And the first starts next week on February 7th.

Please, bring your friends on the 7th. You don’t need to wait.

In fact, the opening of a new church building will be one of the easiest invites to church you’ll ever have.

It feels like we’re all there on the ground floor together, experiencing something or the first time.

People are less likely to feel like they are being invited into your territory.

Plus, people in the community are incredibly interested to come see it.

Even though we’re opening this up during COVID & Social Distancing and all that, that isn’t necessarily even a disadvantage.

You tell me another time in the last 20 years when people, on the whole, have been hurting more than this?

People are looking for answers…for love…for forgiveness…for hope…maybe more now than they have in generations in America.

NOW is the time for us preach the Gospel in this city and make disciples.

And so many of you have plenty of friends…who will come right now

But I believe February will only start the 1st major wave of God’s incredible movement through our church in 2021

And then, when COVID is over and social distancing is done, we’ll do a MASSIVE Grand-Opening

I’m talking billboards all over town, street signs on every corner, you can’t scroll through social media without seeing it, and we’ll then, all of us, invite people in to hear.

And we believe God will then start a 2nd, extra special wave of His movement and blessing at that time too.

And so some of you are coming next Sunday, others won’t be here for a few months yet.

Some of you have friends that will totally come next Sunday, and NEED to come next Sunday…

While you have other friends that won’t feel comfortable coming for several months yet…until this is all over.

Either way, God is going to move.

We’re going to preach the Gospel in this city and win a large number of disciples.

And so I want every one of us praying this week…

If you’re coming, who is it that you need to bring with you?

Seek God on this.

His answer may even surprise you.


Look again at our verse.

(Acts 14:21a) – NIV

They preached the gospel in that city and won a large number of disciples.

The New Testament is really careful to emphasize the word DISCIPLES over just Converts.

Conversion, making a decision to accept Christ, is important (if it’s genuine), but becoming a disciple, a life-long follower of Jesus, is the ultimate focus of the NT

The word “Disciple” is used 297 times in the NT, and “Convert” just 8

Our aim isn’t just to get people to stand up and give their lives to Christ…

That’s really important, but it’s just the beginning.

We are to teach them to actually give the rest of their LIFE to Christ.

To help them start a thriving relationship with Him…

To help them become a life-long follower, and an obedient disciple of Jesus.

Do you remember the Great Commission?

The important words that Jesus tells us right before he goes back to heaven?

Look at it carefully.

(Matthew 28:19-20) – NIV

19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Let me tell you about one of the ways we’re going to make disciples

We’re expecting to see a lot of people stand up and give their life to Christ in the next 12 months.

And when they do, we’ll immediately meet with them for follow-up before the service is even over.

We’ll hand them a Bible, show them where to read, and talk to them about key first steps in following Jesus (just like we always have).

But here’s the difference…

If you bring a friend, a family member, a co-worker.

Your friend is then going to get to go through an 8-week discipleship curriculum that we’ve created about how to FOLLOW Jesus.

Once a week for 30 minutes...for 8 weeks.

And they’re going to go through it…with you.

No worries…no need to panic.

We will walk you through it every step of the way.

It’s as simple as reading our curriculum with them, reading the Bible together, and talking.

But let me tell you something, THIS is something we need to learn from the church of history and the global church right now..

The church movements in Africa and Asia (in particular) that are absolutely exploding right now are the movements where:

The Gospel is preached, and the church is making disciples who make disciples who make disciples who make disciples.

This summer, I got the chance to meet with one of my heroes, David Nelms, who is the founder and leader of the Timothy Initiative.

A ministry our church supports by funding TWO new international church plants a month!

The Timothy Initiative plants small churches around the world, and each church is then responsible to identify one of its members to be discipled to become another church planter who then goes out and starts another church and so on and so forth.

Through their network of churches, they’ve started over 84,000 churches in 15 years and seen over 1.5 million come to Christ.

It’s truly world-changing stuff.

While I was sitting across from David Nelms, feverishly taking notes, he began to tell me a story of when he was in Myanmar in Asia.

He said that they visited a church there that had a ton of new disciples in it…it was quite large for one of their churches.”

And because people there knew David Nelms had helped start the movement, they wanted to show him something and told him that 14 people would be going up front to talk.”

And then, 13 people walked to the front.

The first in line began to describe his past life (I’ll spare you the details due to the age of our audience, but his life had been less than admirable)

And the man began to tell how the Pastor had told him about Christ

Then the 2nd person in line told of their sordid past, and how the 1st guy in line had told him about Christ.

Then the 3rd person talked about how the 2nd person had told her about Christ, and the 4th told of how the 3rd person had told her about Christ.

Down the line they went, 13 people strong…each person telling how the person in front of them in line, told them about Jesus

And when they had finished, someone asked, “Where’s the 14th?”

And the pastor replied, he’s out back getting baptized!”

They were disciples who made disciples who made disciples who made disciples

That’s exponential.

And it’s something the American church is missing

We change the world when we all do the work together.

And that includes even the proclaiming of the Gospel.

Listen, I know this is a REALLY unique, special, once-in-a-lifetime season for our church to open up a beautiful brand-new building.

So we’re putting a lot of extra emphasis on the public proclamation of the Gospel on Sunday mornings in church during this unique season.

I think that’s wise.

It’s evangelistically smart

But it’s just as important, especially long-term, that we ALL are sharing the Gospel.

Remember, the church building is just a tool…it’s not the answer

Long term, it’s not even the magnet, it’s what allows us to have space for all the people that WE (all of us) are going to disciple

And I pray that as you watch people over and over again, Sunday after Sunday, give their lives to Christ, get baptized…

As you watch YOUR friends…your mother, your lost co-worker come to Christ, and YOU get to disciple them…

And YOU get a front row seat to watching Christ save their life, transform their life…and see them exuding the joy of a new believer right in front of your eyes.

And you see THEM telling their friends about what Jesus has done.

I pray that that spurs YOU on to share your faith as well.

To be a disciple that makes disciples that makes disciples

And may it be said of us, of Renovation Church…

They preached the Gospel in that city…and won a large number of disciples for Jesus.

Let me pray.

Copyright: David Sorn
Renovation Church in Blaine, MN

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