These are my notes from the opening session of the 2011 Orange Conference. Andy Stanley was the keynote speaker and he knocked it out of the park, as we all expected he would.
The church is a movement, not a building. It was born on the day that Jesus rose from the dead. The message is Jesus is the Christ, the son of the living God.
This is probably the only thing all of us, from every branch of Christianity, agree on, Jesus is the Christ, the son of the Living God. Jesus knew that this
How did that small group of believers survive the first century?
How is it that this movement multiplied?
When Christianity was born, it was born in the midst of paganism. When they saw Christians, they were fascinated because Christians were incredibly different.
When the first church gathered, masters and slaves worshipped together. This was odd.
Men and women worshipped together and women even had incredible status.
The thing that propelled Christianity out of the first century was the unique morality about compassion, generosity, and dignity of every person on the planet.
christianity taught that every person is made in the image of God.
There is a God who loves you and invites you to call Him father. This was a new and foreign concept in the 1st century.
Early Christians were noticed because of their devotion to care for the sick during the plague. Heathens were noticed because they fled out of fear.
After a twenty year study by the Chinese government, they concluded that the success of Western culture is wrapped up in its chief religion, Christianity. Even in the moral decay of our country, we are still very Christian in the eyes of the rest of the world.
The acts of a sinful nature are obvious. Any parent knows that we are naturally inclined to sin.
Look at the last part of Galatians 5:23 (the fruit of the Spirit). Against such things there is no law! You cannot love too much or have too much peace.
The only way to explain the growth of Christianity is to look at the standard of their behavior. Eventually, those standards became the culturally preferred way of living.
When Jesus came in to the world he made something clear, every person you meet has value.
What would happen if the church disappeared? Do you understand how important your role is to this world? We are stewards of the message of eternal life but we are also stewards of the message of a better life.
By this shall all men know that you are my disciples. Not your banners, your volume, your buildings, but your love!
Man’s three biggest problems are sin, sorrow, and death. The Bible has an answer for all three. (This was a story told by Adrian Rogers about a conversation he had with someone on a plane. When they ask Adrian why he was reading his Bible, this was his response).
Andy’s Bottom Line: We are stewards of the message of eternal life, but we are also stewards of a better life.