A Bigger Christmas

Christmas is a big deal.

Every year, millions of dollars and countless hours are spent preparing for this day and the days leading up to it. Decorations, gifts, parties, and food dominate the scene, and every year it seems to get bigger and bigger. What would you say if I told you that Christmas needs to be even BIGGER? What if Christmas means a whole lot more than we really give it credit for?

In the words of the great scholar, The Grinch:

“It came without ribbons! It came without tags! It came without packages, boxes, or bags! And he puzzled and puzzled, till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! “Maybe Christmas,” he thought, “doesn’t Coe from a store. Maybe Christmas. . .perhaps. . .means a little bit more.”

Of course, we realize that Christmas isn’t really about all the glitzy lights and gifts. We know that it is about the birth of Jesus. I wonder if it’s even bigger than that? Do we really understand HOW BIG Christmas really is? It’s about even more than the birth of a baby or a quaint story. Its about more that a silent night and singing angels. IN fact, if we really grasp the enormity of Christmas, we will never see it the same way again Christmas is a big deal.

Maybe bigger than you’ve ever imagined.


This weeks message from Steve Carpenter is from our Atoka Campus.  If you missed the message or want to hear it again, listen on-line or tune in to our podcast. 


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For Tipton

Churches choose to relate to their communities in a lot of different ways.

Some churches choose to simply be “in” their communities geographically, but are really apathetic when it comes to impacting their communities in any real way. They simply have church for themselves. Other churches choose to be “against” their community. IN other words, they are like Jonah and only want judgement for the “evil” ones outside their church. In their minds, the community is bad and deserves judgement, while they are good. They are more known for what they are against, than for any positive impact they make. Still other churches choose to be “of” their community. These churches decide to imitate their community and the culture around them. While thy are trying to be relevant, many times they find themselves indistinguishable from the world. They become so much like the world that they lose the ability to impact the world with the gospel. They simply no longer look like God’s people.

None of these are what the church should look like. In fact, the church in Scripture could be described as “for” their community. A church that is “for” their community is constantly praying for their town and pursuing the best for the culture around them. They are serving their community because, as Christians, we have been served in the greatest way by Jesus. God told His people through Jeremiah that they were to pray for the people and pursue peace and progress for those around them. Jesus said, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven.”

Every church must decide what kind of church it will be. What kind of church do you want to be a part of?


This weeks message from Steve Carpenter is from our Atoka Campus.  If you missed the message or want to hear it again, listen on-line or tune in to our podcast. 


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G4 2017 – Go

The G4 process doesn’t end with GATHERing together for worship. It doesn’t end with GROWing and becoming more like Jesus. It doesn’t even end as we GIVE of ourselves and our treasure to build up the church. On the contrary, all of these culminate as we take the gospel that has changed our lives and GO with it to the nations! The truth is that a call to follow Jesus is indeed a call to the nations! We GO with the gospel to our neighborhoods and every day places, but it doesn’t end there. We are truly called to be a part of a global mission.

In today’s message, we will see that God uses ordinary people that understand the need, are willing to be sent, and will allow God to overcome their objections, to take the gospel to the world. In fact, the first short term mission trip took place in the book of Acts by an ordinary man named Phillip. His obedience to go wherever the Lord sent him changed the course of an entire continent. Are you willing to let God overcome your objections? Are you willing to be sent?


This weeks message from Steve Carpenter is from our Atoka Campus.  If you missed the message or want to hear it again, listen on-line or tune in to our podcast. 


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G4 2017 – Give

God has given gifts to each of you from His great variety of Spiritual gifts. Manage them well so that God’s generosity can flow through you.” 1 Peter 4:10

It may be hard to believe, but God has given every person, including you, gifts to use to honor him and build up the church. In fact, the Bible calls you a masterpiece of God’s work.

For we are His workmanship (or masterpiece) created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10

God has a plan that we should use what He has given us. . .our gifts. . .our talents. . .our personality. . .our experiences to make a difference in the lives of others.

As we study the third “G” in our G4 series, we will learn that there are some attitudes that must be present if we are going to GIVE of ourselves to the glory of God. Are we willing to let God use our lives to build up the church and impact the lives of others? If so, we must be available, full of gratitude, and ready to go the distance in ministry to others.


This weeks message from Steve Carpenter is from our Atoka Campus.  If you missed the message or want to hear it again, listen on-line or tune in to our podcast. 


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G4 2017 – Grow

Last week, we started learning about a process that the Bible lays out for our Spiritual journey.  To help us remember it, at Gateway, we call it G4.  (Gather, Grow, Give, Go) It begins with pursuing an ongoing relationship with Jesus through our worship as we GATHER together, encouraging one another as we meet together.  This, however is not the end.  God, has so much that He wants to do in our lives!  He has a purpose for us, and He never stops working in us.  There is a process of change and growth that He wants to happen in our lives.  He desperately wants us to GROW in our faith.

Ephesians 4:14-16 clearly tells us that we are not to stay children or immature in our faith.  We are to move on.  We are to grow up.  Our hearts and attitudes ought to be changing because of the living Christ in us!  Today, we will find that God has some very specific ways that He uses to grow our faith.  If we know what they are, we can put ourselves in a position for God to strengthen our faith like never before!  Are you willing to adjust your life so that God can grow your faith?  Are you willing to place yourself in an environment where God can work like never before to give you faith that can move mountains?


This weeks message from Steve Carpenter is from our Atoka Campus.  If you missed the message or want to hear it again, listen on-line or tune in to our podcast. 


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