BECOMING THE CHURCH THAT JESUS BUILT ACTS 2:36-47
Every church is driven by something.
Drive - 1) To push or propel onward with force, urge or press forward; impel. 2) To force to work or activity, especially excessively; overwork. 3) To thrust or goad by force or compulsion; failure drove him to despair. 4) To cause to penetrate by force; drive a nail. 5) To produce or form by forcible penetration; to drive a well. 6) To cause to go rapidly by striking or throwing with force; to drive a ball over the fence. 7) To control the operation, movement or direction of a vehicle. 8) To transport in a vehicle; drive someone home. 9) To provide the motive power for and cause to operate; make function. Steam drives the mechanism. 10) To carry through without letup to a conclusion. drive a hard bargain. 11) In hunting, to chase game from cover. 12) To move along rapidly before an impelling force; the ship drove before the wind.
What drives our congregation?
What controls the operation, movement or direction
What provides the motivating power to cause us to operate? ... to function?
What makes us face hardship without letup until our conclusion?
Who moves us along rapidly impelling us to carry on for Jesus?
Are we driven by ?
Tradition - " The past is the key to the present and the future. "
We've always done it this way before We've never done it that way before
Only goal is to perpetuate the past.
Change is negative - stagnation is called stability
Bound by rules, regulations, and rituals.
Personality - " What does our pastor, minister leader, elder want?
problem - agenda is determined by the background, needs, insecurities of the leader.
Goals come to a standstill when leader leaves or dies.
Finances - " How much will it cost? "
Good stewardship is essential but not the controlling issue.
Greater issue: What does God want us to do?
Not what or how much we have saved but who is saved?
Program - " If we have the right programs, people will come. "
Sunday school, women's group; choir, youth group,
All energy is focussed upon maintaining and sustaining the program.
Goals subtly shift from equipping people to filling positions.
If program diminishes people blame self, workability of program not questioned.
Buildings - " Nothing like a project and payments to pull a group together. "
" We shape our buildings, our buildings shape us. " - Winston Churchill
Paying for and maintaining buildings become the biggest budget item.
Funds for ministries diverted to mortgage, actual ministry of church suffers.
Other end - satisfied with small building - sets limit for future growth.
Reaching community must be our key concept.
Event - " We must plan multiple events that will get people here. "
Calender is full - people are busy.
One big event after another. Meetings do not replace ministry!
A lot of activity but not necessarily productivity.
The question that should be asked is: What is the purpose of this activity?
Attendance often become the sole measurement of faithfulness and maturity.
Seeker - " We must be seeker oriented. "
We need to be seeker sensitive but not seeker driven.
Needs of unbelievers become the driving force. " What do the unchurched want ? "
Marketing concept: Give the buyer what they want. Have it your way.
We can adapt our communication style to fit our culture without letting our culture infect our total purpose.
Purpose - What does it mean to be purpose driven?
purpose - 1) an idea or ideal kept before the mind as an end of effort or action; plan, design, aim. 2) a particular thing to be effected or attained. 4) settled resolution; determination, constancy.
The fivefold purpose of the church is found in Acts 2:36-47.
The twofold motivation is found in Matthew 22:37-40
I. Magnify The Lord In Worship - Matthew 22:37,38
Worship comes before service - Matthew 4:10
II. Ministry For The Lord On Behalf of Others - Matthew 22:39, 40
Purpose of leadership is equipping the saints for ministry. - Ephesians 4:12
III. Mission From The Lord Is Evangelism of the Lost - Matthew 28:19a
Emphasized in all four Gospels and the Book of Acts - Matthew 28:19, 20; Mark 16:15,16; Luke 24:44-49; John 20:21; Acts 1:8. Essence: make disciples with the good news.
privilege not a responsibility. Church growth happens when people are saved.
IV. Marking Disciples For Membership In The Fellowship of The Redeemed - Matthew 28:19b
We are called to belong, not just believe.
Cannot belong without believing, cannot believe without belonging.
Only the obedient believe, only the believing obey - Bonhoefer
Symbol of salvation - new life in Christ
Symbol of fellowship - incorporated into a relationship with the Godhead and into the body.
Welcome into the family of God.
V. Maturation of Disciples Through Education In Christ's Principles - Matthew 28:20a
Colossians 1:28 We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ.
Ephesians 4:12,13 - For the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.
The church exists to edify, encourage, exalt, equip and evangelize.
How we accomplish these task might differ but these elements are the task that God calls us to accomplish.
Magnify - We celebrate God's presence in Worship
Mission - We communicate God's Message through evangelism.
Membership - We incorporate God's family into His and our fellowship.
Maturity - We educate God's people through discipleship.
Ministry - We demonstrate God's love through service.
While we are busy doing His work, Jesus is working on our final destination.
John 14:1-4 - The Place - Many Mansions
Revelation 21:1-7 - The Promise - Re-union
Revelation 22:12-21 - The Plea - Come!
Our Cry - Maranatha! ( marana ta ) Our Lord, Come!
Richard Baxter expresses the thought of heaven in these lines:
My knowledge of that life is small,
The eye of faith is dim,
But it's enough that Christ knows all,
And I shall be with him.
I express my thought of this great place this way.
Death is not a leap into the vast unknown,
To be absent from the body, is to be present with the Lord,
Reunion then with Him and those we've known,
The future's promise, the saints reward. G. Arthur Kins - October 10, 1999