GOD’S VISION FOR OUR CHURCH FAMILY
(Dec. 16, 2012 – Beausejour Church – Pastor Chris Jordan)
- “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” (Prov. 29:18).
- “If people can’t see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves.” (MSG).
INTRO TO TOPIC: I love the church! For as long as I have been a Christian, I have been a committed member of a local church. This morning, I want to talk about God’s Vision for our Church Family. What has God called us to be as a local body? Where are we headed as we’re about to begin a New Year?
TEXT: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.” (Eph. 5:25-27).
- Church isn’t just a place to go to on Sundays; it is God’s family.
THE BIG IDEA: Jesus has a vision for His bride to be a beautiful, glorious church. This will happen when we commit to fellowship, discipleship, ministry, worship and evangelism.
WHY VISION IS IMPORTANT:
New people might not know what church is all about!
It reminds me of the story of a shy 4-year-old boy’s first visit to the dentist. The assistant tried to strike up a conversation but no response. After the cleaning, the dentist was called in to do the final check. The dentist tried to strike up a conversation as well.
“How old are you?” No response. The dentist then asked, “Don’t you know how old you are?” Immediately four tiny fingers went up. “Oh,” replied the dentist, “and do you know how old that is?” Four little fingers went up once again. Continuing the effort to get a response, the dentist asked, “Can you talk?” The solemn little patient looked at him and asked, “Can you count?”
OUR CHURCH’S MISSION STATEMENT:
- We exist to REACH people with the love of God, (Evangelism)
- to CONNECT them in loving relationships with other Christians, (Fellowship)
- to help them to GROW in their faith through God’s Word, (Discipleship)
- to challenge them to DISCOVER their gifts, (Ministry)
- and to GLORIFY God with their lives.” (Worship)
SHORT VISION STATEMENT OR MOTTO:
LOVING GOD AND LOVING PEOPLE.
GOD’S VISION FOR THE CHURCH: This is where we’re headed – we’re not there yet!
The vision for the church must of course be solidly founded on principles from God’s Word: We’re going to use Acts 2:41-47 as our guide…
1. GOD’S CHURCH… IS COMMITTED TO: DISCIPLESHIP:
41 Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. 42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine…
What is discipleship? “when believers GROW in their faith through God’s Word”
- God’s Church… is growing in their faith by reading the Bible on a regular basis, memorizing Scripture, and most importantly, applying the Word to their lives.
- God’s Church … bring their Bibles to church, takes notes, and is hungry to learn more about God’s Word.
2. GOD’S CHURCH … IS COMMITTED TO: FELLOWSHIP:
42 And they continued steadfastly in… fellowship, in the breaking of bread…. 46 So continuing daily with one accord… and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart,
What is fellowship? “when believers CONNECT in loving relationships with one another.”
- God’s Church … shares their lives together and cares for one another (Acts 4:32).
“Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common.”
- … has fun together (gladness).
- … bears the burdens of one another (Gal. 6:2).
- … is kind to and forgives one another (Eph. 4:32).
- … confesses their sins to one another and prays for one another (James 5:16).
- … walks in unity. Strife is the #1 thing that will destroy a church!
“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is For brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious anointing oil…For there the Lord commanded the blessing– Life forevermore.” (Psalm 133).
What to do when someone offends you: “Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’ And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.” (Matt. 18:15-17).
“And Noah began to be a farmer, and he planted a vineyard. Then he drank of the wine and was drunk, and became uncovered in his tent. And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside. But Shem and Japheth took a garment, laid it on both their shoulders, and went backward and covered the nakedness of their father. Their faces were turned away, and they did not see their father’s nakedness.” (Gen. 9:20-23).
- QUOTE: “We are called to cover up our brother’s nakedness… People who cover up the nakedness of others seem to be gentle and humble. They would never, ever dream of making a scandal. They are trustworthy and understand to a great degree the things that make a man or woman of God.” (Pastor Bryan Lowe, www.brokenbelievers.com).
- “He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.” (Prov. 17:9, NIV).
3. GOD’S CHURCH … IS COMMITTED TO: MINISTRY:
43 and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles.
What is ministry? “when believers DISCOVER and DEVELOP their gifts”
“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).
- God’s Church … is committed to discovering and develop their God-given gifts.
- … is always looking for opportunities to do good and serve people:
4. GOD’S CHURCH … IS COMMITTED TO: WORSHIP:
42 And they continued steadfastly in… prayers. 46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple… 47 praising God and having favor with all the people.
What is worship? “when believers GLORIFY God with their lives”
- God’s Church … knows God’s love, and loves Him with all of their heart.
“Jesus said, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment.” (Matt. 22:37-38).
- … live lives all week that brings glory to God (1 Cor. 10:31).
5. GOD’S CHURCH … IS COMMITTED TO: EVANGELISM:
47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.
What is evangelism? “When we REACH people with the love of God”
- God’s Church … shares the love of God with friends, co-workers and family members.
CLOSING CHALLENGE: “Those who are planted in the house of the Lord Shall flourish in the courts of our God.” (Psalm 92:13).
- Plants frequently transplanted have poor roots, little fruit, and eventually die.
- If you have never made a commitment to become a member of the church – planted, serving, and growing – it’s time to do so!
- The church is a family, and we need to take care of one another.
MEMBERSHIP: Call forward those who want to become members.
Beausejour Community Church Website: www.beausejourchurch.ca
Pastor Chris Jordan’s Blog: https://pastorchrisjordan.wordpress.com/