Sermon:
Summer, 2004
Dakota Community Church
Going To The Next Level - 1

Philippians 3: 7-17
7But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ--the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. 10I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.
12Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
15All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you.

There is no standing still in God!
- I cannot coast on last week’s sermon.
- We cannot as a church allow ourselves to bask in the “glory days”, or as a denomination.
- We must press on, we must follow God, and we must continue to grow.

“The road to the next level is always up hill.” – John Maxwell

Many people do not want to press on; they despise the change that growth brings. They complain; “That’s not the way we’ve always done it.”

Illustration:
When I was youth pastoring in Halifax I took a group of teens to St. John for a ministry weekend. On Saturday afternoon I decided to take the kids to the beach for a fun break and I invited the youth pastor from the St. John church to bring his group along on our bus. He refused saying that the church should not support the type of activity where the teens would see members of the opposite sex in modern swimwear. Where does he think these kids are living? If the church does not take them to the beach will they never go there? This is why an entire generation views the church as irrelevant. It is a stick your head in the sand approach to faith. Like the extremist groups in many Arab nations we decide that rather than men dealing with their issues of lust, we should just make all the women wear sleeping bags over their heads. Ludicrous! I hope that shakes you up and makes you angry because that is what Jesus always does to the religious who put their silly rules above reaching people. It is time to change. It is time to grow up. It is time to go to the next level!


A. Why do we want to stay put?

1. We forget the meter is running.

Life is like riding in a taxi, the meter is running whether you are heading