Summary: Message for church celebrating 100 year anniversary.
“100 Year Church Celebration”
Scott D. Speight Pastor,
Kevil United Methodist Church
Sept 11, 2011
I stand before you today with mixed emotions. Emotions of excitement, fear, anger, frustration and a little bit of anxiety. Today here at Kevil United Methodist we celebrate 100 years of worship. We also celebrate or memorialize 10 years since the security that our country once felt was forever changed. 10 years ago I was standing in a doctor’s office in Pensacola, FL when I looked up at the television and saw the second plane hit the world trade center. Thousands of lives were changed in that instant. None were for the good. As a country we are currently in the longest running war in all of history. This no doubt is truly a sad day for hundreds of families.
90 years before that, most likely none of us here today were even thought about and something took place that would forever change thousands of lives for the good. A few people came together in what they thought God was leading them to do and that was to plant a church. As we have heard Ms. Bonita share the history of Kevil I can only imagine how many lives have been touched by this church and its people. Those that began this church were what I call the first generation; everyone sitting here today are the second generation and third generation of Kevil.
I want to take just a few minutes this morning to share what I believe is the secret to this church being here 100 years from now. None of us here today were a part of the worship service on that first Sunday and I don’t imagine that any of us here today will be at the 200 year celebration. I say that for 2 reasons; 1, if things don’t change there won’t be a 200 year celebration. 2, we most likely will all have passed on by that time. I believe that 100 years ago the founders of this church probably took to heart what Jesus said to Peter in Matthew 16:18 “Upon this rock I will build my church; (and this is the best part) and the gates of hell will not overpower it.”
I believe that there are four things that HAVE to take place in order for this church to see 200 years;
1. Legacy. The first generation chose to leave a legacy to the second generation of this church. They made it possible for the church to move into the 21st century. They built a beautiful sturdy building that would withstand much. I must warn you though; this building does not a church make. It is merely a place for the body of Christ to come together in unison to worship Him. I ask the second generation today, what legacy are you going to leave the 3rd generation of Kevil United Methodist Church? 10 years, 20 years, 30 years from now what will the 3rd generation look back and say about you? Did you train them; did you lead them in evangelism, in stewardship, in grace and in love? What legacy will you as 2nd generation leave?
2. People. In order for this church to still be around 100 years from now this church must decide if they will be a people led church or a purpose driven Holy Spirit led church. For several years now this church has been people led, the Holy Spirit has been left out. Jesus told Peter, Upon this rock I will build My Church. He did not say Hey Peter, how about building your church over there on that rock. NO He said, I will build My church.
Turn with me to the book of Luke chapter 6:46. (read)
We have a choice. We can choose to do as the Word of God says and this church will be on a solid foundation that Satan cannot destroy or we can choose to be a church with no foundation and the flood gates of Hell will soon destroy. Three weeks ago an earthquake hit the north east part of our country. I had the opportunity to tour parts of where the earthquake hit and many of the foundations were shaken. Some of those buildings just needed a little work, a little concrete maybe a few 2x4 and 4x4s to reinforce. The Christian life is much those buildings. I believe that sometimes God sends a little earthquake into our lives in order for him to firm up our foundation in Him.
3. Prayer. The foundation that we just talked is grounded in prayer. Everything and I mean everything must be grounded in prayer. There should be no committee, no meeting, no worship service; NOTHING should take place in this church without prayer. I challenge you that are Christians to begin right here, right now asking God to forgive you where you have failed Him and then asking Him what HIS will is for you, for this church, for our country and for this world. Prayer worked 100 years ago, prayer worked 10 years ago, prayer works today and I promise you, Prayer will work 100 years from now if we begin now to continue the solid foundation.