Summary: This message was presented to our church to share the vision for the coming year and to make sure that we all understand what our real mission is as a Local Body of Christ.
2005 State of the Church
Pastor Jim May
In a few days the TV, radio and newspaper networks across the nation will be broadcasting the State of Union address of President George W. Bush. I wanted to seize the moment and give you a “State of the Church” address as well.
Today I would like to address the members of our church concerning the Vision, the Mission and the “Spiritual Health” of this church. I think that it is imperative that we, as a local body of Christ, should know what God had called us to do, and why He has ordained that Victory Temple should be established and flourish in Ascension Parish. This church is not here by some freak accident of nature, and each of you here according to the will of God.
From time to time I hear the question, “Pastor, how can I know what the will of God is?” The answer is always the same every time I hear it. If you will just keep walking by faith, trusting in the Holy Spirit to guide your steps as is promised in the Word of God, and then commit yourself to the work of the Kingdom of God through a local church, in God’s time, and in God’s manner, His will for your life will be revealed and will be accomplished. It won’t always be easily recognizable as God’s plan for your life, but trust me, and trust God on this; in due time you will know that everything you do for the church, for your fellowman and for the gospel’s sake, will all work together to make you into the man or woman of God that God intends for you to be.
The only real limiting factor that will determine just how close to God’s will you will walk is your faithfulness and dedication to work where God puts you.
Having said that, let me say that I want to try to present to you what I believe is the vision, mission and condition of this church.
Vision is such a very important factor in life. With the natural eye we see how to move about without stumbling and falling over every obstacle. We can into our future, at least as far as the horizon around us and in many ways we can see far in advance what we are going to face.
Let me give you a few simple examples:
If you are one those who are blessed as I am to have a job where you have to travel into the city and contend with the traffic every day, you will relate to this example for sure. How many times have I started out on my journey and then I notice a mile or two in front of me nothing but red tail lights and flashing blue lights. It isn’t hard to understand then that I have some choices to make. I can either slow down and prepare to be a part of the parking lot and add my tail lights to the mix, or I can keep traveling at the same speed I am now and start my own new parking lot with my own personal set of flashing blue lights, or just maybe, if I position my self just right, I can avoid the parking lot and take a different route. With that kind of vision I can change the course of my day, and perhaps my life, by simply having a clear vision of what lies in my near future.
As a second example let me say that if I walk out the door of the church and I see the dark clouds gathering, and the wind blowing and windshield wipers working on every passing vehicle, then I know that rain is surely coming even though it’s not here right now. With this kind of vision, I can protect myself from harm and seek the proper equipment, by simply seeing what may happen at any moment.
In a natural sense then, our vision with the eye, is an important part of our body that keeps us out of so many dangerous and troublesome situations.
Of course a second side of our “natural vision” is what we see with our mind along with the eye. Let me explain what I mean.
Our brain tends to absorb every sight, sound and feeling that we have. Every emotion is remembered, every reaction to a problem is stored, and every though that we have is kept in our memory banks, at least for a while until more important thoughts crowd the former ones out and they are forgotten. The amazing thing is that when we need to remember something it is always there if we don’t suffer from some debilitating disease like dementia or Alshiemer’s Disease.