Summary: Recasting the vision of the church - Honoring God by connecting people, growing believers, and sharing hope.
Seeing the BIG Picture
October 15, 2006
Story: Life is funny. It is amazing how God can use different events in our lives to impact His kingdom. Punt landing on my head b/c I took my eyes off the ball.
Trans: Why did I share this story? B/c we have to keep our eyes on the ball of God’s Commission of making disciples. That is the purpose of the church! This is every Christians call! We are to make disciples of all nations.
Verse: Go into the world and make disciples baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and H. S., teaching them all I have commanded you… Mt. 28:19-20
Trans: Let’s be honest. Most churches have their eyes on pleasing their attenders and not pleasing God. We say we do, and might even think that we do, but the evidence of changed lives begs to differ.
We have busy schedules and family friendly programming that keeps people entertained and engaged in church activity, but are people really becoming more like Jesus and are their lives impacting others for the cause of Christ?
Note: In asking the question I have to admit that I struggle not to slide down the slippery slope of engaging in the good over the godly. But I also have to admit that too many churchgoers look more like the world than they look like Jesus. Even the most religious churchgoers tend to favor the self-righteous Pharisees more than they reflect Jesus. SOMETHING IS WRONG!
Note: We can’t be more concerned about the business of Baptist than we are the commission of Christ – if we are then we’ve missed the point of our purpose.
Note: So who is to blame? I can give you a grocery list, but ultimately we’re all to blame. We’ve all been found playing games at the foot of the cross. Joseph and Mary are not the only ones to have lost Jesus at church. We have too.
Trans: In the past few months God has been re-ordering my understanding of ministry. I feel as if He has accomplished more in me in the last 6 months than in the last 6 years. It all centers on simplifying my life and church to be able to be on mission w/ Him making disciples.
I What is a DISCIPLE?
Note: A disciple is one who honors God by connecting people w/ Christ, by growing believers in the faith, and by sharing the hope of God w/ others.
Note: To honor Him, we must have a captured heart. That is a heart captivated like the deer who pants for water; compelled b/c we’re convinced of His resurrection; and committed to offering our lives as living sacrifices not conformed to the world but transformed by God.
Trans: To honor God requires more than our mind’s attention and heart’s affection, it requires our life’s action. We have to LIVE what we say we believe.
Note: A disciple is a believer in Christ who seeks to honor God by investing all of Jesus in him into the life of another person who is seeking God.
II What is DISCIPLING?
Note: Discipling is one maturing believer pouring all of God w/in them into the life of another who desires God. The goal isn’t just to give a person more head knowledge, but to give them the skills to follow Christ and to pass the faith on to others.
Note: Discipleship isn’t a Beth Moore Study or a Sunday School lesson from the quarterly; to disciple requires the personal investment of Christ in you into the life of another.
Insert: A few months ago while in Pigeon Forge, I woke up around two in the AM sensing God was speaking to me. I felt compelled to read 1st and 2nd Timothy, Titus, and Ephesians. While many things jumped out at me, I was shattered by the reality that Paul’s first encouragement to Timothy was to entrust the truth in reliable men able to teach others and that his final challenge was to preach.
Insert: Milk Jug Analogy – Preaching versus Discipling.
Reality: God hasn’t called everyone to be a pastor and Sunday School teacher, but He has called all of us to make disciples. Are we all making disciple?
III How does one DISCIPLE?
Trans: To answer this question we need to understand the process of discipleship. Recently I saw a video clip that has challenged my faith and what it means to follow Jesus. Most of us think of Jesus as our Savior and Lord, but this clip puts Jesus in a new light I think most of us have missed – Jesus as our Rabbi.
Insert: Covered in the Dust of Your Rabbi (see video Dust by Rob Bell)
A Consider the COMMISSION to Follow