Summary: This is a sermon preached during our 50th anniversary month as a church. I encourage us to strive for excellence

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Striving For Excellence—The Present

Glenville 9/2/2012 Nehemiah 6:1-4 2 Corinthians 9:6-14

How many of you watched the Olympics last month? to me one of the most exciting races is the 400 meter relay in which some of the fastest people in the world run with a baton in their hands with the intent of passing that baton on to the next runner. The winner of the race is determined by two factors, the speed of the runners running, and the handing off of the Baton.

If you mess up handing off to the next runner, you may lose the race. If you hand it off outside the boundary lines, you’re disqualified even if you win the race. It is something to watch in slow motion as the runner coming from behind is striving to place that baton in the next runner’s hand.

The average age of a church before it disappears off the scene is about 40 years. At some point the baton was no longer able to be passed on to the next generation. We are celebrating 50 years of ministry for the cause of Christ. 50 years of proclaiming that Jesus is Lord. 50 years of declaring there is hope for you in Jesus Christ for a better life.

50 years of praising, of worshiping , of singing, and of dancing. 50 years of homegoing services and funerals. 50 years of fellowshipping and coffee hour. 50 years of bible study and youth ministry. 50 years of giving, of serving, of reaching out, of feeding and helping. 50 years of preaching, teaching, baptizing, and sharing in the Lord’s supper. 50 years of inviting others to church and inviting them to give their lives to Christ. 50 years of making a difference in Glenville and beyond for social righteousness.

We are where we are today in the present because of the baton that has been passed on to us from those who came before us. If the baton is passed on every 10 years, we would be coming off our 4th exchange looking for the next runner to pass it on to. Are we running at top speed giving it all we have, striving to get it to the next runner, or are we starting to coast in this race we have been called to run? Even more dangerously, have we picked up some unnecessary weights as we run our race.

When we look at where we are today, in some ways we have some very impressive numbers. We have people here today that have been with us since the very beginning. Others have come along and have been a part of the team for years. We have been blessed with your talents and gifts in so many remarkable ways. We have great voices, great musicians, great givers, and many hard workers for the Lord. We have people who genuinely love Jesus Christ, and are eager to help bring others to a knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We have people whose hearts are full of compassion and will not hesitate to help someone who has a need. We have a pastoral staff which is ready to serve the Lord and to serve you. We have a history of people who were once a part of us, but have taken what they learned here to grow ministries in other churches. We have testimonies of people who proclaim how we as a church have been there for them in their hour of need.

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