Summary: We serve such an incredible God who gives us good gifts. Paul explains in Ephesians 4 that one of God’s greatest gift to His people, are gifted and called men to lead them.

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Live Out Loud – Our GIFTS June 3, 2007

Ephesians 4:7-16

Video: Church of One –

Trans: It is amazing how many people attend the church of one where they believe everything revolves around them. I could tell you stories of the shenanigans people have attempted to ensure the church is about them.

Funny: This week I heard of a pastor who went on a cruise, accidentally fell of the boat and washed up on a deserted island where he remained for some six months before getting rescued. When the helicopter arrived, they noticed three huts and curiously inquired. The pastor explained that the first hut was his house, the second hut was his church, and the third hut was the church he used to pastor that split b/c they couldn’t agree on anything.

Trans: So let me set the record straight? The ministries and priorities of the church aren’t intended to revolve you or me – but around God, His mission, and the lost world in need of a Savior.

Trans: I realize this might be a hard pill to swallow w/ our lazy boy church mentality that feels entitled to sit in our spiritual recliners sipping iced tea and doing nothing but watching the show, all the while expecting someone else to do all the heavy lifting for Jesus. But I can assure you that Jesus never intended for His church to become a spiritual country club where membership has its privileges. He has called His people and expects them to sacrifice their lives for His glory.

Insert: Do you think the brand of Christianity we live today would’ve produced the Book of Acts in the 1st century? Why not? What are the barriers preventing us from experiencing such impact in the world?

Insert: I recently heard a sermon on church growth by a consultant at NAMB. He said pastors are always asking, “What do we need to do to grow?” He said the question is – what are the barriers preventing growth? If we can determine what they are and change them, then we would grow.

Note: I think we have an ignorance barrier – we don’t understand Jesus life, death, resurrection and mandate. We have a following barrier – we don’t want to follow the leaders God has given us b/c it would require a life change. And we have a maturity barrier – we don’t want to grow up b/c if we do, then we’ll have to get busy about the Father’s business. We have a priorities barrier – we want things done our way.

Note: The issue isn’t b/c we don’t have the right resources, medium, need, or ability – it is b/c we don’t have the right focus and priorities. We have a, “I’ll have it my way” Burger King, mentality. But Jesus expects us to have a, “I’ll do it God’s way,” Savior King, mentality.

Insert: Pull out a piece of paper – what is the purpose of the church? What is the pastor’s job? What style of music should we have? What kinds of events and programs? What would make you happy? Wad it up! What matters more – what we want or what God needs us to be?

Trans: I came across an interesting poem from a 9-year-old entitled, “If I Were in Charge of the World.” Listen and see if you can relate to it.

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