Summary: The world is making an impact on the Church, but is the Church making an impact in the Word?
What has made an impact on you lately? Your family? Your neighbors? Your town? Your world?
How many would say the Church has impacted their lives?
Some might answer with the affirmative. But the greater question is not has the church impacted you, but ?Have you as the Church made an impact in someone lately??
Church: the company of all Christians
Impact: the effect or impression of one thing on another
A ?Church of Impact? is Christians collectively effecting or making an impression on others with the good news of Jesus Christ.
Jesus had that in mind when He spoke ?
Mt 28:19-20 ?Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20?teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.? Amen.
Jesus wasn?t giving those standing around Him a nice colloquial phrase to utter every now and then to a gathered group of people called the church.
No Jesus was intending to impact His followers ? in order that they themselves as the Church might make an impact.
Found within these words of Jesus are the goal, strategy and commitment level needed to be successful as a church.
1. A Church of Impact ... Defines its Goal
A well defined goal is needed in order to be successful. It has been said, ?If you aim at nothing you are sure to hit it.?
· Goal of Basketball team: make a basket
· Goal of Football team: make a touchdown
A team can dribble, pass and run with excellence ? but if they do not put the ball into the basket or move it beyond the goal line ? they will not win.
· Goal of Church TEAM: make a disciples
Clearly our defined goal is to ... "make disciples"
Matthew 28:19b-20a ? make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 ?teaching them to observe all things ?
The emphasis of ?making? disciples is ? getting them:
· Saved through Jesus
· Baptized into Jesus
· Taught about Jesus
· Follow Jesus
"If we take our Handbook seriously, we have to conclude that the church is the basic School of discipline and training for all Christians." - C.S. Lewis, Screwtape Letters
In the past year and with hopes for the new year ? we as a church have made some good ?decisions? about the development of our programs, budget and building.
But the measurement of success for our church is not the programs, budget or buildings ? but the production and development of disciples.
The programs, budget, and building ? should be utilized to help us make disciples.
Jesus when He said, ?make disciples? ? wasn?t looking for good decisions ? but good disciples. The defined goal we must all come to know and do is to ?make disciples.?
2. A Church of Impact ... Determines its Strategy
With a defined goal as the church we need to determine its strategy. Our strategy should be ?SI? ? and that is not sports illustrated ? but simple and intentional.
Jesus? ?SI? strategy is ... "go" ? ?go therefore?
To simply and intentionally go ?therefore? says we go with a certainty ? knowing our goal (make disciples).
Mark 3:14 Then He appointed twelve, that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach,
Going involves ?
· Reaching out ? go where the people are.
· Plugging in ? bring people into fellowship of the church.
· Building up ? teaching and training people
Colossians 2:6-7 As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, 7 rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.
· Sending out ? people reach people (not programs)
Notice that each aspect centers about people ? Jesus was all about reaching people and He did that by ?going? to them.
The way we ?go? ? is up for discussion. Some will go door to door, while others will develop relationships and friendships ? all with the goal of making disciples.
?One of the true tests of whether or not a church is making an impact for Christ is not by how many people it takes in, but by how many people is sends out.? - Ken Adams
Jesus had and still has in mind that His disciples simply and intentionally ? ?go therefore.?
3. A Church of Impact ... Develops its Commitment
It has been said, ?None of us is as strong as all of us.?