Summary: This sermon addresses the authority, responsibility, and accountability of the Church member

Accountability, Responsibility, and Authority

Proverbs 29:18 Whoever walks blamelessly will be saved,

But he who is perverse in his ways will suddenly fall.

I usually like to include a video in my sermons in order to illustrate a point. Up until now, I haven’t been able to do this because we didn’t have the equipment.

The video I have this morning is only a few seconds long. It shows a couple of guys with a common goal. They are working together to accomplish the goal, but something is missing. Take a look.

So what do you think was missing? They are obviously highly motivated, but one or two things aren’t working.

First, I think it is obvious that they don’t have a very good plan.

Second, they have a common goal, but they aren’t paying attention to each other.

Third, the one guy hurt his partner and then himself.

Sadly, this is exactly what is happening in churches all across America today. They don’t have a good plan, they have a common goal, but they aren’t paying attention to each other, and ultimately they end up hurting each other.

You have all probably heard the old saying, “he who fails to plan, plans to fail.” I believe that there is a great deal of truth to that statement.

We have been going through “lean” training at work, and as a preacher, I can’t help but see the spiritual analogy in the various aspects of “lean” training.

As a pastor, I guess my two least favorite statements from church members are “we have always done it that way.” And of course the flip side of the same coin is, “we have never done it that way.”

These terms are also forbidden in Lean training. Lean training is designed to improve productivity. Now, that isn’t necessarily analogues to the spiritual world.

For instance, in manufacturing, doing something exactly the same way every single time is a good thing. It means that you are consistent, you have a plan, and your product is going to have consistent quality.

But what if you found a better way, a way to make your widget faster, or less expensive, or higher quality: what if your product becomes obsolete?

If you were to make such a discovery, you must also realize that in order to have improvement, something is going to necessarily change.

You see, we all know through our own life experience, that if you keep doing something the same way and expect a different result, well, that’s been called the definition of insanity.

And that is really what I want to address today. Are we happy with the way things are?

Do we expect our problems to fix themselves? If you do, then that is the same as doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different result.

If a different result is desired, then what do we need to be doing to facilitate the new outcome?

I’m not talking about copying church X or Y or following some video plan on church growth. I’m asking you to think about your ideal church, and then identify the differences between your ideal and your reality.

In “lean” training, we have an exercise called 5-S. Five S stands for Sort, Set in order, Shine, Standardize, and Sustain.

5-S is intended to provide a methodology for organizing, cleaning, developing, and sustaining a productive work environment.

Now, 5-S could be applied to the church, there are aspects that could certainly help us out.

We need to sort through our committees, classers and ministries and determine which are working, which need repair, and which need to be dropped all together.

We need to set in order the ministries and classes that we are involved in and insure they are meeting the desired goals.

We need to shine, that means we take care of God’s house, we make sure that everything is clean and in good repair.

My motto is, “if I wouldn’t have it in my house, it certainly doesn’t belong in God’s house.” What we are currently undertaking next door is long overdue for this body of Christ.

And going forward, we make sure we are pro-active enough to realize when we need to be making repairs or build to accommodate growth.

We need to standardize. Our standard here at Southwest Baptist is the Bible, and as Southern Baptist, our articles of faith, the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message states our moral and ethical beliefs (which are based on the Bible).

We must always be vigilant to take a close look at any material that is being taught in this church and make certain that there is no conflict with the standard that this church is founded on.

And when these 4 things have been done, we will be in a position to sustain growth.

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