Summary: This sermon deals with the teaching of Jesus and how the church should be as it was in the beginning of Acts.
Back to the Basics
Years ago, in my ministry I discovered through prayer and the reading of the Word of God that becoming a true disciple of Jesus Christ was the most important thing in my life.
I have not always accomplished that goal.
There have been times when I slacked and even strayed regretfully.
It is my goal to prove to you as a believer in Christ and a part of this church family that being and striving to become a true disciple should be the most important goal in your spiritual life.
Many serious followers of Christ are asking this all-important question that George Barna through Barna Research has asked:
HOW IMPORTANT IS DISCIPLESHIP?
Barna says, “My study of discipleship in America has been eye-opening. Almost every church in our country has some type of discipleship program or set of activities. Stunningly few churches have a church of disciples.”
“Maybe that’s because it’s not terribly important. If we can get people to attend worship services, pay for the church’s buildings and salaries, and muster positive, loving attitudes toward each other and toward the world, perhaps that’s good enough. What does the Bible have to say about the
significance of discipleship?
It says PLENTY!
Discipleship is not a program.
It is not a ministry.
Discipleship is a lifelong commitment to a lifestyle that reflects Jesus Christ in our lives.
That has to be the goal of each of us!
If you have ever been on a sports team or followed sports, you probably heard the coach say, “We’re going to go back to the basics!”
If I were to have a one on one meeting with each of you in the next week and ask you one question it would be:
Do you want to make a difference?
Do you want to be a true disciple of Jesus Christ?
When you come down to the end of your life and you stand before God, what will you have to show God the difference you made while here on earth?
In my opinion that could be a very disturbing question.
George Barna has researched hundreds of churches and wrote 29 books and says in his study,
“Most Christian churches try to have a positive impact upon society and individuals. The big question is whether what they are doing is working. If the conclusion is that their efforts are not producing the desired outcomes, then the big challenge is whether they are willing to change their strategies to maximize their potential.”
You see one of the problems with many dying and plateaued churches today is they have not been willing to change.
But the biggest problem I believe is the Indwelling and Fullness of God's Holy Spirit in our lives and the life blood of our church.
I sincerely believe that the Shepherd Church of the Nazarene wants to make a positive impact on our community and on individual lives.
My great friend and evangelist Dr. Richard Strickland once told me, “Dan, we owe our churches an apology for preaching and making them feel guilty for not succeeding and not showing them how to do it.”
The question that we all have to address this evening is –
“Is what we are doing effective?”
Is it producing the desired outcomes?
Are you willing as a member of this church, willing to change – willing to address the Holy Spirit that changed the 120 disciples in the Upper Room -
Are we willing to go to back to basics and start over if necessary to follow the instructions given by Jesus Christ to each of us?
Honestly, our communities only hope of moral restoration and life changing effect is for the Church to fulfill it’s calling from God.
Do you believe that?
If we as a church want to have a great impact on our community of lost souls - what do we have to do to get there?
Intertwined in this teaching will be preaching that hopefully will help guide us to become more the church Jesus wants from ShepNaz.
LEARNING ABOUT OUR CHURCH
AND WHAT OUR CHURCH SHOULD BE ABOUT
I. Our Mission
How many times have we heard and read the Great Commission?
A hundred times? 500 TIMES?
Jesus said in Matthew 28:19-20
“Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”
But how many people in the Church of Jesus Christ today can say that their life’s purpose is to fulfill that tremendous challenge?
Rick Warren wrote a book several years ago that buzzed through the Churches in our nation entitled:
The Purpose Drive Church.
Let’s read the Great Commission one more time and again and block everything out of your mind and focus only on this and let’s really as if it were the first time you’ve read it, try to understand what this verse is saying to us.