Summary: What is God’s vision for The Church?
Catching a Clear Vision PT.1
Sunday, August 2, 2009
Foggy Eyeglass illustration:
Luke 11:34 (NIV)
34 Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are good, your whole body also is full of light. But when they are bad, your body also is full of darkness.
Bad vision can be worse than no vision.
Walking in Ignorance
Choosing to Ignore Sin
Choosing to Ignore wrong motives
God desires for us to have clear vision, healthy vision. We must understand God’s vision for His Church before we can have clear vision for this church before we can have healthy vision for our lives.
If we are going to be the church that changes the city we must have good eyes – clear vision.
Catching a clear vision
What is the vision of The Church (The Bride)?
It consists of three parts:
Love God, Promote Fellowship (love) with others, Advance the Kingdom
1. Love God
a. Mark 12:29-30 (NIV) 29 "The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: ’Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’
i. This is the Main thing. Keep the main thing the main thing!
ii. Teach people how to love God with their totality.
1. all your heart - emotions
2. all your soul – Spirit
a. John 4:24 (NIV)
24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth."
3. all your mind - Intellect
4. all your strength – all of your being.
2. Promote Fellowship (love) with others.
a. Mark 12:31 (NIV) 31 The second is this: ’Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these."
i. These are the two greatest commandments.
ii. We must love each other.
John 13:5 (NIV) 5 After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
iii. Ministry – The act of serving;
3. Advance the Kingdom
a. Matthew 28:19-20 (NIV) 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
i. Evangelism – Go and make – Conversions
1. All nations – no place for any kind of prejudices
a. Racial, economic, family, geographical, liked or disliked.
ii. Fellowship - Baptizing
a. Baptizing symbolic of separation from the world and joining with God.
a. Identifying with the Body of Christ
b. Called not only to believe but also to belong
c. Belonging is rooted through fellowship
iii. Discipleship – teaching them to obey
1. Teaching how to study
2. Teaching how to be a Christian
3. The emphasis is on us to make disciples
a. People do not come into the kingdom knowing what to do.
i. Instead of waiting on new converts to fail, help them.
Every goal of every church and ministry should meet one or more of these three parts of “The Church” vision!
If it does not then it is dysfunctional! When our goals and programs evolve outside of the vision of “The Church,” then they are no longer kingdom goals / programs. This is assuming that they were kingdom goals in the first place…
We must constantly examine our goals, plans, and programs to insure that are in align with the Kingdom Vision. If they are not, our eyes are bad…
Food bank example: When our food bank becomes a food distribution program, I will close it down. It is a ministry designed to meet a physical need in order to have an opportunity to advance the Kingdom of God. If we ever lose sight of the goal of advancing the Kingdom of God, then we will be nothing different than another welfare program…
Ill. Churches that want to grow their church but not the kingdom…
We must have a good eye and see the vision of God clearly. We must know it and understand it so that it may infuse our life and the life of others.
Your ministry, your life must be planned to advance the Kingdom of God.
What is your vision?
We must have purpose in everything that we do…
Rick Warren defines the vision of the church as having 5 purposes:
Worship, Ministry, Evangelism, Fellowship, and Discipleship
Everything that we do individuality and corporately related to ministry should accomplish one of these purposes thereby lining up with the Vision of “The Church.”
One of the best ways to catch a clear Vision is to write it down: