Summary: People tend to associate commitment with emotions. If they feel the right way, then they can follow through on their commitments. But true commitment doesn’t work that way.
17, October 2004
Dakota Community Church
At the age of 67, Thomas Edison watched as fire destroyed much of his work and equipment. Is it time to retire? Is it time to hang up the lab coat? - No way.
"All our mistakes are burned up," the inventor said. "Now we can start anew."
There is a time to retire, but Edison knew his time hadn’t come. The fire that consumed his work didn’t destroy the fire that burned within him to continue his work. Edison’s commitment remained.
People tend to associate commitment with emotions. If they feel the right way, then they can follow through on their commitments. But true commitment doesn’t work that way. Commitment is not an emotion; it’s a character quality that enables us to reach our goals.
Emotions go up and down all the time, but commitment must remain rock solid. A solid team - whether it’s in business, sports, marriage or a volunteer organization - must have team players who are solidly committed to the team.
We live in a society that is commitment challenged to say the least. Dakota Community Church is no exception. What has been and remains the single biggest obstacle in the establishing of this Church?
- Committed Leadership
- Committed Membership
- God has sent the people to have this place well established.
- We get a steady flow of visitors who come as a result of liking the vision on the website.
- They arrive to see an empty house and struggling leadership.
I am not saying there is never a reason to leave a church. I am not going to get into guilt and manipulation to keep people when they want to leave. I am saying that you need to be committed while you are here and you need to be certain God, not difficult circumstance is the reason for the move.
Proverbs 30: 29-31
29There are three things which are stately in step, yes, four which are stately in their stride:
30The lion, which is mightiest among beasts and turns not back before any;
31The war horse [well-knit in the loins], the male goat also, and the king [when his army is with him and] against whom there is no uprising.
I am looking for a few good men and women!
What is your beef?
- No growth? Who is setting the amount of growing you do? How many of your friends and neighbors have you invited to dinner or to church or to meet Christ?
- No friends? Listen if you behave in an anti social manner you will not make friends. You can say that you don’t like baby or wedding showers and games but that is just an excuse. We have dessert nights, movie nights, mid week fellowships.
- No Ministry? We have a Youth ministry begging for help. My wife has been in the Sunday school for eight years and my kids have all graduated and are doing fine.
If you don’t have connections it’s because you don’t want connections. Real friends don’t agree with everything that comes out of your mouth.
I am calling for commitment tonight.
- Commitment to attend. (Not over other important things but when you are feeling lazy)
- Financial Commitment. (I am $3000 behind on pay)
- Ministry commitment if you are called here.
- Most of all commitment to build not to tear down.
Let’s look at four things every team player needs to know about being committed:
1. Commitment is usually discovered in the midst of adversity.
2SAMUEL 23: 8-17
8 These are the names of David’s mighty men:
Josheb-Basshebeth, a Tahkemonite, was chief of the Three; he raised his spear against eight hundred men, whom he killed in one encounter.
9 Next to him was Eleazar son of Dodai the Ahohite. As one of the three mighty men, he was with David when they taunted the Philistines gathered at Pas Dammim for battle. Then the men of Israel retreated, 10 but he stood his ground and struck down the Philistines till his hand grew tired and froze to the sword. The LORD brought about a great victory that day. The troops returned to Eleazar, but only to strip the dead.
11 Next to him was Shammah son of Agee the Hararite. When the Philistines banded together at a place where there was a field full of lentils, Israel’s troops fled from them. 12 But Shammah took his stand in the middle of the field. He defended it and struck the Philistines down, and the LORD brought about a great victory.
13 During harvest time, three of the thirty chief men came down to David at the cave of Adullam, while a band of Philistines was encamped in the Valley of Rephaim. 14 At that time David was in the stronghold, and the Philistine garrison was at Bethlehem. 15 David longed for water and said, "Oh, that someone would get me a drink of water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem!" 16 So the three mighty men broke through the Philistine lines, drew water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem and carried it back to David. But he refused to drink it; instead, he poured it out before the LORD. 17 "Far be it from me, O LORD, to do this!" he said. "Is it not the blood of men who went at the risk of their lives?" And David would not drink it.