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Summary: The core values contained in our church purpose statement.

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THE PASTOR’S POINTS

sermon ministry of

CEDAR LODGE BAPTIST CHURCH

Thomasville, NC

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April 18, 2004

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1Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander, 2like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, 3if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord.

And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God, 5you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6For this is contained in Scripture: “BEHOLD, I LAY IN ZION A CHOICE STONE, A PRECIOUS CORNER stone, AND HE WHO BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.” 7This precious value, then, is for you who believe; but for those who disbelieve, “THE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERS REJECTED, THIS BECAME THE VERY CORNER stone,” 8and, “A STONE OF STUMBLING AND A ROCK OF OFFENSE”; for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed. 9But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10for you once were NOT A PEOPLE, but now you are THE PEOPLE OF GOD; you had NOT RECEIVED MERCY, but now you have RECEIVED MERCY. 1 Peter 2:1-10 (NASB)

Last year I received an email from a friend, Dr. Ron Rowe, Director of Missions for the Jacksonville Baptist Association. He shared some insights that have been very helpful as I consider the core values we hold here at Cedar Lodge Baptist Church.

His message dramatically points-out for us the difference between a church that is “on-mission” in the Kingdom of God, and a church that has lost its way. He draws on the headlines of a year ago:

Yesterday’s headlines read, "Report Blames Flawed NASA Culture for Tragedy." The article deals with the 248-page report by the Columbia Accident Investigation Board. You recall, 7 astronauts were lost because of a chunk of insulating foam shed from Columbia during launch, leading to a series of other freakish developments which turned out to be fatal. But the technical explanation was just part of the story. The report stated, "other factors of a sociological and psychological nature – NASA’s culture – was more to blame than the piece of foam."

Organizational culture has to do with the basic values, assumptions, and mindset that drive an organization. And, every organization has a culture. Every home has its culture; every school, every church, every staff, every office, every business – they all have a culture. The particular organization you lead has its culture.

Values of the organizational culture are like the roots of a tree. Though not readily visible, they determine the life, growth, and vitality of the organization.

The Columbia Accident Board determined that the "culture" of NASA had become blocked by complacency, bureaucracy, ineffective communication, flawed analysis, and ineffective leadership. [1]

Dr. Rowe went on to suggest a number of components of a healthy culture. I will draw on those in a moment.

Let’s take a moment now to read aloud our purpose statement (found on your bulletin cover) as an introduction to this theme of core values which I consider the central issue of our culture, what we value and live as part of the body of Jesus Christ.

Cedar Lodge Baptist Church, as a part of the body of Christ, is dedicated, in love, to the fulfillment of God’s commandments by pursuing missions and ministry.

Now, if you notice, our core values are contained in both the Scripture passage from First Peter and the purpose statement of our church.

• Peter calls us a “spiritual house” built up from little stones, who are modeled after the Cornerstone, The Rock (Jesus). Our purpose statement has it that we are part of the body of Christ. Same thing!

• Peter says we were once living in darkness – the darkness of sin – but God called us out with light (Jesus is the light of the world). Our purpose statement says we are all about pursuing that light.

• Peter says we are chosen, royal, and holy – now he didn’t say that to give us “bragging rights”. Rather God chose to set us apart for His own purpose; that purpose is for us to tell the world about Him, by the way we live, and by the way we love. And that is the issue this morning – the way we live and the way we love.

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