Summary: The early disciples were serious about God and dangerous to the world. What is the difference between a safe church and a dangerous church? (from a series by Craig Groeschel, lifechurch.tv)
Introduction (from series by Craig Groeschell, lifechurch.tv)
Welcome to COTRM and welcome to 2010.
The New Year is a season with new opportunities.
Just like there are
physical seasons- spring, summer, etc., there
are spiritual seasons in our lives and
different seasons of God in the world.
Each season brings its own challenges/opportunities.
a condition favorable for advancement/success.
i.e. Finances- there are opportunities that can be taken advantage in difficult economic times-
requires knowledge/effort to find them and
with any financial opportunity there are risks.
In a spiritual sense, divine opportunities are
God’s favor upon our lives and
the grace to accomplish great exploits for God.
Opportunities can be left on the table or they can be pursued until they become a reality.
Even spiritual opportunities involve faith-risks
steps of faith- must be taken to become a reality.
Paul the Apostle- originally a persecutor of the church-
but Paul had an encounter w/God- Damascus.
Phil 3:12-14-forget what lies behind, reach forward
Regardless of my success/lack of success in the past I can accomplish great things for God in- future.
Lam 3:22-23- lovingkindnesses/compassions of God- never cease- new every morning.
Start a new series entitled- Dangerous Church
Look at differences between- Safe/Dangerous church.
A Safe Church is a place where there no controversy,
people are not passionate about anything,
there is not much is happening spiritually.
very little excitement,
a low expectation level, and
a lack of genuine enthusiasm about God.
A Safe Church
1. Strives to keep the members happy
2. Avoids controversial issues
3. Remains cautious
we have always done it this way before,
resistance to change and new ideas.
God never called His Church to be safe.
Question: Do we want to be part of a Safe Church or a Dangerous Church?
Safe church-made up of people who play it safe.
A dangerous church is made up of people who are willing to take risks with God.
Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe- Lucy is asking a question about Aslan (lion that represented Christ)-
(Mrs. Beaver) ’If there’s anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they’re either braver than me or else just silly.’
’Then he isn’t safe?’ asked Lucy. ’Safe?’ said Mr. Beaver. ’Don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ’Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.’
A Dangerous Church
Peter- denied Christ- now stands before thousands.
In his restoration- Peter gained passion for God
warned, pleaded, and urged people to
repent so- could be saved and not perish.
3000- converts- added to- church- dangerous converts.
Why were they dangerous? Read the book of Acts.
When they prayed things happened, their relationship with God was not passive, but active and alive.
It was- traditional safe church, the pharisaical church, that persecuted and killed these new believers.
There was a cost to become a believer in that day.
They were serious about God/dangerous to the world.
Look at our mission as a church (mission statement)-
Encounter God, Love People, Share Life
We want to be a church that
knows what it is like to Encounter God,
has learned to Love People, and
has the courage to Share Life.
Our Sunday morning service is a place where we want people to have a genuine Encounter with God.
Not enough to know about God from a safe distance.
We encourage people to join a House Church where they can learn to Love People.
Relationships involve transparency and require courage to open up and let people see who you are.
Our goal is to become mature followers of Jesus Christ who are able to Share Life with others.
Our devotion to God should take us beyond safe borders where we learn to boldly proclaim truth.
If we are truly devoted to God we will be different than the world around us- we will
use our money differently,
raise our children differently, and
invest our time differently.
If we are not different than the world then it is doubtful that we are followers of Jesus Christ.
Qualities- dangerous church- A dangerous church has-
1. An uncivilized approach
Consider John the Baptist- Mtt 3:1-6
Look at this guy-
he was an outcast,
wore weird clothes,
lived in the wilderness,
ate strange food.
He was downright uncivilized compared to- Pharisees.
And yet people went out to him by the dozens because there was an anointing on his life.
What would people do today if someone dressed as strangely as John came in to church? Nut case!
Jesus was also often uncivilized in His ministry
to heal blind eyes- used dirt and spit.
Pr 14:4-when no ox is in the stall-no mess-also no gain
Question: When is the last time you had an uncivilized experience with God?