Summary: This message focuses on an attempt to double our attendance in one year through the use of teams that emphasize spiritual gifts and working together as the Body of Christ.
1st Corinthians 12: 12-26
David Henderson, Pastor/teacher
There are a lot of great stories in history that are very inspiring. These stories tell us about some of the men and women who had great vision and because of their great vision they helped establish this great nation we live in. At the same time there are always those who don’t share the same vision. Hundreds of years ago now a shipload of travelers landed on the Ne coast of America. The first year they established a town site. The next year they established a town government. The 3rd year they planned to build a road 5 miles to the west into the wilderness. In the 4th year the people tried to impeach their own leaders because they thought it was a waste of public funds to build a road into a wilderness. Who needed to go there anyway?
Here were people who had the vision to see 3000 miles across an ocean and overcome great hardships to get there. But in just a few years they were not able to see even 5 miles out of town. Several thousand years ago a man named Solomon, considered to be one of the wisest men who ever lived wrote these words down...like all scripture they are just as true today as they were then. “Where there is no vision the people perish.’
Webster gives us this definition of vision...a vivid picture created by the imagination. Something that is not seen by ordinary sight.
For every one of us there comes a time in life when God calls us to move out of our comfort zone into a place that is not familiar. It requires a step of faith. At that point we have several options. We can run from God. We can choose to simply sit still and stay right where we are or we can take a risk; a step of faith. For every one of you, Eagle’s Landing I want you to do that last one, want you to take a step of faith with me today. Today we are at the very first Sunday in 2009. The year is fresh. All of us stand here today with the ability to make a fresh start, set new goals, dream a new dream and to focus again on the vision God has given to us.
Let’s begin by reading our vision statement together. Our vision is to enlarge the size of heaven by taking as many people as possible with us. This vision was written down when this church was about 3 months old. Now nearly 9 years later I want to ask you to join me in this vision for 2009. Our vision for 2009 is to double the size of Eagle’s Landing. To do this David Henderson must reach 2 new people. Now our first question is probably why 2? We have about 100 people here . There are at least 2 considerations: (1) There is a rule in churches and life in general that says this: 20% of the people usually do 80% of the work. (2) Churches lose about 10% of their congregation each year. Some drop out. People move. A few leave. Things happen. We have to grow by about 10% just to stay even. So I am asking everyone today to invest your life in 2 new people this year.
In Romans, 1st Corinthians, Ephesians and Colossians Paul makes over 30 references to the church by referring to the church as a body. Paul is telling us that just as our bodies need exercise and just as we need to eat right in our spiritual lives we also need to use our gifts and we need to feed our minds with the right things. You see the Corinthian church was divided. Paul has been telling them that all of us are linked together....very similar to the pieces of a puzzle. Puzzle pieces just aren’t worth much if they aren’t connected. Now look at that puzzle piece in your notes because I have 6 things I want you to understand about it...
1. Each piece/part of the whole picture picture but no two pieces are exactly the same. 1 Cor. 12:14 (NIV) Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. In a Peanuts cartoon, Lucy is demanding that Linus change the channel on the TV so she threatens him with her fist if he doesn’t do it. Linus is really not too frightened by her threat and he says to her, Lucy, what makes you think you can just walk in her and take over? With a mean look on her face she says, these 5 fingers. Individually they’re nothing but when I curl them together like this into a single unit, they form a weapon that is terrible to behold!