Summary: Inspired by several resources. Gene Mimms’ books "The Kingdom Focused Church" and "Kingdom Principles for Church Growth, Rick Warren’s "Purpose Driven Church and Thom Rainer’s "Simple Church."
The Kingdom Focused Church
Experiencing the Kingdom Focused Church
* Please take your Bible and turn to Matthew 6. We will read verses 24-33.
* Jesus is beginning His earthly ministry with a foundational message which we have called the “Sermon on the Mount”. He has given instruction on several “how to’s” of life. We discover how to be blessed, how to represent the Kingdom, how to give, how to pray, how to act, and much more. In our text, we will pull out a nugget of truth which will guide our thinking and help us understand His desires for His people and His church.
* Verse 24 is actually a transitional verse, but it is also a powerful statement. Let’s read together.
* For the past month, through my prayers and preaching, I have attempted lead us, as a church body, to see, understand, and accept the need to be a Kingdom Focused Church. Most of your recall our trek.
* We began with “Exposing the KFC” where we unveiled the church. The second week was a call to “Embrace the KFC” relying on the Apostle Paul’s words. Last week was the recipe for “Empowering the KFC” and our part in this. We complete our KFC emphasis today with the thought “Experiencing the KFC.”
* Experiences are important. They have a way of controlling our lives. In fact, some say that we are a result of our choices and experiences. For me, I remember the thrill of my first “homerun” in baseball. I remember the thrill of my first “hole in one” in golf. However, I remember the first person I baptized as a pastor. It was Jonathon. What a day!
* Also, In 1983 I remember walking into Summer Grove Baptist church in Shreveport, LA, and sensing a spirit of joy, excitement, and happiness that, for me, has become the “environmental standard” for the KFC.
* Consider our text, “many worry about many things, but seek first the Kingdom all the rest will come your way.” These are the words of Jesus – so I know I can trust the accuracy and the authenticity of these words. So when I seek His Kingdom “first”, then the WOW factor is on.
* I submit that there are those who have walked this trek during this month and are now asking questions. Honest questions are good. Over the next minutes I want to answer 3 basic questions about Experiencing the KFC. First, we’ll answer the “what” question. What will it mean, what will it be like, what will happen if we are a KFC? Second, we’ll answer the “when” question. How will this happen, How does it happen, or even How can I be a part? Third is the “how” question. When will this happen, when will it begin, or when will it start?
1) THE “WHAT” QUESTION – If we are to be a KFC, what does it look like, what are the results, what will it mean? Acts 2 gives us the picture of a KFC. There are four results which generally identify the KFC.
a) Spiritual Growth – In the KFC, we see people becoming more and more like our Lord Christ. The more we “grow” the more our lives change to be like HIM. To be clear, it’s the more we grow, not necessarily the more we know. See the 4 stages ;
i) Conversion – developing our relationship with Christ. This is my initial “faith experience.” I come to Christ for the forgiveness of my sin. This is only the first step in my growth & not the last.
ii) Connection – developing my relationship with other believers. Acts 2 tells us that those who were being saved were being added to the church and this group met together every day.
iii) Concern – (this is one of the weakest link in the church today) developing my relationships with those who are outside of Christ, that is, the unsaved or the lost person. If we are not in re-lationships with these, we will never reach them.
iv) Consistency – developing spiritual disciplines. Last week, we spent time talking about the need to be consistent in our walk. Things like Bible Study, prayer, worship, and faithful participation in the fellowship of believers.
* What are the results of a KFC? Spiritual Growth is one.
b) Numerical Growth – Acts 2 certainly demonstrates that a spirit-filled group of believers will experience numerical growth. Sadly, when the average church member considers church growth, this is either ‘the’ measuring stick or it is summarily dismissed as being important. And the deciding factor seems to be whether their church is growing or not. For some, just give me a Bible Study group, a prayer group, a home group, or the like and I’m fine. We are not growing larger, we are going deeper. These concepts are not mutually exclusive. Numerical growth is a normal outgrowth of a church or an individual growing spiritually. In fact, when we understand that spiritual growth is becoming more like Christ, and then we factor in Jesus’ actions, we conclude that our attitude about others is the indicator of our growth true spiritual growth.