Summary: Why first impressions matter
God’s Glorious Church
First Impressions Really Matter Part Two
Woodlawn Baptist Church
April 24, 2005
In 1 Corinthians 10:31, the apostle Paul told the church at Corinth,
“Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”
Tonight I want to finish a message I began a couple of weeks ago titled, First Impressions Really Matter. In that message, we considered what first impressions were really all about, and which first impressions were among the most important in a church setting. First impressions are about excellence: excellence in ministry, excellence in attitude, excellence in worship, in evangelism, in discipleship, in preaching, in singing and in everything else we do. “Whether you eat, or drink, or whatsoever you do…no matter what it is, do it all for the glory of God.”
God has commissioned our church and every other true New Testament church to reach the lost, to win them to Christ, to teach and to train them, and to get them involved in ministry, but I want to tell you that the average church is failing in that task. The average church today is not reaching the lost, is not seeing life transformation, and is not seeing people getting involved in ministry. The average church has settled for the status quo, has no idea of where they are going or how they’re going to get there. The average church is filled with average people who have settled for mediocrity and in my opinion have simply drifted off to sleep concerning the Lord’s purpose for their life and for their church. When it comes to accomplishing God’s kingdom business, we have no room for being average – we must strive for excellence! We must rise above mediocrity! We must labor to be the very best in everything we are and in everything we do.
First impressions really matter. It matters that we be a friendly church. It matters that our buildings and property look great. It matters that our nursery and children’s areas be first class. It matters that our greeters and ushers carry out their work with a spirit of joy and encouragement. It matters that our services flow with evidence of careful planning. But why? Tonight I want to answer that question by giving you a few reasons why it matters that we be a church of excellence.
Because The Glory of God Is At Stake
“Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of the church.” “…do it so you’ll be bigger than Parkside.” “do it so you’ll be well known in the ABA.” Of course the verse doesn’t say any of those things. It says that everything we do must be done with excellence for the glory of God. I know you have been hearing me say this over and over, but the truth is that there is no more important reason for us to do anything, and to do it well, than for the glory of God.
Now, when we are a people with an excellent spirit about us, and when we do all things well, we don’t give God any more glory than He already has – we simply recognize and call attention to the glory He already possesses.
God is a God glory! Everything about Him expresses His greatness and His majesty! If you have been following along with our daily Bible reading, then you read the words of Psalm 29 this week.
“Give unto the Lord, O ye mighty, give unto the Lord glory and strength. Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness. The voice of the Lord is upon the waters: the God of glory thundereth: the Lord is upon many waters. The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is full of majesty. The voice of the Lord breaketh the cedars; yea, the Lord breaketh the cedars of Lebanon. He maketh them also to skip like a calf; Lebanon and Sirion like a young unicorn. The voice of the Lord divideth the flames of fire. The voice of the Lord shaketh the wilderness; the Lord shaketh the wilderness of Kadesh. The voice of the Lord maketh hinds to calve, and discovereth the forests: and in his temple doth everyone speak of his glory. The Lord sitteth upon the flood; yea, the Lord sitteth King for ever. The Lord will give strength unto his people; the Lord will bless his people with peace.”
The quality of our work, the spirit with which we serve, the effort with which we labor is all a reflection of what we think about God. I heard about a church that needed a new sink one time, and it so happened that one of the members was putting a new sink in his house. He looked at the old sink and said that it was still good enough for the church, so he donated it. Listen, that’s a reflection of what we think about God. He doesn’t want our leftovers – He’s not deserving of our seconds. God is the God of glory and majesty and beauty and honor and excellence, and everything we do, everything we say, every way we treat other people should reflect our recognition of that fact!