Summary: I received an anonymous note in the offering. The note questioned the vision and mission of the church. This sermon answers questions raised in the note as well as looking at God's design for the church.

God’s Blueprint for Ministry Slide

I received an anonymous note in offering. It read:

Let's serve our community, not just do a food pantry. Make good decisions by voting and including members. Losing people lately, it's noticeable. The Family Fun Fest will not gain new people, it didn't before. Let's serve the Lord by serving the needy.

I broke down the note and addressed each area.

Let’s serve our community!

Serving the community is a great idea and is at the heart of what we want to do as a church.

Problem is we are short on the number of volunteers who are able and willing to serve.

Not just a food pantry!

Our food pantry is a wonderful ministry in meeting physical needs. We do indeed need to increase our presence in the community.

Make good decisions by voting and including members.

Making good decisions- Leadership. Our leadership in this church will always be based on scripture. The church is an organism, not a government entity. We will not operate in the church the way our country operates with a government. We have seen how ineffective government has become- we will not model the church after that.

There is no biblical mandate for congregational voting. We vote on elders and deacons in the church because that is the most effective method of getting the input of our church members all at one time.

When you elect elders and deacons into leadership you are giving them your trust, your blessing, and your submission to lead the church. We would never be able to accomplish anything if we took congregational votes on every church decision. It’s simply not practical. WE DO WANT AND VALUE YOUR INPUT! YOU ARE PART OF THE FAMILY AND A PART OF OUR TEAM AND OUR MINISTRY!

Losing people lately- it’s noticeable.

Over the last 9 years, we have lost over 50 people due to death, moving, or leaving the church.

Those leaving the church- It is not because we are teaching and preaching a false gospel. In fact most people leave for one of two reasons: The truth is being taught and they are convicted, OR things are being done and changes are being made that do not conform to their likes and preferences. Jesus experienced this in His ministry.

The fun fest will not gain new people- it didn’t before.

When we first did the fun-fest in January of 2018. I made it clear- it may take 3-4 years of having the fun fest before we see growth. We are doing it this year in September to see which the most effective time is to have it- September or January. The farmer plants seed and knows that when the season is right and the harvest is ready- there will be growth and reaping. We had 150 show up. If people come and they sense that this church does not welcome or desire to have young people and families in the church, they will not stay! We are making a commitment to letting young people and families they are welcomed and wanted.

We need to serve the Lord by serving the needy.

Absolutely we need to serve the Lord by serving the needy. But please do not make the mistake in thinking that serving the needy is the only way to serve the Lord.

God’s Blueprint for Ministry Slide

God’s Blueprint for ministry is based on two essential elements:

Jesus’ teaching AND Scriptural pattern

NOT Cultural values. NOT expectation of Entertainment. NOT man’s wisdom. NOT whatever is convenient and easy.

What did Jesus say about ministry?

18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy

Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Matthew 28:18-20

He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

Luke 10:27

The primary mission of the church is to make disciples! Jesus tells us the way to make disciples is to:

• Baptize them

• Teach them to obey everything Jesus has commanded.

Part of making disciples is to help people grow to love the Lord with everything, and to love their neighbors as themselves.

What pattern does scripture set for ministry in the church?

42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles.

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