Summary: Today we consider how God gathers and then sends out His church into the world.
1. (Swing yoyo around in circle). As I swing this yoyo there are two forces at work on it. A cetripetal force - is force acting on yoyo to draw it to center and stop it from flying away. A centrifugal is force that pulls it away from the center - as goes around tries to pull away. Together these two forces make the yoyo be where it is.
2. It is these same two forces that govern how much of universe is kept together. Earth around sun, other planets, moon around earth. Amazing how these two forces balance to keep us in our orbit.
3. Together they opeerate in the spiritual realm as well. As the church of Jesus Christ, we have these two forces at work upon us. And those forces have been put in place by God.
1. God pulls us in or gathers us to Him to be a special people, seperate and apart from the world. He also pulls us out into the world to bring good news, to bring healing, to bring His presence.
2. At times we can vividly experience these two forces upon our individual lives, like time I went to seminary. A strong force making me to want to stay home, with people I loved, with my church I felt safe with, and yet there was a strong pull to go out and begin a new life of ministry. To be honest, that tension was at times difficult to deal with.
3. Today we have commissioned ____ to go out, to go far away to a country named ________, to work with missionaries in bringing the good news of the gospel to people who have not heard it before.
4. As you help them, ____, you are sharing in this important work that they are doing.
5. You are feeling the pull of two forces today. You feel called by God to do this work, you have a desire to do it, to serve Him, to go out to wherever He sends you. But at same time there is a pull to stay home - to stay with family and friends who you feel safe and comfortable with. To stay where your faith has be nurtured - at home in your church.
6. As you wrestle with these two forces, I ask you to hear what God wants to say to you, and what He is saying to us as a church.
7. First of all, God has always been in the business of gathering His people together and then sending them out.
a. When He called Abe to be the Father of God’s people, He told Abe that they through them all nations would be blessed.
b. He gathered the people around Him to be His special people, but He called them to be a light to the nations. He sent Jonah to preach at Ninevah so the people would repent.
c. He calls and gathers around Him 12 disciples. Picture of this in how He takes them up mountain to experience His intimacy and then they must go down into world- needs. He called the to him (10:1) and then in vs. 5 he sends them out.
d. He gathers 12 together after His resurrection and sends them to all the nations.
8. He calls and sends out individuals. In Mat 10 the names of the 12 are listed - not needed to but shows how God sends individuals not just groups. He called Paul on the road to Damascus.
a. He still calls people today - as missionaries, pastors, elders, teachers - we believe that He called you ____ for this mission work you are setting out on.
9. But just as this is an individual calling, He makes this calling thru His church.
a. Acts 15:22 - elders decided to choose some of their own men and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas.
b. Acts 6:5 - deacons
c. When the brothers learned of this, they took him down to Caesarea and sent him off to Tarsus.
10. We believe as minsiters, workers that God calls us but that call must originate or be confirmed by the church.
11. When ____ asked for prayer and support from the church, we made it clear that she was being sent out by the church. We believe God called her for this work but also that God has gifted her for it. And so that we are part of her journey.
12. Challenge here for us. Do we look for opportunities to be sent out by God? Do we look for those in midst that God may be calling top serve Him? As church should be more proactive - someone here God could use to teach in Eastern Europe or group that could go on work project for a few weeks?