Summary: Active faith: what it requires and the results of its implementation in the church
SERIES: “GOD-GIVEN GUIDELINES FOR GROWING A GREAT CHURCH”
TEXT: HEBREWS 11:1-6
TITLE: Guideline #5: “STEP OUT WITH A BOLD FAITH”
(Material basically from Bob Russel’s When God Builds A Church)
INTRODUCTION: A. A little old lady was given a much desired mission assignment to the Apache
Indians out west. She packed her meager belongings and drove out in the desert to her
post. She was so excited that she drove past the last gas station for a hundred miles
without noticing that she needed fuel. She ran out of gas about a mile down the road and had to walk back to the station.
The attendant came out of the office to see what he could do to help. She
explained her plight – she’d run out of gas about a mile down the road and didn’t have
anything to transport it back. The attendant was sympathetic and went around back to
an old shed to see if he could find anything in which she could carry the gasoline.
The only container he could find that would hold the gasoline was an old metal
bedpan. She told him that it would work just fine. That should give her enough to get
back to the station. The attendant filled the bedpan as full as possible and the lady
carried it back down the road being careful to avoid spilling any of the precious fuel.
When she got to her car, she carefully poured the contents of the bedpan into the
tank. A truck driver pulled alongside the car just as the lady was emptying the
contents into her gas tank. The trucker rolled down his window and shouted to her,
“Lady, I wish I had your faith!”
B. Habakkuk 2:4 – “…the righteous will live by his faith.”
1. Listen to Heb. 11:1 in the NLT – “What is faith? It is the confident assurance that
what we hope for is going to happen. It is the evidence of things we cannot yet
2. Faith is building your life on the fact that God is in control, and that God will fulfill
His promises, even when you don’t see those promises materializing.
3. Faith is asking the question, “What is possible if God is involved?”
a. Mk. 9:23 – “Everything is possible for him who believes.”
b. Lk. 1:37 – “For nothing is impossible with God.”
c. Eph. 3:20 – says that God “is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or
imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.”
C. As the church, we are called to “walk by faith and not by sight.”
--so says 2 Cor. 5:7
1. What can be accomplished by First Christian Church in Washington, IN when we
walk by faith?
2. I want to talk this morning about what stepping out with a bold faith requires and
then the results of stepping out with a bold faith.
I. STEPPING OUT WITH A BOLD FAITH REQUIRES VISION
A. Hockey great Wayne Gretzky was once asked why he was so successful on the ice. His answer: “I skate
to where the puck is going to be.”
1. We need people in our church that are always looking to the future.
a. One step ahead
b. Skating to where the church is going to be
c. The problem with most congregations is that there are too many people who spend their time
mooning over the congregation’s past instead of envisioning it’s future.
2. Prov. 29:18 (KJV) – “Where there is no vision, the people perish.”
a. That verse is speaking specifically about prophetic vision
--God is speaking but no one is listening
b. We need vision-casters (people who are listening for God’s vision) and people who will follow that
c. Without vision-casters and people willing to follow the vision, the church will stagnate and
B. Jesus was a vision-caster
--Listen to some of His visionary statements:
1. “Lift up your eyes! The fields are white unto harvest.”
2. “If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you can move this mountain.”
3. “Go into all the world and make disciples.”
4. All big jobs dependent on following the vision
C. You can experience one man’s vision in Florida. Many years ago Walt Disney took a group of people
out to a piece of land in Florida that had no usefulness at all. The land was marshy and muddy and there
wasn’t anyone who believed that it could be useful for the city of Orlando until Walt Disney shared his
vision of what we know today as Walt Disney World. Before one shovel of land was ever turned, Walt
walked through the acreage and described in vivid detail, as if it was already before his eyes, the various