Summary: A sermon on Leadership and the Installation of new officers in the church. The focus is on every member being a minister. How an encounter with Christ can give you someone new to follow.
“To Equip People For Ministry”
"And Jesus said to him, "Go your way. Your faith has healed you." And instantly the blind man could see!
Then he followed Jesus down the road." Mark 10:52 (NLT)
Intro: A young man, who had worked for years on the railroad,
wanted a job as the lead signalman for a train company.
For his interview the track foreman asked…,
"What would you do if you realized that two trains were heading toward each other on the same track?"
The young man said,
"That's easy. I would push the switch button and switch tracks for one of the trains."
"The foreman asked, "What if the switch button did not work?”
The young man said,
“Then I would jump down out of the switchbox and use the manual lever to change one of the tracks.
The foreman asked, “What if the manual lever broke?"
The young man said,
"Then I'd would call the next signal box and let them know what was happening."
The foreman continued on, "What if the phone was busy?"
The young man said, "Well, in that case, I would rush across the track to the emergency phone and call.”
Then, the foreman asked, "What would you do if the emergency phone had been vandalized?"
The young man said, "Well…, then I would run into town…, and get my uncle."
The foreman was a little puzzled by his answer
So he asked, "Why would you go get your uncle?"
The young man answered, "That's simple. Because my uncle…, has never seen a train crash before."
Where do people turn…, when they feel like their life is headed toward a crash?
I’ll tell you where they turn…, they either turn to the things of the world,
or they turn to the church and the things of God…
What do people do…, when life feels like two trains are headed directly toward each other
And…, there…, is…, really…, nothing…, they can do…, to stop it from happening?
[Today is a very special day in the life of the Liberty United Methodist Church
It is the day we install the church leaders for the New Year.]
You have often heard me talk about the mission and purpose of the church in terms of “Five Ships”
Worship…, Membership…, Discipleship…, Leadership…, and Partnership
Today we are going to talk about Leadership.
I want you to listen to me very carefully and to this sermon
For it is the most important sermon I have preached so far in 2011.
(Some of you will get that in a minute…)
In Mark 10:46-52, Jesus gave us an example of a man who must have felt hopeless,
…like there was no way out…, like life was unfair and had dealt him a crashing blow…
But Jesus came along and turned his life around.
In this passage we can see how one person’s life can be miraculously changed by an encounter with Jesus.
Encountering Jesus is always the beginning point of a fresh start…
The man in this story was named Bartimaeus.
Bartimaeus had very little going for him.
Mark tells us that Bartimaeus was begging on the side of road just at the edge of the city of Jericho.
He may have very well been homeless.
There did not seem to be any chance that things were going to get much better for Bartimaeus…
There did not seem to be any way for him to break out of the cycle of poverty, and hunger,
and dependence upon someone else…, even dependence upon total strangers to take care of him.
Bartimaeus was blind.
I can only imagine what it would be like to be totally blind…
Because even when I close my eyes I can see a glow of light…a glimmer of light
The nearest I ever came to understanding what total blindness was like…
Was during a tour of Mammoth Cave National Park.
After walking down…, down…, into the deep part of the cave…,
They turned off the lights…,
In the pitch black of the underground cave…, there was absolute darkness.
There was no glow or glimmer of light…
Combined with the utter helplessness of not knowing your way back out of the cave…
The thoughts of having to feel your way along blindly…
Not knowing whether your next step could be your last…
That you might fall over the edge of a cavern
Or make a wrong turn and instead of going toward the surface and the light
You would only go deeper into the underground earth.
The other things to imagine is not seeing the sun rise…, not seeing the sun set…
A star shine, or the moon…
To not see a smiling face in the crowd…, a family members face…, or someone familiar to you…
The Gospel of Mark leads us to believe that Bartimaeus had been blind for some time.