Summary: As I work here for the Lord and for your church I want to be careful to follow a plan of construction and work from a proven design so that we end up with a happy vibrant, growing Christ centered church.
Lets Build A Church
Welcome back everyone hope your summer vacation was enjoyable and a time of rest and fun. Im sure some of you went camping, some went boating and others shopping.
Regardless of what you did this summer Im glad youve come back to church to pick up where we left off.
Since April of this year I have had the privilege to act as your substitute for a full-time minister. I very much enjoy these Sundays and I have learned a lot about myself and about the bible as we have worshiped together.
I have tried my best to give you what God puts upon my heart each week in the hope that what I share is both useful and challenging. But here we are again with me acting as a substitute for the real thing.
I met with our moderator Rev. Chuck Congram this past week and we talked about how things were going. For the most part I think they are going pretty well but I do feel so much more could be done if you had a full-time minister.
Now Im not looking to put myself out of a job its just that you as a church need to decide just what you want New St. Andrews to be and you need to identify what needs are not being met vs. those that are being met.
So in the mean time we will continue as we are until Christmas and then you and your elders and the moderator can review and evaluate just what direction your church needs to go. So in the weeks and months to come I want you all to be praying about the future of New St. Andrews and what you want that future to look like.
Today I want to talk about building this church and share with you how we can go about it.
Psalm 127:1 NIV
A song of ascents. Of Solomon.
1 Unless the LORD builds the house,
its builders labor in vain.
Unless the LORD watches over the city,
the watchmen stand guard in vain.
Even though we sit in this beautiful building we must be mindful that it is just that, a beautiful building. A church is not brick and stone but it is the lives of those who are changed by knowing Christ and those who are seeking to know Him.
Matthew Chapter 7
The Wise and Foolish Builders
24"Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash."
28When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, 29because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.
Jesus tells us that we need to build our church on the rock and not the sand. We need a sure foundation. He also tells us that we need to put into practice the words that he has given us.
Well what has Jesus told us? He told us a lot. But he also gave us a couple of powerful lines to help us remember the most important things.
The Greatest Commandment
28One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, "Of all the commandments, which is the most important?"
29"The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.[e] 30Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.[f] 31The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself.[g]There is no commandment greater than these."
You know friends Im in an awkward place here. Im trying to help you build a church and Im not very good when it comes to construction. When I was first married we lived in a little country house about 4 miles from town. I worked a lot of shifts and nights so I thought having a dog around would give my wife some protection.
I brought home a puppy not a dog. But soon he grew and grew into a large dog and it was time for him to have his own dog house. This is where it gets a little embarrassing. You see I got hold of a wooden pallet and I figured I could use that as the floor of the dog house. All I needed to do was build the side walls and a roof. Being the carpenter I am, I started with the roof. I know now that what I tried to do was well intentioned but I had no design and I choose to start at the wrong place.