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Summary: A church can only be what God has called them to be when everyone takes on their biblical role of, "minister." Based on a series of messages by John Maxwell, this message is about letting God’s Spirit have complete control of your life.

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Make Your Move

Part 1: Let God’s Spirit Move In

“No local congregation will be what it should be, what Jesus prayed that it should be, what the Holy Spirit gifted and empowered it to be, until it understand spiritual gifts.”

John MacArthur

Key Text: 1 Corinthians 2:14-16; 3:1-3

Icebreaker:

Intro: If somebody were to ask you today what you felt was the most important church statistic, the one statistic that demonstrates the vitality of a local congregation, what would you say to them? Probably most of us would say, “attendance,” or “membership.” We say that a church’s health is determined mostly determined by how many people come on Sunday mornings. But I’m going to let you in on a little secret this morning: attendance isn’t the best way to really gauge the greatness of a congregation. In fact, some church may have 500 members, but only 200 of them attend almost every Sunday. And maybe only 50 or so of them may be involved in ministry.

-So really, how healthy is a church like that? (Not very). So here’s the secret: the greatness of a church is in how many people find out what their gifts are and use those gifts for the glory of God. That’s what makes a great church. You see, that’s where the strength of a church really is. Everybody, everybody, realizing what their gifts are and utilizing those gifts in their church, for God’s glory.

-The series we’re starting this morning is called, “Make Your Move,” and you may notice the chess piece that’s part of the graphic I’ve used for this series. Have you ever played chess? It’s a game that I’ve never been very good at, because it requires a lot of strategy and planning. I’m more of a checkers guy. Doesn’t require much “deep thinking.” But the great thing about the game of chess is that even the pieces that don’t have the power of, say, the queen or a knight, can still have a major impact on the game. Even the pieces known as pawns, the pieces that seem to be the weakest, can make or break the success of each player.

-I want to talk this morning about letting God’s Spirit move in. John, MacArthur, a great pastor and author, gives us this quote that’s at the top of your notes page, today:

“No local congregation will be what it should be, what Jesus prayed that it should be, what the Holy Spirit gifted and empowered it to be, until it understand spiritual gifts.”

John MacArthur

-Now, that’s a great quote, but I’d like to add one other thought to that: Not only when the church understands spiritual gifts but when the church utilizes their spiritual gifts. I think we have a pretty good understanding of spiritual gifts here at our church, but not everybody utilizes their spiritual gifts to serve.

-In fact, throughout this series, we’re going to have a link up on the church website, millvilleavenue.com, with a link to a free online spiritual gifts test. If you’ve never taken a spiritual gifts tests or if it’s been a while or if you’re just curious, check out the link on the main page. (http://www.churchgrowth.org/cgi-cg/gifts.cgi?intro=1)

-So, let’s talk about letting God’s Spirit move in. In 1 Corinthians 2 and 3, Paul talks about 3 types of people. And as I go thorugh these 3 types of people and their characterisitics this morning, we’ll be able to look at them and I want you to ask yourself, “Where do I fit?”

-We’ll read the entire Scripture in a moment, but in Chapter 3, verse 3, Paul asks a question, “Are you not acting like mere men?” In other words, the Apostle Paul looks astonished, because he looks at the church and he doesn’t see a difference between them and mere men. He doesn’t see a spiritual power or anointing. He ays as he looks at the people, “Are we not acting like just mere men and women?” In other words, what’s the difference between you, Church, and the rest of the world?

-Hey, what is the difference? What’s the difference between the people in this service sitting and listening to this message and the pople who don’t even go to church on Sunday? Are we just walking around here this morning like mere men? Is what we do during the week just like mere men?

-You se, the Church is facing a credibility problem in our day, because in most congregations there is no difference between us and mere men. I heard a story one time about a guy that went to church one Sunday and had a heart attack, so the ushers called the paramedics. The paramedics came in and while their doing their thing, the pastor’s up there just droning on and on, totally oblivious to what’s happening. One of the ushers heard the paramedics says, as they were carrying the man out, “We had to pick up six people before we found the right one.”

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