Summary: In this sermon, I discuss our mission and a practical plan for staying on target.
A. The story is told of a truck driver who was hauling a load of 500 penguins to the zoo.
1. Unfortunately, his truck broke down.
2. He eventually waved down another truck and offered the driver $500 to take the penguins to the zoo.
3. Later that day the first truck driver got his truck fixed and drove into town and couldn’t believe his eyes!
4. Just ahead of him he saw the second truck driver crossing the road with the 500 penguins waddling single file behind him.
5. He jumped out of his truck, ran up to the guy and said, “What’s going on? I gave you $500 to take these penguins to the zoo!”
6. The man responded, “I did take them to the zoo. But I had enough money left over so now we’re going to the movies.”
7. See, that guy didn’t fully understand what he was supposed to be doing. He didn’t understand his mission.
8. Likewise, many of us believers today are fuzzy about our sense of purpose.
B. While I’m on vacation every year I spend a lot of time reflecting on how I am doing and how we are doing with regard to pleasing God and accomplishing God’s purposes.
1. It is certainly a process full of joy and sorrow.
2. Together we continue to experience a lot of progress and success (God’s doing some special things through us), but we also have our share of frustration, stagnation, disappointment and failure.
3. Part of our challenge is maintaining a sense of our God-given mission.
C. Vision is absolutely critical.
1. Without a shared vision, we have no idea what our target is.
2. Without a shared target or direction, then we have no hope of ending up at the right place.
D. So, let me ask you this important question: What is the mission of the Wetzel Road Church?
1. Can each of us state clearly and concisely what we are about?
2. What is our business? What are we trying to accomplish?
3. See, until we have a handle on what we are trying to do, how can we begin to determine how to do it?
4. In the end we don’t want just activity…we want productivity.
5. Efficiency is doing things right.
6. Effectiveness is doing the right things.
7. Excellence is efficiency and effectiveness. Doing the right things, right.
E. For many years I have worked from a very simple vision and I’ve had a concise goal in mind.
1. I would like for us, as a group, to let this simple vision guide us in our work together.
2. It would be great if it became such a part of us that when asked the question I asked a moment ago (“What is the mission of the Wetzel Road Church”), all of us would be able to give the same, simple answer.
3. Here is my answer to that question: “Our mission is to make and mature disciples of Jesus to the glory of God.”
4. Making and maturing disciples of Jesus to the glory of God – how’s that for a clear and concise target?
F. You probably recognize that this mission statement is based on the Great Commission that Jesus left us.
1. Jesus said, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Mt. 28:19-20)
2. From that verse we see, in a very clear fashion, that our goal should not just be to make disciples (help people become Christians), but that our goal should also include maturing disciples (helping people grow up in their salvation).
3. So that’s what Jesus wants us to be all about – Making and Maturing Disciples of Jesus to the glory of God.
G. Now the big question becomes: How do we do that?
1. What should we be doing, as a congregation, to insure that we are making and maturing disciples of Jesus to the glory of God?
2. I want to suggest that each of us needs to have a target to be shooting toward that includes the basics of discipleship.
3. I have made the word “target” into an acrostic to help us remember what we need to be working toward.
4. So let me briefly share the “T.A.R.G.E.T.” with you.
I. Our T.A.R.G.E.T.
A. The “T” in our T.A.R.G.E.T. stand for TRUTH
1. It should be no surprise to us that God calls us to be people of the Word.
2. It should be the goal of every disciple to LOVE the Word, to LEARN the Word, and most importantly, to LIVE the Word.