Summary: Sermon incorporates results of Reveal Survey and closes with what Jesus thinks about our church.
Rev. Brian Bill
Pastors get asked a lot of questions, they receive a lot of requests and sometimes people just need to share their ideas. Here are some actual letters from some children to pastors.
“Dear Pastor, I know God loves everybody but He never met my sister.”
“Dear Pastor, My father should be a minister. Every day he gives us a sermon about something.”
“Dear Pastor, I’m sorry I can’t leave more money in the plate, but my father didn’t give me a raise in my allowance. Could you have a sermon about a raise in my allowance?”
“Dear Pastor, I think a lot more people would come to your church if you moved it to Disneyland.”
“Dear Pastor, Please say a prayer for our Little League team. We need God’s help or a new pitcher.”
“Dear Pastor, My father says I should learn the Ten Commandments. But I don’t think I want to because we have enough rules already in my house.”
“Dear Pastor, I liked your sermon on Sunday. Especially when it was finished.”
Grown-ups have suggestions and comments about church as well. Five months ago 222 PBC people had the opportunity to express their thoughts not just about our church, but also about their spiritual journeys. This morning I’ve titled this message “PBC Revealed.” I hope you find it interesting, encouraging and challenging.
Let’s just say up front that there is no perfect church. Although I did come across a website that claimed to find one – it’s one with no people in it! Constructed out of 75,000 Lego’s, it took a year and a half to build.
Actually, there is a church in the Bible that while not perfect comes close to the model ministry. Turn to Acts 2:42-47: “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”
They Devoted Themselves
Look at the first three words of Acts 2:42: “They devoted themselves.” The NASB renders it “continually devoting themselves.” Literally it means that they were “continuing steadfastly.” The idea is to give “one’s self continually…to be steadfastly attentive unto.”
Nine years ago, in my very first sermon as pastor of Pontiac Bible Church, I made this statement: the depth of our devotion determines our impact. We then looked at six essential elements of the early church that helped it make a lasting impact, using the acrostic IMPACT.
* Notice verse 42: They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching – that’s the “I” --> Instructing in God’s Word.
* Now, drop down to verse 45: Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need – that’s the “M” in IMPACT --> Mobilizing for Ministry.