Summary: The first area we are going to focus on is Investing and Inviting people to know Christ and to church


Father we ask for Your anointing on us today. Place Your anointing on me as Your messenger today. God move in our lives. Rip open the heavens and visit Your people today.

Open our eyes so that we may see Your Word. Open our ears so that we may hear Your Word. Open our minds so that we may understand Your Word. Open our hearts so that we may receive Your Word today. AMEN

Last week we unveiled our updated mission statement for our church and our plan to carry it out. The plan to carry it out is to focus on five areas; Invest and Invite, Word of God and Prayer, Meaningful Relationships, Serving Each Other, and Praise and Worship.

For the next five weeks we will be looking at each of those areas, concluding with Praise and Worship on Easter Sunday.

Why do we update mission statements and make plans such as these? Why do we put time and effort into them?

The reason is because time is running out. There is an urgency to this. We are running out of time to get the job done

The apostle Paul tells us this in Romans 13:11&12a.

Besides this you know what [a critical] hour this is, how it is high time now for you to wake up out of your sleep (rouse to reality). For salvation (final deliverance) is nearer to us now than when we first believed (adhered to, trusted in, and relied on Christ, the Messiah). The night is far-gone and the day is almost here. Romans 13:11

It is a critical hour, therefore we need to wake up and begin to live our lives the way God intended us to live.

How do we know it is such a critical hour? Jesus told us that there would signs when time would start running out.

“There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea.” Luke 21:25

The apostle Paul said there would be worldwide lawlessness: “There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God-having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.” 2 Timothy 3:1-5.

One does not need to look too far to see all that is happening in the world is the fulfillment of the Word of God. One does not need to look too far to understand that time is running out.

I am not trying to be a doomsayer. I am just pointing out the simple fact that God has a time table for events to happen and we are seeing things happen in the world that the Scriptures say will happen just before Jesus Christ returns for the church.

So there is an urgency in what we are doing and why we are doing it. We need to wake up to the realization that time is running out.

Once again, let’s look at our mission statement.

Winfield Open Bible exists as an instrument of God to bring transformation into the lives of men and women, young and old, to convert the sinner, bring healing to the sick, and equip people to change the world for God. This will be accomplished by focusing on five areas.

By investing our time and energy in reaching out to others and inviting them to Christ. By preaching and teaching the un-compromised Word of God and directing people to prayer which will lead to the demonstration and manifestation of the power of the Holy Spirit. By cultivating meaningful relationships with others in the church. By serving each other. By our praise and worship of an awesome Lord and Savior.

Today we are going to look at our first focus point. Focus on Investing and Inviting.

We will invest our time and our energy by reaching out past the four walls of the church to the people in our communities. We will invite them to know Christ and we will invite them to church.

This is the last commandment that Jesus gave to the church.

“He (Jesus) said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.” Mark 16:15-18

Christians in the world today need to wake up to their responsibility.

Your responsibility as a child of God is not to come to church once or twice a week and sit on your pew critiquing the pastor.

The responsibility of every child of God, young or old, male or female is to “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.”

We need to be obedient to God.

Paul had some harsh words for the Corinthian church in 1 Corinthians 15:33-34. He said, “Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character.’ Come back to your sense as you ought, and stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of God – I say this to your shame.”

How many unsaved people, people who are ignorant of God and His love and all that He has done for them, do you think there are in Winfield, Mt. Union, Morning Sun, Olds, Columbus Junction, Mt. Pleasant and all places in between?

How many people do you know that do not have a relationship with God through Jesus Christ?

Our faith determines our conduct and if our faith is true and strong in God through Christ then our conduct is going to reflect that. If our faith is in God then we are not going to have a problem with telling others about God’s love and what He has done for us.

We are not going to be ashamed of being a Christian.

You might think, “Not me, I would never be ashamed of being called a Christian.”

That is exactly what the disciples of Jesus said.

When Jesus told His disciples during their last meal together before His arrest that they all would be ashamed that they were His disciples, Peter said, “even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.”

Then after Jesus was arrested the Gospel of Mark tells us “everyone deserted Jesus and fled.”

The only one who followed was the disciple Peter. He was going to be true to His word and follow Jesus and stand up for Him.

But what happened when people confronted Peter about his relationship with Christ? They asked Peter if he was one of Jesus’ disciples. What did Peter do? He denied knowing Christ. He was ashamed, he was afraid, and he deserted Jesus.

How many times do we desert Jesus today?

Years ago in communist Russia there was a woman who was accused of telling her family about the love of God. The government found out that she had done this and gathered her and her whole family on a beach by the ocean.

With their guns pointed at the family the soldiers ordered the mother who had shared God’s love with her family into a barrel. With fear she walked toward the soldiers and got into the barrel.

Then the soldiers ordered her oldest son of 17 years to step forward and with a gun at his head made him put the lid on the barrel and nail his mother in.

He did not want to. His mother told him it was OK, that they would meet in another world. He placed the lid on and nailed it in place.

Then the soldiers rolled the barrel into the ocean and watched it float out to sea. With her family watching, the soldiers raised their guns and began to shoot the barrel.

Afterward, a guard turned to the family and said, “There is no God. He didn’t even help her, and He won’t help you.”

This woman died as a martyr. Why? She died because she was not ashamed of God’s love and she was not afraid to tell others about Him.

How many of us would do the same thing?

Jesus’ last comments to the disciples before He went to heaven is found in Acts 1:8, Jesus said, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

The power of the Holy Spirit was not given so that we could have better church services. The power of the Holy Spirit was given to enable the disciples of Jesus Christ with the power to reach out past the four walls of the church and to reach people who otherwise would not know Him.

The reason God has given us His life is so that we can impact our world.

Our world is right where we are. It is Winfield, Mt. Union, Olds, Morning Sun, Mt. Pleasant, Columbus Junction; it is where you work, where you play, where you study; your world is where you are. This is our Jerusalem.

And you are commissioned by God to go into the world and invest your time into people who are dying and going to hell. You are commissioned to invite people to know Christ. You are commissioned to bring people to a life giving, Bible teaching church.

No place in the Bible does it say you are supposed to sit in your pew and do nothing.

We have a Judea as well. That would be our state and our nation. Not only should we be focused on our hometown, but also our focus should go towards our state and our nation. We should be people who have a desire to make a difference in our country.

We have a Samaria also. That is the rest of the world and while some of us cannot go into all the world we can certainly support those who can with our prayers and with financial gifts.

The point is, as God’s children we need to invest our time, our efforts, and our sustenance into people who do not have a relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

This is the primary mission of the church. To bring transformation into the lives of men and women, young and old, to convert the sinner…

Will we be able to reach every person in our area? Probably not.

Rick Warren states that in order for a church to be effective in evangelism they must decide on a target. We need to decide who we want to each and then we need to work toward reaching them.

I have thought about this a lot and after looking at this question geographically, demographically, culturally, and spiritually find that Winfield Open Bible has a target of a wide range. Their ages are vast from youth to adults, they may be married, they may be single, they have average incomes, some have college educations and some are blue collar workers. For the most part this target group prefers casual and informal over the formal, they like contemporary music, they are overextended in time and money, they have young children and teenagers, and some of them have children who have already left the home. They are relational people, but most importantly, they are people who are seeking something more to life than what they already have.

Who is this target group? Just about everyone in our area.

How are we going to reach them? By investing our time and efforts into them and inviting them to church.

(Find two people who have been invited to church and have been attending) Ask them, Who invited you to church? Why did you come? What brought you back?

Invite and Invest.

We will invest our time and our energy by reaching out past the four walls of the church to the people in our communities. We will invite them to know Christ and we will invite them to church.

Our hope is that you will be a person who is going to invest into the kingdom of God and build into the lives of people who do not know Christ. Invest yourself to seeing that they will learn all that God has done for them and that you would Invite them to know Christ and Invite them to church.

This is the first focus. It is the focus that fulfills God’s plan for our lives and our church.

We have a responsibility to make this happen. We need to spread the Good News about God to others, we need to win souls for the kingdom of God

We need to wake up and focus on five.