Summary: We will no longer be a “Silent” Church, but a “Story” Church! IN REINVENTING THE CHURCH WE MUST SEE THAT OUR STORIES OF THE RELATIONSHIP WE HAVE WITH JESUS CHRIST MUST BE SHARED WITH THE PEOPLE IN OUR COMMUNITY.
Last week I spoke about how the church is in crisis and unless we REINVENT the church, she will continue to die a slow but sure death.
One of the ways we need to REINVENT the church today is by no longer being a COME AND GET IT church, but instead, a GO AND GET THEM church as Jesus modeled when he sent OUT his disciples. Among the last words Jesus spoke in this world were, “GO, and make disciples…” not “Post a sign out front and tell people to come inside.”
Another way we need to REINVENT the church today is by speaking our testimony out loud to those in our community.
Look up these passages of Scripture with me:
1 Peter 3:15, “Be ready always to give a reason for the hope…”
Acts 1:9, “You will be my witnesses…”
1 John 1:1-4, “That which we have seen, heard, touched, we tell”
Matthew 16:13-15, “Who do YOU say that I am?”
To have a story to share with the community you must have a story worth sharing!
There is a part of the culture within which we live the church has allowed to come in and claim as normal for the church and that is this issue of being private. The ‘privatization’ of the Church has left the church speechless in a bad way! We don’t share about ourselves, we don’t speak up and speak out about what changes Jesus Christ has made in our life.
Here is what happens when you and don’t speak about our what Jesus Christ has done for us:
1. We forget our story (inflated)
2. The story dies (vs. life!)
3. We have nothing to share (filled)
But when we review our story with each other, we practice sharing what Jesus Christ is doing in our lives, here’s what happens:
1. We not only remember, we can’t stop talking about!
2. The story doesn’t die, it multiplies! The spoken story takes on a life of its own and it multiplies because it is alive!
3. We grow more and more in the grace and power of God and favor with people! Why? Because we have something they want!
People want to have hope, they want to have power to live by, they want to have peace, they want to feel like they belong to something bigger than themselves and they want to give their lives away to something that means something!
So let me ask you, “Who have you been saying Jesus is?”
Jesus travels to Caesarea Philippi and historically the place where Jesus is speaking to his disciples is a shrine where people would bring an idol and place it into a hollow spot on the side of this huge rock and worship there. In the culture of that day, the people were saying, “God is this…God is that” and whatever they chose to worship they would and bring it this spot in Caesarea Philippi.
Against this backdrop, Jesus turns to his disciples and says, “Who are the people saying I am?” Not only did the culture of that day have things they said about God, but they were talking about Jesus and they had different ideas about him. Some said John, some said Elijah, some said Jeremiah, some said one of the prophets.
But then Jesus turns to them in this idolatrous scene and asks them, “Who do you say that I am?” And that is the question everyone of us has to answer! Not only for our own souls, but for the souls of everyone we come in contact with! People are asking questions more today than I can ever remember!
Magazines, radio, movies, everyone has their own ideas in our community today about who God is and who Jesus is. And what has the church done? The church is hiding! The church is private! The church is missing from the streets and the community because it is busy being removed from people so it can be in a building which we have called ‘the church’!
Our community is seeking for the real God and the real Jesus and we need to:
1) Be ready to give a reason for the hope we have!
2) Be Jesus’ witness of what he has done in our life
3) Speak up and speak out about what we have seen, heard, touched
4) Who are you saying Jesus is? Not from some passage of scripture…not from some words, but from your heart, from your warm, flesh and blood, and from the real you.
Have you forgotten your story of Jesus? Or do you have one to share yet? Jesus himself said, “If you have a story, you WILL share it!” You WILL be his witnesses when the HOLY SPIRIT comes upon you!
Peter spoke to Jesus and answered his question, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God!” Peter had a revelation of God about who Jesus really was! But he never would have had that revelation given to him UNLESS Jesus would have been there in the flesh living and breathing right in front of him!