Summary: Part 2 of this series that is looking into why people can’t help but say, "I Love this Place." This message looks into our strategy.
“I Love this Place” part 2
Brian A. Moon
The other day I was driving around and I noticed something very interesting. Located just a few hundred feet from each other were two competing coffee shops.
One of the shops had advertising all over the place. Out in the road, and on the sidewalks and on the windows and it was a well-known brand of high-end coffee, but there was no one in the store. Across the street was a Starbucks coffee shop. It had a small sign on the window and a sign on the shopping center marquee but that was it. As I looked at the Starbucks it was full of people. They were all sitting around talking and enjoying the morning. People were even lined up waiting, when they could get the same quality coffee with no wait across the street. I was amazed by this and the conclusion that I came to was that the only difference between the two shops was the environment. The one coffee shop was plain and boring and had cold, uninviting, florescent lighting. On the other hand the Starbucks had brightly colored walls and unique furniture with warm and inviting lighting and music.
It is amazing how much environmental changes can make on your mood and emotions. You can take the same space and turn it from boring to exciting by just changing the environment. Tonight as we continue our series called “I Love this Place” I want to talk with you about one of the things that makes this a place that we all love, and a safe place to bring our friends to come and check this God thing out. Tonight we are going to be talking about some things that we value greatly here, and I am going to ask you to value this also so that we don’t get down the road from here and say, “remember when…” So take out your message handout and let’s get start talking about relevant environments.
(Say that with me- RELEVANT ENVIRONMENTS)
The word relevant means a traceable, significant and logical connection between things. If you were told that you had a problem with algebra in school and they sent you to the language lab it would not be relevant to your problem. You would need to go to the math lab where you could find answers to the questions you had.
Here is the sad part though, most people don’t feel like church is relevant to their lives anymore, and I don’t blame them. Most churches don’t scratch where people itch, they don’t offer any relevance to peoples daily lives. If you came in here tonight and I talked about the Sovereignty of God in the Doctrine of Predestination regarding particularly the perseverance of the saints, most of you would say, “Wow, that had nothing to do with my life.” And you would leave and never come back. It would have no relevance to where you are at.
A recent survey said that 1/3 of Americans don’t go to church because it is irrelevant! And 1 out of 3 teenagers are involved in a youth group, but asked if they would continue after high school and only a 1/3 of that third said yes! Why, it is just not relevant to them.
So what we do in this place every Sunday night is bigger than you might think, we take the timeless principles found in the Bible and we make them relevant to peoples lives. It might be through a drama, through the music, or a video, a multimedia presentation, or some other creative art or the practical teaching, we make it relevant every week!
This is a place of worship, and love, and acceptance, and a place of relevance that is why people say, “I Love this Place” Biblically this just makes sense, the Bible says the men of Isaachar were,
“…Leaders who understood the times and knew what Israel should do.” 1 Chronicles 12:32 God’s Word
We understand the times that we live in, and we strive to make the Bible relevant to people today. Beyond this though, because we are not just relevant to be relevant, we have a purpose in mind with this. We want to create environments in which God can come and work in our lives.
There is the second word, “environments.”
I cannot change your life, the leaders here cannot change your life, your friends cannot change your life, only God can! That is why we try to build 3 environment’s, in which God can come and produce life-change. Last week we talk about our purpose statement which was, “To become a community committed to, Loving Up, Reaching Out, and Sharpening Within.” Tonight though we are going to look into our strategy, or the feet to our purpose, this is where the purpose is put into action.