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Summary: Heather is a single 30-year-old hairstylist from British Columbia. When asked why don’t you attend Church? This was her reply:

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West Greeley Baptist Church

June 3rd 2001

John 12: 26

“Saved to serve”

By Pastor Mark Hensley

26Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me. John 12:26

Introduction: Heather is a single 30-year-old hairstylist from British Columbia. When asked why don’t you attend Church? This was her reply:

“ I was raised to believe you had to go

to Church every Sunday

confessing your sins, reciting your

prayers, being faithful. It was

just too hard. I couldn’t see how a

loving God could be so

demanding. As soon as I got out on my

own I left all that behind.

And the longer I stay away the less

guilty I feel.”

Transition: For Heather doing comes before being! For Christians being comes before doing! You see Christians are to serve not out of guilt or a feeling of foreboding, but out of Joy!

“ I was raised to believe you had to

go to Church every Sunday

confessing your sins, reciting your

prayers, being faithful. It was

just too hard.” I couldn’t see how a

loving God could be so

demanding. As soon as I got out on my

own I left all that behind.

And the longer I stay away the less

guilty I feel.”

Less guilty? Going to Church just too hard? A loving God …so demanding.

Heather’s experience and perception of the Church represents millions of people today. I will spend the rest of my life trying (successfully I hope) to change peoples perception of the Church. Two many people come to Church three times primarily. There Baptized, they get married, and they have their funeral service at the Church.

The first time they throw water on you

The second time rice

The third time dirt!

Oh that people might know the thrill of a relationship with God! Sometimes Church can be a boring uninspiring routine…but don’t blame God! When we get more excited by a bunch of sweaty behemoths trying to move a inflated ball of leather across a goal line, than we do about worshiping almighty God then no wonder the Church seems so oppressive to so many!

John Bisagno former Pastor of Houston’s First Baptist Church tells the story of his coming there to candidate for the position of pastor many years ago. He said that as he entered the auditorium it was dimly lit, with just a few people huddled together. They were singing some old slow funeral type song that was depressing.

Later that day he took a walk in downtown Houston and came upon a jewelry store. It was some sort of grand opening and there were bright lights and a greeter at the door to welcome you in with a smile. Inside there was a celebration going on. There were refreshments and people having a good time talking and laughing with each other. They welcomed him and offered him some punch. He said that after attending both the church and the jewelry store, if the jewelry store had offered an invitation, he would have joined the jewelry store!

Today in a message called “Saved to serve” we will learn that when being comes before doing, the church can be a fulfilling and affirming place to attend and to belong! John 12: 26.


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David Parks

commented on Dec 15, 2012

Thanks for the wonderful message. A word of caution. I wold not use the illustration about paganini''s violin without further confirmation. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Il_Cannone_Guarnerius

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