Summary: Sermon # 2 on creating a shared vision.
Sermon Series: Creating A Shared Vision
“Living as a Christ-Centered Community”
By: Rev. Ken Sauer, Pastor of Grace UMC, Soddy Daisy, TN www.graceumcsd.org
Last Sunday we began talking about creating a shared Vision Statement for Grace United Methodist Church.
We learned, through the example of Nehemiah, to look for 3 specific things.
They are defining the problem our Vision will address.
Offering a solution to the problem.
And why something has to be done and why it has to be done immediately.
Remember, every Vision is a solution to a problem.
What problems are Grace United Methodist Church poised to solve?
Remember the mission of the Church is to “make disciples or learners or followers of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.”
What is our vision for this?
In our Scripture Lesson for this morning Jesus says, “You are the light of the world.”
Jesus didn’t command us to be lights.
Jesus didn’t suggest that we be brighter.
Jesus said in effect, “You already do shine, you are a light—that is who you are!”
He then added that a light is useless if it is placed under a bowl or basket.
A light should be placed on a lampstand so that it gives light to all the darkness surrounding it.
Usually, in the Greek language, a pronoun or subject would come later in a sentence, but Jesus placed US first.
This should catch everyone’s attention.
The pronoun YOU is in a place of odd emphasis, as if to say, “YOU, yes YOU—are the light of the world.”
Jesus is speaking to YOU and ME—to US!!!
Our greatest significance is found in the darkness, not in the light.
The smallest light will defeat the darkest of night.
God has a plan to do great things through Grace United Methodist Church!!!
Are we willing to live into God’s plan as we prayerfully create a Vision together?
Our willingness to embody the vision of this church will have a direct impact on our credibility as a Church.
When people are convinced that the vision has stuck with us, it is easier for them to make the effort to join in on the vision.
All of us must embody the vision of Grace United Methodist Church.
And, after-all, the Bible says that we are Christ’s Body on this earth!!!
Have we personally embraced this?
Like you, I have friends and family members who are fanatics about the products they sell or the companies they work for.
My sister and brother-in-law are executives for Proctor and Gamble in Cincinnati, and ever since they began working there, they have encouraged the rest of us to make sure and use Crest toothpaste, Tide laundry detergent, eat Pringles’ potato chips, use Ivory Soap, drink Folgers Coffee—you name it!!!
Four years ago, my parents moved from Syracuse, New York to live in the carriage house on my sister’s estate.
This carriage house is now my parent’s home.
It is where they live, where they entertain guests, etc.
Whenever my other brother-in-law goes to visit my parents, he brings along the shampoo he uses—Selsun Blue, and when packing the family up to go back home—he always forgets and leaves his shampoo behind.
One day, my other brother-in-law who works at Proctor and Gamble was hanging out in the Carriage house with my parents.
Coming out of the bathroom, he looked distraught, “Mr. and Mrs. Sauer, why do you have Selsun Blue in your shower?”
You see, Proctor and Gamble makes Head and Shoulders—the brand whose greatest competitor is Selsum Blue.
My friends who work for Chic-fil-A insist on wearing company ties everywhere they go.
My friends who work at Coke will have nothing to do with Pepsi products.
If you say you believe in something—live it out!!!
Do you believe in Jesus?
Do you believe in Jesus’ Church?
Let’s face it.
People can sniff out a phony a mile away.
If you believe Jesus is the Savior of the world, the Lord of the earth and sea—YOU will live as if you believe this.
You will endeavor to follow Christ’s teachings; you will want to learn more and more about Christ through personal Bible study, Sunday school, worship and corporate Bible study.
And you will talk about this Jesus with your friends.
Your excitement for Jesus will be contagious.
And your excitement for Christ’s church will be evident and contagious as well!!!
Do your friends and family know how much Grace United Methodist Church means to you?
Do your neighbors, associates at work, even strangers know that you value Christ and Christ’s Church above all other things?
Have they been invited by you to be a part of this organism—Christ’s Body—the Church?
Is it evident to them that this church makes a significant impact on your life—for the better?