Summary: Recasting hte vision of the church - honoring God by connecting people, growing believers, and sharing hope.
Seeing the BIG Picture
October 22, 2006
Note: Four weeks ago, in concert w/ our “Living the Legacy, Making Disciples” campaign, I began a series of messages focusing on the mission and vision of our church entitled, “Seeing the BIG Picture.” Each week I’ve tried to paint a picture of who God has called us to be as a church and people as we seek to honor Him in our every day lives.
As part of this process, I introduced to you a picture of what I believe is an important, but simpler statement of purpose for us to consider. It’s based on the Great Commission (Mt. 28:19f) and the Great Command (Mt. 22:23f).
Vision: FBC White House exists to HONOR God by CONNECTING People, GROWING Believers, and SHARING Hope.
Note: We’ve looked at what it means to HONOR God, to CONNECT w/ God and to GROW in God – today I want to look at the final element in the vision – SHARING God w/ others.
Trans: When I use the term SHARING, I’m not just speaking of talking Jesus; I’m referring to walking Jesus. I not speaking solely of evangelism; I’m talking about serving others in Jesus’ name w/ the hope that Jesus in you will shine through you to meet the person at the point of their need that they might have a person encounter w/ God. In fact, sharing hope is about sharing life.
Text: Luke 5:1-11
Setting: Shortly after his forty days in the wilderness, Jesus returned to Galilee to begin His earthly ministry. After being rejected in Nazareth, Jesus made His way toward the Sea of Galilee. He began speaking to a growing crowd and then He got into a boat (Simon Peter) and began to preach. After preaching, He instructed the boats owner to cast his nets into the sea. A bit reluctant, Peter and Andrew cast their nets and took in a hall so great that they had to get help and still their boats almost sank. Once Jesus got their attention, He extended an invitation to them – “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” Mt. 4:19
Note: Last week we about how Jesus was a Rabbi (respected religious teacher). Now Peter only lowered His nets b/c a Rabbi asked him too. He was tired and ready to go home to bed after a long hard night of striking out (his nets had already been washed). And then the miracle occurred. A haul so great it took two boats to bring in the fish. But before they can get the fish a shore and clean them, Jesus invites the fishermen to be His disciples and they accept. So they drop their nets and follow Him.
Note: Four nobodies surrendered not only their comfort and livelihood, but also the great haul of fish that could have paid handsomely to follow Jesus’ call.
Note: The same call Jesus extended to Peter, Andrew, James, and John, He extends to us today who have received His call to salvation and have become His disciples. It is the call to be salt and light, ambassadors, and heralds of God’s grace – fishers of men.
Trans: A fisher of men is one who engages in the ministry of SHARING Jesus w/ others using words and actions to convey His message of love and grace through ministry and evangelism.
Note: Notice that I said through ministry and evangelism. You can’t share if you don’t care. Sharing hope requires that we are interested in people and not just another notch on the baptism belt. We share b/c we care.
What we are sharing? Why we are sharing it? To whom are we sharing?
Note: We’re sharing the love of God b/c we’ve experienced in a personal and life-changing way. We’re sharing it to everyone who needs it.
Quote: Problem is: Too many Christians are no longer fishers of men; they’ve become keepers of the aquarium. Paul Harvey
Point: Too many Christians are short-circuiting their lives and failing in experiencing God to His fullest b/c they miss God’s objective for sharing.
Define: Witnessing is that deep-seated conviction that the greatest favor I can do for others is to introduce them to Jesus Christ. P. Little
Story. Most of us here have seen either the movie or the documentary of the Titanic. More than 1,500 of 2,200 passengers died in the icy Atlantic when the ship sank on April 15, 1912. Probably the greatest tragedy is that many of those people who perished did not have to die. Hundreds of passengers escaped on one of the 20 lifeboats – yet most of the boats had plenty of room to spare being only half full.
After the ship sank, while hundreds of people fought for their lives in the icy waters, only one boat returned to help despite the horrific cries for help. Those who were already saved refused to go after those who were dying.