Summary: A sermon on evangelism.
“Someone is Knocking”
By: Rev. Kenneth Emerson Sauer
Pastor of Parkview United Methodist Church,
Newport News, VA
I was speaking with my parents on the telephone a few days ago. As most of you know they recently moved to Kentucky.
I asked them how they are doing in their church-hunting, and they told me that they have been attending a large United Methodist Church, but there is another church building in their neighborhood, a church building which has been standing vacant for several months after having been closed down due to a dwindling membership.
But there is a group who are hoping to be able to re-open and revive this particular church.
So, my eighty year-old mother and father told me, matter-of-factly, that they will be meeting at the church building on Saturdays for prayer, and then going out in the neighborhood to, of all things, put up door hangers in an effort to bring this church back to life!
Of course my dad always has to add a joke: “Sorry Ken but we won’t be putting any of your cards around.”
Yes, my eighty-year-old parents are putting up door hangers to try and bring back to life a church they have never attended…
…to bring back to life a church they have never had anything to do with in a neighborhood they have just recently moved into.
When I think about this, it makes sense. My parents have always helped make a place, wherever they have lived, better than it was before they got there.
And isn’t this what we are all called to do as Christ’s disciples?
What an exciting calling!!!
I wonder how God will use this church once it is back up and running again.
I wonder how many folks in the neighborhood my parents just moved into do not have a church home, do not know the Lord, do not know the love and benefits which come from belonging to a community of faith.
I look forward to hearing about how the Lord uses their efforts.
I also wonder how many folks in the neighborhoods around us, and around our church do not have a church home, don’t know the Lord, and don’t know the love and benefits which come from belonging to a community of faith.
If statistics can be counted on…
…there are lots.
What would happen if all of us, young, middle age, and even eighty years old and up would come together and pray for our church, then go out into our neighborhoods and put up door hangers?
How would the Lord use our efforts?
I’d be really excited to find out—how about you?
We’ve got the door hangers, we’ve got the people, there really is no legitimate excuse for us not to be doing this on a regular and consistent basis.
One day Jesus told His disciples: “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
Are we willing to say: “Here I am Lord, send me”?
In our Lesson from Revelation for this morning Jesus is speaking to a church that is about to be closed down.
Evidently there is an air of apathy about the place.
The folks have closed their hearts and minds to Christ.
They appear to be pretty well-off as far as worldly goods are concerned, but spiritually speaking Jesus says they are: “wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.”
At the church in Macon, Georgia where I was associate pastor, the senior pastor gave a sermon on this passage.
He called it “The Church that Made Jesus Sick.”
I thought that was a pretty inventive title, and pretty much right on target as well.
Beginning at verse 15 Jesus declares: “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”
I knew a music director who took her Youth Choir on a mission trip to the city of Chicago.
They helped a fledgling downtown church with their Vacation Bible School among other things.
One church they visited was not downtown, but uptown…
…they were in the part of town where the money was.
I remember the choir director telling me: “I had never seen such fantastic facilities in a church. They had this great big kitchen with a walk-in freezer. They had Sunday school rooms, so many Sunday school rooms. And, oh, their playground! Wow, they had the finest playground equipment. But they had no children.
It was the saddest sight I saw on the entire trip!”
Apparently, this church was rich in the worldly sense, but spiritually they were lukewarm at best!