Summary: In 2004 we began a reorganization process in our church. We are moving to become a “Purpose Driven Church”. This sermon is designed to help the congregation understand our structure and functions. This sermon is for a unique situation.
Structured For Service
“A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words.”
Several months ago I was trying to grasp how our church is organized. How it is to operate. How it is structured. I had a copy of our by-laws in front of me and started drawing a diagram of how our church maintenance is to be accomplished.
Maintenance is important with any building. If the roof leaks – it needs to be fixed. If the plumbing breaks – it needs to be repaired. These are all important elements of maintenance. But maintenance goes beyond the physical structure. Let me express it this way – there is a great difference between the maintenance of a house and the maintenance of a home. When we talk about the maintenance of a house we are referring to a physical structure. The building, the plumbing, the electrical wiring, the windows, etc. But when we talk about the maintenance of a home – we are referring primarily to the maintenance of the relationships we have with one another.
Communication must be maintained, our social events become important, customs are important, what we hold of value becomes important - what we do and why we do it are all parts of home maintenance. Each and every aspect that goes into healthy growing relationships become an element of home maintenance. This is true of a family and it is also true of a church.
So today we are going to take a look at our church structure. Why would I spend precious sermon time to talk about our church structure? Let me give you two reasons.
1. God wants us to have UNITY in the church.
Look with me at the passage from 1 Corinthians chapter one. Paul is writing to the church at Corinth; let us see what he says:
“Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.” 1 Corinthians 1:10 (NKJV)
God wants His church to be united. He calls for unity. One way to promote unity is to come to understand how things operate.
In any business, profession or organization people are trained and taught how the institution operates. In the military every soldier goes through basic training. Many businesses now – in the basic training process – give the employees an employee manual. It outlines in detail the expectations of the employer and the benefits offered to the employee. It is designed to clear up any areas of misunderstanding. It is designed to help to create unity within the organization.
At BFC we offer CLASS 101. It is a four hour introduction to our church. In those four hours we cover our strategy, our structure, our statements and our salvation. What CLASS 101 does is help create unity. In that four hours you will learn why we are here – that’s our purpose – and you will learn what goals are – that is our vision. CLASS 101 puts us all on the same sheet of music. If you have not taken that CLASS let me encourage you to do so; because God wants unity in His church.
The second reason that we are going to spend time talking about our church structure today is because:
2. God wants us to operate in an ORDERLY manner.
God has always done things in an orderly manner. In Genesis – with the creation of the world God created all things that exist in an orderly manner. In the book of Revelation we find that God will be actively involved with the end of time in an orderly manner. From the beginning to the end time God has been a God of order. God doesn’t panic. Everything He does is with a purpose. If God is a God of order, do we think that He wants His church to be a church of order? Look at 1 Corinthians chapter fourteen with me:
“Let all things be done decently and in order.”
1 Corinthians 14:40 (NKJV)
We are instructed to do all things in an orderly manner. What we find is that God wants us to be orderly, organized and united as we conduct the operation of His church.
If you will pull out the insert in your bulletins – you will see a diagram: The BFC – Church Maintenance Chart. We are going to spend some time today looking this diagram over.
[At this time I will go into how Burlingame Federated Church is to function according to its by-laws. If you use this sermon you will need to adjust it for your church situation.]
At Burlingame Federated Church all of us are to be servants. Every member is a minister. We are to minister to each other. We are to help one another and look out for each other. We are to care for one another. What you see on your chart is the way we are structured to: