Summary: A message against judgmental attitudes that keep your church from growing!
Breaking Down Walls
One of my favorite quotes is from Bill Hybels, the cutting edge pastor from the largest church in America he says, “We have never locked eyes with someone that did not matter to God”
He is saying that all people regardless of race, social class or background… matter to God.
Has it ever dawned on you that people are the only things that matter to God? People are the only items you can take to heaven. Everything else is perishable.
Today’s theme is breaking Down walls. Walls that separate you from unconditionally loving other people.
We build walls of prejudism based on the fact that we are lighter or darker complected than other people.
We build walls of pride based against other people’s background, family heritage, or how good or not so good they are in something.
I have never felt it was only physical walls that kept churches from growing. It is these invisible barriers in the hearts of people that keep a church from growing.
Churches are full of people that believe in the Bonsai theory. A Bonsai tree is a small Chinese tree that was on the movie the karate kid. You trim it down to keep it small and manageable. Small clumps… manageable in size.
Small churches are made up of people who prefer to keep their church small and manageable. Any outsider that threatens their power, is ignored or spoken against. And Bonsai people trim and weed their Bonsai church.
These people would rather be big fish in a small pond rather than being a small fishing a big pond.
Walls keep us small.
Walls keep towns small too.
The unification of our schools falls on deaf ears with me.
You must ask yourself. Are the towns drying up because of lack of schools or are the schools trying up because the lack of town.
I have always thought the towns were drying up long before the schools did.
A small town east of Salina, KS Always thought they were friendly. They were. Friendly to themselves.
They had a sign outside the town as you drove in. “ A nice place to visit, an even better place to live.” They did not mean that. At least it was only nice if your family was established there.
But deep in the hearts of the people were signs that hung that said,” Don’t stay too long you threaten my nice little town.”
Believe me you do not want me to go to these public meeting about the schools.
Because I try live on the outside living as a prophet to see and hear the voice of God.
Have you ever considered that the unification is a spiritual matter.
How is that?
When I hear over and over how some students are forced by their parents to go out for sports, yet the same parents leave church attendance an option.
Answer to me this question, or ask your friends from other churches, What good does it do if a student letters in a sport, yet dies and lays in hell? What have you gained?
A truth was sent home to me one day when I went to a school board meeting to support a bible study to be held at the schools. Less than 20 people showed up to support a God-movement, yet you will pack gymnasiums when it has to do with education or sports.
God spoke to my heart that day and said, “ If these people would worry a little less about sports and more about me I would bless their communities”.
It is the invisible walls and signs that will put on that keep our towns and schools small.
When we tore this west wall down , you know why that excited me? It was not the physical wall that came down.
It was the invisibles wall that I heard you tearing down and saying, “ We want people to go to Heaven , we want to make room for outsider in church. This not our church this is God’s. Let’s tear down walls of tradition to make room for God’s children.”
Jesus encounters a woman today in our story that people around here had was built to keep her out.
And out of this story oozes a 2 step example that Jesus models to tear down walls that separate us.
Read with me verses 1-9
Jesus Talks With a Samaritan Woman
4 The Pharisees heard that Jesus was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John, 2 although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples. 3 When the Lord learned of this, he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee.
4 Now he had to go through Samaria. 5 So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about the sixth hour.