Summary: And as we build the church, there are certain things that simply have to be in the plans if we’re going to be the kind of church God wants us to be. Community, Teamwork, Love.
It’s amazing what you can find on the Internet. I’ve mentioned before that I’m a Star Trek fan, so I was impressed when I found this. I found a website of pictures of the USS Enterprise made entirely from lego.
The interesting thing about the website is that it chronicles the whole process of putting it together. A guy named Kevin sat down and figured out exactly how he was going to build the Enterprise before he even started putting the pieces together.
SLIDE SHOW (on PowerPoint)
As you can see, it’s a pretty big and complicated model, and you can understand why he needed to draw up some blueprints before he even started.
Today we’re going to look at blueprints, too. Not blueprints on how to build the Enterprise, although that might be fun. We’re going to talk about the Blueprints of a Healthy Church.
The Blueprints of a Healthy Church
At Sunrise, we’re a brand new church. We’re just starting out. We’re trying to build a body of people who honour God and truly represent Him to the world around us. And as we build this church, there are certain things that simply have to be in the plans if we’re going to be the kind of church God wants us to be. And today we’re going to talk about three of those things.
1. Community – all parts fit together
We read a passage from Ephesians 4 earlier in the service. What we read was actually an excerpt from a letter that the apostle Paul wrote to a church in the city of Ephesus. This was one of the early Christian churches. The early Church consisted of Jews and Gentiles, rich and poor, educated and uneducated, masters and servants, old and young. Yet they were able to form a community of believers who supported each other and strengthened each other and thrived as a church. So much so that we’re reading about them a couple thousand years later.
How was this possible? How was it possible that such a diverse group of people could become unified? I believe it was because they had what I’m calling Community Essentials.
Keyword: harmony. Musically, if you’re talking about people singing in harmony, you’re not talking about them all singing the same notes. On Sundays, Jim helps fill out the sound a bit by singing a harmony to what I’m singing. He doesn’t sing the same thing I’m singing, he sings different notes which complement what I’m singing.
That’s what it means when we talk about Soprano, Alto, Tenor, and Bass. People singing different notes, but they all fit together to create beautiful music.
I used to live in Avon, South Dakota. It was a small community in the south eastern part of the state. About an hour north of Avon, was the town of Mitchell. And Mitchell has one claim to fame: the Corn Palace. Here’s a picture. All of the murals, all of the decorations are made from local crops. And every year the exterior decorations are completely stripped down and new murals are created.
I’ve been inside this building. And you know what? It’s not all made out of corn. The decorations require thousands of bushels of corn, grain, grasses, wild oats, brome grass, blue grass, rye, straw and wheat to create what you see. And the structure itself consist of wood, metal, glass, and whatever else was needed. It’s one building created by combining a variety of different materials.
Here’s the application for us. For community to exist at Sunrise, we don’t all have to be the same. We don’t all have to talk the same, dress the same, like the same things, or have the same background. But we do need to heed the words we read earlier from Ephesians 4:2-3…
Ephesians 4:2-3 (NLT)
Be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Always keep yourselves united in the Holy Spirit, and bind yourselves together with peace.
We can be very different people, but we do need some things in common. Specifically, we have to hold to the same values, the same beliefs, the same Scriptures. We need to realize that as Christians we’re all in this together. Listen to this…
Ephesians 4:4-6 (NLT)
We are all one body, we have the same Spirit, and we have all been called to the same glorious future. There is only one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and there is only one God and Father, who is over us all and in us all and living through us all.
Okay? Common ties. There are a lot of common ties mentioned right there.
Agreement on Leadership
Think about the places in the world that are in turmoil right now.