Summary: This is the first message in a series about becoming the church Jesus intended and we will begin by looking at several the church is statements. In this message we will unpack the truths that the church is - Christ's; The Called Out Ones; Maple Grove; The Body Of Christ

The Church Is…

Video – This Is Church (sermon spice)

Good Morning Maple Grove!

NOW THIS MORNING - we are kicking off a brand new series called, “Becoming The Church He Intended.”

AND – that makes sense, right?

THAT - seems like a logical and worthy pursuit for us, wouldn’t you agree?

I MEAN – that is what we should want to become….

The church, the church that Jesus intends for us who meet at 3210 Proffit Road…

NOT THE CHURCH – that I intend, or the other elders intend, or you intend, or the person sitting next you intends, or the world intends… BUT – the church that Jesus intends for us to become.

QUESTION – does anyone not want to become that?

OKAY – it’s good to know that we are all on the same page.

BUT LISTEN – it is one thing for us to say that…

• we want to be that church,

• we want to become the kind of Jesus followers that He intended…

YEAH - it’s one thing for me to stand up here for a bunch of Sundays and talk about what it means to become the church that Jesus intended… AND – for you to listen and maybe even agree. BUT – it’s quite another thing for us (for me, for you, for the person sitting next to you)… TO DO - what needs to be done, to make His intention our reality. Get It?

AND LISTEN – for that to happen it will require us…

(during the next several weeks…

• to be open to what God has to say about His church (and listen there is a very high likelihood that God is going to say some things we may not like, agree with and that make us feel uncomfortable)

• to be honest about where we really are (collectively and individually) in regards to His Church

• to be humble and admit where we have been wrong, and to spend more time looking at ourselves rather than at others and how they need to change or fall short.

• to not make this about ourselves and our opinions and preferences, but about Him

• to be willing to change and do whatever it takes

• to be ready – ready for what? For the enemy to come at us in order to stop us.

AND LISTEN – here’s the deal…

IF WE - were already the church and the Jesus-followers that He intended there would be no need for us to be doing this series.

HOWEVER – we are not… which is why we are here doing this series.

AND SO – for next (however many week) we are going to be diving into this book (especially the book of Acts)…

TO SEE - what the Scripture says about His Church.

BOTTOM LINE – His living and active Word is the place to start and to stay for determining what it means to become the church he intended… As Peter… ‘the grass withers and…”

NOW – I both appreciate and I am convicted by these words that Francis Chan writes as he opens up his book letter to the church.

Imagine you find yourself stranded on a deserted island with nothing but a copy of the Bible. You have no experience with Christianity whatsoever, and all you know about the Church will come from your reading of the Bible.

How would you imagine a church to function? Seriously. Close your eyes for two minutes and try to picture “Church” as you would know it.

Now think about your current church experience. Is it even close? Can you live with that? - Francis Chan

I can’t… and I do not think most of you can either….

I MEAN – that’s why you are here.

NOW - ‘church’ has been a part of my life in one way or another for about as long as I can remember…

As a child - church was a place that my mom on Sunday’s would wake me up to go to.

IT – was place where every now and then I put on a robe and lit a few candles. That was it, nothing more than that.

I MEAN – I never read a single verse of Scripture or opened up a bible.

As A teenager - my mom stopped trying to wake me up.

AND - church became totally irrelevant to me.

IT was place where strange people went, people who were absolutely against… everything!

LIKE – my ‘church going neighbor’ Mrs. Bobbly who was always quick to let me know how sinful I was…

(I still remember trimming the fence in our front yard…)

As a young adult (19-20) church was a place where I both met and began to learn about Jesus.

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