Summary: A sermon given to Winchester’s City-wide gathering of 8 churches (called "Mission Winchester") as the start of the build-up to a huge city-wide mission.
"The Harvest is plentiful but the workers are few."
... Billy Graham had just finished a tour of the Florida East Coast and was taking a limousine to the airport. Having never driven a limo, he asked the chauffeur if he could drive for a while. Well, the chauffeur didn’t have much of a choice, so he got in the back of the limo and Billy took the wheel. He turned onto I-95 and accelerated to about 90 MPH. WHAM! The blue lights of the State Highway Patrol flashed in his rear-view mirror. He pulled over and a trooper came to his window. When the trooper saw who it was, he said, "Just a moment, please, I need to call in." The trooper radioed in and asked for the chief. He said, "I have a REALLY important person pulled over and I need to know what to do." The chief replied, "Who is it, not Ted Kennedy again?" The trooper said, "No, even more important." It isn’t the Governor Jeb Bush, is it?" asked the chief. "No, even more important," replied the trooper. "It isn’t the President George Bush, is it?" "No," replied the trooper, "even more important." "Well, WHO in the WORLD is it?!" screamed the chief. The trooper responded, "I don’t know for sure but I think it might be Jesus, because his chauffeur is Billy Graham!"
Mission. Reaching people. Praise the Lord for people like Billy Graham
- we are a result of him! A mission 20 years ago
- MW has grown since then. More churches. Greater unity (amazing unity!)
o Still about the basic stuff: evangelism, unity, renewal
o The Feast is part of that
And we have been given so much! We are so blessed! Our churches are SO blessed!
- have pretty much preached in all of them and most CTW ones as well
- love them!
- As I walked through town on Fri I felt "I have many people in this city"
It’s marvellous. It’s a bit scary too
- to those to who much has been given much will be expected
- * I think God expects a lot from us!
I’m doing this MA at the moment - with Simon & Paul (only 8 months behind!)
- much of it is superb
- occasionally you get this: "The problem must be the church. If we can get the church structure right… press the right button… we will arrest the decline in our nation"
I fear it’s far more complex than that. The problem is FAR deeper in our culture and churches. It’s not primarily ’model’ dependent
- there are parts of the world where ANY model works!
I think the problem is in our CULTURE- in that people might be hungry for spiritual experiences
- but it doesn’t enter their MINDS that Jesus might be the answer to that hunger… the bread of life
o and in Him spiritual experiences, life and reality are found
" * we want to show them where The Feast is.
And the problem is in CHRISTIANS, too
- we’ve forgotten where the Food is.
- We’ve forgotten what our call is… our raison d’etre… what God has made us to be and do… what will satisfy US
o And so, many Christians are, basically, quite frustrated
Jesus said "I have food that you know nothing about"
- uh!? What? Could somebody have brought Him food?
- In one sense we can be as misguided as someone unregenerate- the Samaritan woman: "give me some of this so I won’t keep getting thirsty… and have to keep coming here"
- WE can miss the truth of what will satisfy… feed US
And so we become restless. Seeking more blessing. Seeking this healing. That revival.
- we become frustrated: because when it doesn’t happen… somebody must have done something wrong. Particularly the pastor/minister
The truth is: he/she hasn’t done anything wrong. You just need to know where real food is to be found
Jesus said "My food is to do the will of Him who sent me… and to finish His work"
- His food was to see people coming through to faith in Him
That’s our food!
I am convinced that the only thing that keeps Christians ’high’ for the LONG haul: is seeing lives changed and people saved
- it’s the ONLY thing
- and it’s not surprising as it’s our call… genetic code:
- "Go, and make disciples of people groups and surely I AM with you…" Mt 28:19
o when you don’t live up to your call, genetic code- you’re not going to feel ’fed’
o and maybe, in Mt 28:19, is this promise; "GO… and I will be with you"
Christianity and church just doesn’t work in maintenance mode: