Summary: Message about how the mission of Jesus should be the mission of the Church.
The Mission of the Church
July 5, 2009
Note: The ME/WE/GOD/YOU/WE format is from Andy Stanley’s book, "Communicating for a Change."
Me: The news over the last couple weeks regarding celebrity deaths took a little out of me, I have to admit.
First it was Ed McMahon. Then it was Farrah Fawcett.
When I was 11-12 years old, I was in love with Farrah Fawcett, along with about 99.9% of the world male population.
Then on the same day, Michael Jackson died.
Then a week ago yesterday, Billy Mays died. He was that boisterous pitchman for so many products on TV.
Within about a week, four famous people died, and found themselves facing God.
Now, people die every day, obviously, and the vast majority of them aren’t famous. But they will all face God whether they were famous or not.
And for many of them, facing God won’t be a joy, it will be a nightmare, and they will find themselves paying for their sins in hell because they don’t know Christ.
We: We all know people who have died, and some of them were people that as far as we can tell didn’t know Christ.
And if that evidence is correct, then they are facing an eternity in hell.
Have you really thought of that? That they may not be in heaven, as much as you might want them to be, but rather in hell?
I don’t like thinking about it, either.
But the fact of the matter, folks, is that the knowledge that people we know will go to hell because they don’t know Christ should break our hearts.
But the good news for you today is that God invites us to be part of the solution – to be part of His plan to help as many people as possible avoid that and rather, experience heaven for eternity, and have access to the full life Jesus wants for everyone who will take it.
God: My family and I were at Family Camp out in Rapid City, and it was really great.
The messages were great, the music was great, getting to visit with other pastors I appreciate and admire was great.
The District Conference Meeting on Monday was awesome. God is doing awesome things in the Dakota District.
God is moving in the Native American people in our District, and we’re becoming much more intentional about being involved and resourcing them to effectively reach their culture. It’s a beautiful thing.
The Dakota District is adding Utah to our territory. There’s not one single Wesleyan church in Utah. But one is being planted even as we speak.
But to me, the most amazing thing about the meeting was the report that over 2000 people came to Christ in our district this last church year.
That night at the service, Chris Conrad, who was the featured speaker, mentioned that amazing statistic, and it got a pretty good response of applause.
But that wasn’t good enough for Chris. He then reminded us that all heaven celebrated when every single one of those people came to Christ, and that we needed to get excited about it as well.
That started the conviction going in my heart.
The message I’m going to share with you today is what I believe God put into my heart that night.
A lot of this isn’t easy for me to talk about, and some of you won’t like it. I’m praying that my words don’t get in the way of what I believe God wants you to hear today.
And I have a feeling this message will resonate in the hearts of many, if not most of you here.
The basis for Chris’ message was Luke 19:10 –
10 “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.”
God used this passage, and Chris Conrad’s message to break my heart, and I’ll tell you why as we go through the message.
For now, I want to talk to you about the mission of Jesus, and therefore, what the mission of His church should be.
Of all the things Jesus mentions that He came to do – bring freedom for the captive, give sight to the blind, bring a full life, and to serve, this is the bottom-line reason Jesus came to earth: to seek and save the lost.
This was the mission of Christ. And that, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, is what the mission of the Church is supposed to be.
Jesus didn’t create the Church to be a religious social club. He created the Church to be His agent on earth to bring as many people as possible to salvation through Him.
A couple years ago, your leadership spent a large amount of time praying and talking about what we felt was the bottom-line purpose of Aberdeen Wesleyan.