Summary: God's purpose for us, unity, receivers or producers
THE MULTYPLYING COMMUNITY
(How all of us join together to fulfill god’s Purpose)
Oct. 2, 2011
I have to share with you I’m 51 years old…I became a Christian about 3 months before my 18th birthday, but I was raised in the church…I had a Christian foundation growing up….I was influenced by the Bible through Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, camp, home….I knew the books….most of the stories…I had a biblical view of life…
I’ve been involved in ministry, in one way or another since I was 18….sharing my testimony…working with students as an intern through college…for 33 years I’ve done ministry.
Early on when I was young I wanted to have great youth ministry programs…I wanted my children’s ministry to be filled with really fun activities…and even in my early days as Senior Minister I wanted to plan the right things, organize the right programs, do the right ministries.
So I went to a lot of seminars…I loved to attend conventions and other programs…and don’t get me wrong…they were wonderful…led by godly people with godly motives…I’m just not sure I had my head on straight.
Too many of us think we will change the world with innovative strategies…if we come up with a catchy name for our program…if we can organize an elaborate convention, program, foundation…if we get the biggest names and the well known speaker…we can draw the biggest crowds to the biggest events.
We will have the mega-success at the mega-convention and possible become Christ’s megachurch. But I’ve learned something in my old, stint riddled life lived Jesus utterly dependent self…
Jesus is so different from most of our success driven thinking….
He wandered through the streets and byways of Israel looking for a few men…don’t misunderstand what I’m saying…He wasn’t casual about it…like it wasn’t of eternal importance. But he knew his mission would involve a revolution…It would not revolve around the masses or the multitudes…It wasn’t a program…The world would be turned upside down by a few “Radical” followers..He carefully shunned titles, labels, plaudits and popularity in his plan to turn history on its ear….
What he wanted was a few men who would think as he did, love as he did, see as He did, teach as He did, and serve as He did…all He needed was to revolutionize the hearts of a few , and they would impact the world.
I. JESUS TOOK A GAMBLE
As Jesus prepared to go to the cross and die…he prays to the father…and He recounts His ministry in the world.
He begins: “I HAVE BROUGHT YOU GLORY ON EARTH BY COMPLETING THE WORK YOU GAVE ME TO DO.” (John 17:4)
And then He describes His work…and it’s shocking…he doesn’t list all the great sermons he’s preached, or the amazing lessons he’s taught…he doesn’t talk about the 1,0000’s that came to hear him…he doesn’t list the miracles he performed…he doesn’t even mention Lazarus or raising the dead…Instead…
He talks repeatedly about the small group of men God had given him out of the world…LISTEN, THEY WERE THE WORK GOD HAD GIVEN TO HIM”, they were quite literally…HIS! LIFE!
Look at the affection and the investment He has made in their lives. Look at what he says regarding his disciples in this prayer:
1. “I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world” (v6)
2. “I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them” (v8)
3. “While I was with them I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me” (v12)
4. “I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified” (v19)
Jesus lived for them. During His time on earth He spent more time with these 12 men than with anyone else.
How amazing is that when you really think about it? At the end of the Son of God’s time on earth he has staked everything on His relationships with 12 men. In the middle of this prayer he even mentions one of them is lost, Judas. So now it’s down to 11.
These 11 guys were the small group responsible for carrying on everything Jesus had begun. After His prayer in the upper room Jesus went to the cross and died there. Then He rose from the grave and appeared to these disciples.
After intentionally spending His life on earth with these 11 men Jesus tests them. “Now, you go do the same thing I did with you with others.”
Here is the church beginning, never ending, still viable, strategy of Jesus: Make disciples.
Here is a very important question:
II. What is the goal of the church?