Summary: Why can’t people help but say "I love this place" It is because of our purpose and strategy. This message deals with why we exist as a church.
“I Love this Place” part 1
(The Power of Purpose)
Brian A. Moon
One of golf’s immortal moments came when a Scotchman demonstrated the new game to President Ulysses Grant.
Carefully placing the ball on the tee, he took a mighty swing. The club hit the turf and scattered dirt all over the President’s beard and surrounding vicinity, while the ball placidly waited on the tee.
Again the Scotchman swung, and again he missed. Our President waited patiently through six tries and then quietly stated, "There seems to be a fair amount of exercise in the game, but I fail to see the purpose of the ball.
A lot of time, effort and energy is put into making Sunday Nights here something that makes you say, “I love this place!” But from time to time we need to stop and remember what the purpose of this is all about. When you’re up to your neck in alligators, it’s difficult to keep your mind on the fact that your primary objective is to drain the swamp. When you put so much time into investing in your friend’s lives and inviting them, and giving up time to serve in this ministry, and you are in the middle of planning and preparing for Sunday nights and so forth… It is easy to lose sight of why we even do all this. Why do we spend so much time on things like PowerPoint and drama’s and cutting edge music and video’s why do I spend hours preparing a carefully crafted message?
The answer lies in our purpose statement, which for some of you it might be familiar, and for others this might be a totally new thing. It goes like this, we exist to: Become a community of people committed to Loving Up, Reaching Out, and Sharpening Within.
Say that with me, To become a community of people committed to Loving Up, Reaching Out, and Sharpening Within. (One more time)
When we were laying the groundwork for this group we knew that it had to be something different, we had to be able to scratch where people itched. If we were to reach people that were closed to and skeptical of this God thing then we had to be very purposeful at what we did. Think of our purpose as a rudder on a giant ship.
The rudder is a very small part of the ship, but without it, it would have no way to navigate through the sea. Every wind that blew, every new current would take the ship off of its desired course. But with a rudder you can sail through the winds and through all the currents and get to that island you are heading for. There were some guys in the Bible who had this down, they had a clear purpose in mind and they were driven by that purpose. They were the men of Issachar and the Bible says they were,
“…Leaders who understood the times and knew what Israel should do. 1 Chronicles 12:32 God’s Word
Having a clear purpose is a must to be able to know what the right thing to do is. So tonight as we begin a new series called “I Love this Place” we are going to look into our purpose statement and make sure we know what it means. The worst thing that could happen is we get down the road from here and have people say, “Remember the good ole’ days?” We want to always be able to honestly say “I Love this Place!” So the first action in our purpose statement is:
If I were to ask you what Christianity was all about in one word what would you say? You might say things like obedience, or service, or morality, and all those are a part of it but the real answer, The real reason that you were even created in the first place is love, love for God. We call this love for God worship.
Neil Marten, a member of the British Parliament, was once giving a group of his constituents a guided tour of the Houses of Parliament. During the course of the visit, the group happened to meet Lord Hailsham, then Lord Chancellor, wearing all the regalia of his office. Hailsham recognized Marten among the group and cried, "Neil!" Not daring to question or disobey the "command," the entire band of visitors promptly fell to their knees!
A lot of people think that is what worship is like, God sits up on his high throne and when he speaks we automatically fall to the ground. But true worship is about a relationship, a love relationship with God.
Jesus said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” Matthew 22:37 NIV