Summary: If we are to meet the challenge of reaching this culture, we need to be authentic people who possess at least 3 essentials.
Meeting The Challenge
“The Unspoken Essentials”
* Let’s begin this morning with repeating our 5 core beliefs. While some might know these, mom told me that ‘repetition was the mother of learning.’ (say)
* Turn your attention to #5, “The Local Church is the hope of the world.” How many words will it take to convince you that this world needs hope, that these United States is in a mess and needs help, and that even our community requires redemption?
* Have you ever simply sat and considered the implications of this core belief & how it should affect this congregation? Or maybe how this should affect you? Until the truths of God’s word affect me, it can never affect this body.
* Consider the expectations which our Lord has placed on us. Jesus’ words leave little room for debate that we are to live by the Great Command (James calls it the “Royal Law) and also by the Great Commission. Candidly, have you ever asked yourself (or Him) why? Why did Jesus convey to us that we were to be witnesses & examples? Did He just think we needed something to do? Or did He like to hear Himself talk? Perhaps He didn’t even mean it?
* He did mean it, He didn’t simply like to hear Himself talk, and He didn’t think we ‘needed’ something to do; WE ARE HIS PLAN A FOR GETTING OUT THE MESSAGE OF REDEMPTION & RECONCILIATION. We are it and if we don’t do it, chances are, it won’t get done and worse, we’ll stand accountable.
* But we KNOW this (as do all Bible-believing) people, yet, if we know this, why is it that so many know so little about so much (that is, spiritually speaking). Why is it that we live among a people who are eager to find spiritual answers but reluctant to look inside a local church for those answers? Honestly, the local church SHOULD BE where people look, so why are they?
* Today we continue with the series of messages, or better said, the “Call” to the task of “Meeting the Challenge.” Over the last weeks the call has been for us to ‘Be a Gamechanger’ which called us to pay attention to our finances & facilities. Last week, the call was to be a “People of Faith.” However, if we are to fulfill the Great Commission and make disciples of all men, we must face and meet the great challenge of a society which has been seemingly anesthetized to message of the church. How did this happen? What cause it? We will discover the answers in God’s word.
* Baby Boomers represent about 30% of today’s population. This causes all areas of society to take note of their likes and expectations. Lyle Schaller, an Illinois church consultant discovered these things: High-quality preaching, good music and social groups. Baby boomers also expect big meeting rooms, a quality kitchen, childcare, ample parking and clean rest rooms. I would say that we have at least some of those things. But guess what?
* The first century church had none of these & they grew at an exponential rate. Why is this? When scripture is taken collectively, there is 1 overriding quality which seemed to permeate the first century church. This attribute is practically seen in 4 characteristics, which is needed today.