Summary: We are to change the world.
various, beginning with Matthew 28:18-20
S: Purpose of Church
C: Making Disciples
Th: The Unstoppable Church
Pr: WE CHANGE THE WORLD.
TS: We will find in our study of Scripture three ways the church moves to change the world.
The ____ way we change the world is by
I. MAKING DISCIPLES (Matthew 28:18-20)
II. IMPACTING THE WORLD (Acts 1:8)
III. BEING ORGANIC (Acts 9:31)
PA: How is the change to be observed?
RMBC 05 June 05 AM
ILL Survive: Solitaire
Dan Richbart was teaching his Battalion about survival in the Alaskan wilderness.
"What are the three most important things you should bring with you in case you get lost alone in the woods?" he asked.
Several hands went up, and many important things were mentioned, such as water, matches, etc.
Then one young man in the back eagerly raised his hand.
"Yes, Dan Kaminksi, what are the three most important things you would bring?" asked Captain Dan.
Dan replied, "A compass, food, and a deck of cards."
"Why’s that, Dan?" the Captain inquired.
"The compass is to find the right direction, and the food is to maintain you during the rescue."
"And what about the playing cards, Dan?"
“Well, as soon as you start playing solitaire, someone always walks up behind you and says, ‘Put that red nine on top of that black ten!’”
Well, that’s one creative attempt at survival.
Most of us would probably consider survival a good thing.
But I desire to introduce to you this morning a different understanding of survival.
If the church’s purpose becomes to survive, we have lost our way.
I believe that the church is not designed to survive.
I believe that the church is designed to do much more than thrive.
In fact, I believe the church finds her strength and reason for being in service.
The church is designed to serve.
We are designed to make a difference in this world that is both revolutionary and transforming.
There is a time in the life cycle of a church that it is vulnerable.
Interestingly, it may not be when you think.
1. Churches decline when things are going well.
Success can become our enemy.
For when we are successful, there is a great pull to play it safe and stay where we are.
The problem, though, is that success is not attained by playing it safe.
It is attained with risk and innovation.
But when we become afraid to lose the success we have achieved, we abandon creativity in order to preserve what we have.
And you know what?
It doesn’t work.
In the name of being committed to the purpose of the church, we end up not doing so, for in action, we commit to the institution instead.
We stay with standardization over uniqueness.
We prefer predictability over surprise.
We covet comfort over service.
We choose convenience over sacrifice.
And because we have chosen preservation, we close ourselves to the outside world (unless they agree to come in and be just like us).
ILL Church: hut is where I used to go
A man was stranded on the proverbial deserted Pacific island for years. Finally one day a boat comes sailing into view, and the man frantically waves and draws the skipper’s attention. The boat comes near the island and the sailor gets out and greets the stranded man.
After awhile the sailor asks, ’What are those three huts you have here?"
“Well, that’s my house there."
“What’s that next hut?" asks the sailor.
"I built that hut to be my church."
“What about the other hut?"
"Oh, that’s where I used to go to church."
We are a bit finicky, aren’t we?
It is interesting how we view church as something that should satisfy us according to our likes and dislikes.
Each one of us needs to be confronted by this (me included).
When we fall into that type of thinking, we so much miss the point, because…
2. The church is not about customer service.
Too often (and once would be too often), I have been told, or it has been insinuated, that I should take the church the way they want it to go, or else they are going elsewhere.
This is a real problem for the American church.
It is too easy to pick up and leave.
Whenever something happens a person doesn’t like, it is too easy (please forgive this overused metaphor) to “pick up your toys up and go home.”
So, if you are looking for me as a pastor to do what a pastor is supposed to according to the way you think it should be done, either you or I are in the wrong place.
If you are looking for me to satisfy you as a person, either you or I are in the wrong place.