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Summary: I preached this sermon to roll out the vision for the new year (2003)...Christ 1st

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January 5, 2003

Title: Vision 2003: Christ First

Text: 1 Corinthians 15:1-4

Introduction

On a flight to Chicago, the pilot announced that the takeoff had been

postponed due to mechanical failure.

Later, the flight attendant announced that everyone who was heading for Chicago was to remain on the

plane.

Forgetting that the intercom was still on, the pilot was overheard in the background...he said "Whoops!"

A minute later, the pilot headed down the aisle toward the rear exit ramp,

with his hat in one hand

and his briefcase in the other.

One of the passengers saw the pilot and asked him, "Where are you going?"

The pilot told him in a low voice, "Denver."

The passenger replied, "This plane’s not going to Denver. It’s going to Chicago!"

The pilot, with his face turning red, said, "I know, I’m on the wrong plane!"

(got this illustration from an email from www.stantoler.com)

Well, Happy New Year!!

2003 is here!

Did you ever wonder if you were going to make it?

At the beginning of a new year...

many people will engage in a process of setting goals for the new year....

new years resolutions....

promises made to themselves so that throughout the year,

they will grow

and improve

and become a better person.

This process isn’t limited to people....

businesses will look at their goals

and try to position their business so that it will have a successful year.

And I think there is value for us as a church to look at ourselves and make sure our focus is where it should be.

Here at the start of 2003

We want to make sure we are headed in the right direction....

we don’t want to be on the wrong plane-so to speak...

If that happens in the real world....

it simply means that we have wasted time and money in going the wrong way....

but in the spiritual sense....

If we don’t know what we are doing

If we don’t know what our mission is....

If we don’t have a vision for accomplishing that mission....

and we spend our time and energy going nowhere...

or even worse...

headed in the wrong direction

it has great spiritual ramifications.

If a business doesn’t understand its mission....

it won’t be very successful in business....

and it will impact their bottom line.

But if we as the church don’t understand our mission...

we won’t be very successful in our endeavors...

and that impacts where people will spend eternity!!

Our mission at Belleview Church of the Nazarene is...

Loving God...Reaching Families...Making Friends

Year by year, that won’t change much.

It relates back to:

The Great Commission to: "go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you." Matt 28:19-20 (NIV)

and the Great Commandment to: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ and ’Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these." Mark 12:30-31 (NIV)

All churches should have some kind of mission that relates to the Great Commission and Great Commandment.

Here at the beginning of a new year....

I want to cast a vision for us for 2003...

a vision that will help us achieve our mission of Loving God...Reaching Families...Making Friends.

a vision that I have prayed about...

a vision that the Lord has led me to as your pastor.

And as your pastor....I encourage you to embrace this vision for Belleview Church of the Nazarene for 2003.

Proverbs 29:18 says, "Where there is no vision, the people perish"

We as a church have to have a vision, or people will be lost

And the vision is contained in the words of our text...let’s stand together as we read from God’s Word.

Read 1 Corinthians 15:1-4

Let’s Pray

I want to especially focus on that 3rd & 4th verses, "what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures" 1 Cor 15:3-4 (NIV)

To put it simply....Christ First!

On the front of your bulletin, you will see the logo and summary of the vision.

As a part of the vision,

each month we will kick off a new emphasis....

a theme for each month....

and we will kick of the theme by "launching the shuttle"

No, we won’t really be launching a shuttle....

(unless one of you can figure out a way for us to do that...)

but around here....shuttle launches are pretty exciting.

Back in November, there was a night launch of space shuttle Endeavor.

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