Summary: It’s been said that the only person that likes change is a wet baby. This can be especially true in the church. This sermon explores the attitudes needed to successfully navigate through change.
March 16 – Standing on the East Side
Numbers 32:1-6, 19
One of my favorite movie lines comes from the classic "Cool Hand Luke" in which the Captain says "What we have here, is a failure to communicate."
Well, as we being I want to share with you an illustration on the need to communicate. And I would add that anyone who has ever dressed a child will appreciate this one.
It seems that one day a kindergarten teacher was helping one of her students put on his cowboy boots?
He asked for help and she could see why. Even with her pulling and him pushing, the little boots still didn’t want to go on. Finally, when the second boot was on, she had worked up a sweat. She almost cried when the little boy said, "Teacher, they’re on the wrong feet." She looked down and sure enough, they were.
It wasn’t any easier pulling the boots off than it was putting them on. But she managed to keep her cool as together they worked to get the boots back on - this time on the right feet. And it was only then that he announced, "These aren’t my boots."
She bit her tongue rather than scream, "Why didn’t you say so?" like she wanted to. And, once again she struggled to help him pull the ill-fitting boots off his little feet. No sooner had they got the boots off then he said, "They’re my brother’s boots. My Mom made me wear ’em today."
Stifling a scream, she mustered up the grace and courage she had left to wrestle the ill-fitting boots on his feet again. Helping him into his coat, she asked, "Now, where are your mittens?"
To which he replied, "I stuffed ’em in the toes of my boots."
The article ends by saying - Her trial starts next month.
Well, Communication is essentially important. Miscommunication or a failure to communicate will only bring difficulty and strain into our lives. And so with that in mind, I am stepping aside from the series that we are in concerning angels and demons and I am going to spend this morning addressing an issue that I feel needs to be communicated.
I had told someone a few weeks back that I was originally going to preach on the devil this morning and they told me, “You leave my mother-in-law out of this.” So I will.
But you will notice on the back of your bulletins an explanation of some of the changes that are taking place here at OCC in the near future.
We are transitioning to a third morning service and it was not an easy decision to come to and it will be challenging to some to adjust their schedules, but if we were going to continue to reach people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we had to make a decision to go forward with this change.
Now, every church expert in the world will tell you that when your sanctuary is 80% full and your parking lot is as well, that you will most likely experience a plateau in reaching new people.
We have been at the 80% for four or five months now and on any given Sunday you can drive into our parking lot and not find a single empty spot.
Now those are good problems to have. 90% of the churches in America would love to have those problems. The average church in North America, across denominational lines, grew by an average of 1 person from the year before. One. We have grown by over a hundred in the last seven months.
So the need is obviously there. Now, there may be some that say, why do we need to keep growing? And make no mistake, our mission here is not to grow, it is not to be a big church. Our mission is to reach lost people with the message of salvation, and you can never stop doing that and call yourself the church.
When churches settle, when they become content with the group they have, they have made the transition from a church to a club, and in doing so have lost their mission, their purpose and their power. We will not do that.
There are always more people out there that do not know Jesus, who are living with broken lives, broken dreams, hopeless futures, and as long as they are out there we need to do everything we can to reach them.
And that meant making a decision to, among other things, go to three services. It also means making personal decisions from each of us that we will be more involved then we have been. That we will sacrifice, we will be patient, we will adapt and be flexible and we will do it because the cause is so great, the rewards are so high, the ministry so important that it needs the sacrifice of each one of us.