Summary: A vision-casting 4 part series on our core values as a church. This sermon is about being the church by reaching the lost.
What Are We Made Of?
The DNA of Millville Avenue
Part 4: Outward
Icebreaker: What if the Church didn’t exist? What would the world be like? Imagine that with me for just a moment. Now, I’m going to ask you the most important question anyone could ask our church: What would Hamilton be like if our church didn’t exist? What would this neighborhood be like if Millville Avenue Church of God didn’t exist? Now, here’s a sobering question: would anybody notice? If suddenly we were forced to shut the doors of this place and never meet again, would the city notice? Would people in this community weep? Or simply shrug their shoulders?
Intro: I’m not going to pull any punches with you this morning. The answer to that question will determine whether or not our church is still here in another 20 years. The answer to that question will determine if our church is going to reach our God-given potential. The answer to that question will determine if we are fulfilling the Great Commission.
-And as we consider that question, I want you to know something: you choose how the question is answered. And how you choose to answer that question will determine the destiny of our congregation. What kind of church will we be? Are we going to focus inwardly? Are we going to be primarily concerned with being comfortable and having our needs met? Or are we going to focus outwardly? Are we going to be primarily concerned with winning our community and city to Jesus? We stand at a crossroads. Which destiny will we embrace?
-I hope it’s the one described in this statement:
The mission of the Millville Avenue Church of God is to help people know God, to grow people into fully devoted disciples of Jesus, and to equip people to go impact their world for Christ.
-Let’s read that together.
-Last week, we talked about the importance of being a fully devoted disciple of Jesus and how we can move people from “convert,” to “disciple.” Today’s focus is the 3rd and final part of the mission statement I’d like for you to embrace for our church:
Today’s Focus: “To equip people to go impact their world for Christ.”
-So this morning I’d like to introduce you to core values 5 and 6 for our church. And I want to challenge you to embrace these values in your own life:
Core Values #5 and #6
Value #5: Every believer is gifted to serve as the Church. (1 Corinthians 12:4-14)
Statement: Now, that statement may sound confusing. You might be thinking, what do you mean, “serve as the Church.” What it means is that you are the Church. The Church is not a building or a service or a meeting place. It’s you. It’s us, together. We are the Church. We are the vessel that God has chosen to use to convey His love to the world.
-That should make you feel good about yourself! God has chosen to use you to let the world know how much He loves them. He’s given you certain gifts to use for His glory. Some people call them talents or abilities, but we’ve all got them. We all have certain things that we’re just naturally good at. Here’s how Paul describes them in 1 Corinthians:
Scripture: 1 Corinthians 12:4-14
“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men. 7Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines. 12The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. 13For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14Now the body is not made up of one part but of many.
-I want you to pay special attention to verse 7: 7Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.
-“To each one.” That means everybody in this room. Not just a few. Not just most of us. “To each one” of us. To each one of us God has given gifts to use for the common good.