Summary: What is the Church about? Why do we go to church? The Church has a mission, it has a goal. Jesus calls us to represent the kingdom of God. We are to be living messengers noted by Jesus prayer in Jn. 17: 23, "May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me."
Frances Chan is an amazing man. Loves Jesus, loves the Church, loves the lost, and has a powerful way of expressing it. I love it. So, some of what I will be sharing comes from his talks on the Mission of the Church.
I. Why have Church?
What is church? What’s church about?
- Church is not where we go, where we attend. Church is who we are.
A. Church is the family of God
- What does family mean to you? What is a family?
- Basically a social group, cluster of people related to each other.
Eg. Kinship, Community, People group, Church
- Church is a family 1 Jn. 3: 1, “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called
children of God! And that is what we are!
- We are children of God. As a church we are family.
- Eph. 3: 14-15, “For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom
his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name.
- Heb. 2:11, “Both the one who makes men holy and those who are
made holy are of the same family.”
- We are the family of God.
- Not only are we, the Penticton Nazarene Church a family, but every
person from every church and every region all over the world, in Christ
Jesus is also the family of God.
- How do we know that?
- We have been born again into the family of God through our acceptance
of the gospel and repentance in Christ Jesus.
- We have God’s seed in us, that is the Holy Spirit who lives in us.
- We are becoming more & more like Jesus, transforming into His likeness.
- And we carry the name of Jesus Christ calling ourselves Christians.
- Let’s come back to the question,
- Why have Church? Why do we meet together?
B. Church gathers to worship, fellowship together, disciple one another.
- Acts 2: 42-46, Worship, Fellowship, Discipleship.
1. Let’s start with worship. What is worship? In the corporate context?
What is worship when we gather as a church?
- Worship includes singing, silent reflection, prayer, scripture reading,
offering/ tithe, Communion, preaching, serving, and at times evangelism.
All of these are corporate acts of worship.
Fred Bittner describes corporate worship in this way, “Worship is anything
you do that declares the worth of the Lord, which deepens your
relationship with Jesus, and urges others to follow after him.”
- Great summary. In other words, worship is more of God and less of
me. Worship is about God and not me.
2. Fellowship. In the church context, what is fellowship?
- Webster’s Dictionary (a) companionship, united (b) a community of
interest, activity, feeling or experience, i.e., a unified body of people of
equal rank sharing in common interests, goals, and characteristics.
- In other words, Fellowship in the church context is talking about:
relationship we have with each other (personal interaction, communication),
a partnership (sharing, contributing, working together with each other),
- This speaks directly to what we see happening in our Act 2 passage.
3. The Church has a mission.
- In the context of Why Have a Church? The Church is on a mission.
- Matt. 28: 19-20, (Open Bible Read)
- Everything we’ve talked about, regarding the Church centers around Jesus
and the mission He’s given us.
- We can not carry on as a church without making this portion of
Scripture the key focus of our very purpose.
- This is the commission Jesus has give us, His Church.
- I’m going to make a shift here. Were going to take a new direction for the
time being. There’s a reason for it, because I want to make a point.
- Anyone here a Hockey fan? This doesn’t have to be about hockey. It can
be about any other team sport. But let me use hockey to make my point.
- Who was living here in Penticton 1953, 54, 55?
I’m going to talk about the Penticton Vee’s.
According to the Allan Cup Records the Vee’s played for the Allan Cup in 1953 and lost 4-1. However, the next year, 1954 the Vee’s won the Allan Cup Championship. But the story was not over for them. In 1955 the Vee’s were chosen out of all the Canadian teams to represent Canada in the World International Ice Hockey Championships. After winning the International Ice Hockey Federation Championship in 1954, the Russians were seen as the new dynasty of hockey power, and in the 1955 season the Vee’s were selected to represent Canada in the IIHF tournament. Well, nobody believed a team coming from a town just over 10,000 people, who basically grew apples and peaches, were even suitable for such a competition. After all, the Russians had a population of 200 million, of which they could choose their best team. But to the world’s surprise the Vee’s won all 8 IIHF games only allowing 6 goals against and scoring 66 goals, then beating Russia in the Championship game 5-0. It was a seemingly impossible feat, but they did it. They did it.