Summary: At the outset of a new year it is helpful to be reminded of who we are as God’s church and what we are to be about doing. This introduction to the book of Ephesians provides just such a reminder!

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What Will We Be in 2003?

Ps. 90:12; intro to Ephesians

Focus: At the beginning of a new year, we must be reminded of our purpose as a church to

not become distracted- much of what Paul does to encourage the church in Ephesians.

Function: To encourage the Washington St. church as Paul does the Ephesians by

reminding us who we are and what we are to be doing.

Opener: I hope everyone had a Merry Xmas and Happy New Year! We had a great time with our family over the holidays. Christmas is especially fun when its your kid’s first Christmas! This year the whole family gathered around David (as we propped him up on some pillows) to see what he would do with the presents. He loved the ribbons & bows & boxes, but really didn’t do much with the presents. At 5 months old, he’s getting really good at sitting up UNLESS he gets distracted! Then, its over he goes! With a big brother around, there’s always something to distract you!

Distractions are all around us all the time, aren’t they?

• How many of you have blown that 2 yard put because we became


• Sometimes distractions can be just a little annoying . . . a child

whining at you while you’re trying to talk to someone on the phone.

• Sometimes distractions can cause you to lose a round of golf; or the

basketball game;

• But sometimes distractions can be downright dangerous! Last

summer Congress took up legislation to discourage the use of cell

phones while driving. I don’t know if more laws are the answer, but I

know of one research report out of Great Britain has shown that

drivers are four times more likely to be distracted while driving if they

are talking on their mobile phones.

I bring up “Distractions” today because of where we are as a church family.

• It has been a wonderful 2002 for Washington St! If you were here on

Wed. Walter mentioned just a few of the many blessings that God has

given us over the past year.

• God is truly at work and doing amazing things!

• I said as I began preaching here just last December, that I believed

God had big plans for the future for this church family and I believe

that we’re beginning to see some of those plans come about. . . . and

that’s what worries me!

• I am concerned that we might allow various “distractions” to take our

eyes off of our focus . . Seeking, Serving and Sharing Jesus Christ!

There are positive distractions . . .

• As we move into 2003, there are many questions still ahead of us.

“How much is this new building going to cost?”; “What will be

expected of me?”; “How will we use this facility?”

• The danger with ANY building program can be that it has the potential

to consume all of our energies and focus as a church – and I’m so

glad that the Elders are committed to NOT let that happen here!

• We NEED this building; It IS a PRIORITY! We’re excited about it and

are just thrilled at the progress that the Finance Committee is making

– it will be a great tool for this church’s mission, BUT we’re committed

that it NOT become the ONLY goal or focus.

• So, as we talk more and more about the building in the coming

months- let us remember not to let this consume our every thought

and hinder us from the work of ministry!

There are Negative Distractions . . .

• I know, because I’ve seen it happen, that when a church is on fire for

the Lord and about the business of the kingdom, SATAN doesn’t like

it! And you can bet that he’ll begin attacking!

• I expect Satan to attack this church in the coming months; as he

always does when God’s people are about God’s business!

• But we can’t allow this to take our eyes off of what it is we are to be

about as God’s church!

So, as we begin 2003, I want us to ask 5 very important questions to help us

maintain our focus . . .

I. Will we be anchored in God’s Word?

A. When I began my ministry here last December I began

preaching through the book of John, because I not only

wanted to anchor my ministry in the life & teachings of Jesus

from the very beginning– I also wanted to anchor it firmly and

deeply in God’s Word!

1. Folks, I’m not smart enough to stand before you

each week and give you spiritual direction or

ANYTHING ELSE for that matter that might be

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