Summary: This sermon deals with the church's 5th year anniversary, but instead of casting a vision of what the church should do, the focus is on what the church should become.
What's Needed In The Next Five Years?
It was five years ago today that we came together to merge Glenville New Life Community Church together with Calvary Presbyterian Church to give birth to New Life At Calvary. Two weeks ago Pastor Kellie’s message told the story of how we came together, last week Pastor Toby preached on where we are today, and I was assigned the task of preaching on where we are headed for the next five years.
It is very easy to predict the future, but getting it right is a lot more difficult. Here are some predictions that were made about technology in the past:
1876: "The Americans have need of the telephone, but we do not. We have plenty of messenger boys." — William Preece, British Post Office.
1876: "This 'telephone' has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication." — William Orton, President of Western Union.
1903: “The horse is here to stay but the automobile is only a novelty – a fad.” — President of the Michigan Savings Bank advising Henry Ford’s lawyer, Horace Rackham, not to invest in the Ford Motor Company.
1946: "Television won't be able to hold on to any market it captures after the first six months. People will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night." — Darryl Zanuck, 20th Century Fox.
1955: "Nuclear powered vacuum cleaners will probably be a reality within 10 years." — Alex Lewyt, President of the Lewyt Vacuum Cleaner Company.
1959: "Before man reaches the moon, your mail will be delivered within hours from New York to Australia by guided missiles. We stand on the threshold of rocket mail." — Arthur Summerfield, U.S. Postmaster General.
1961: "There is practically no chance communications space satellites will be used to provide better telephone, telegraph, television or radio service inside the United States." — T.A.M. Craven, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) commissioner.
1966: "Remote shopping, while entirely feasible, will flop.” — Time Magazine.
1981: “Cellular phones will absolutely not replace local wire systems.” — Marty Cooper, inventor.
1995: "I predict the Internet will soon go spectacularly supernova and in 1996 catastrophically collapse." — Robert Metcalfe, founder of 3Com.
2005: "There's just not that many videos I want to watch." — Steve Chen, CTO and co-founder of YouTube expressing concerns about his company’s long term viability.
2006: "Everyone's always asking me when Apple will come out with a cell phone. My answer is, 'Probably never.'" — David Pogue, The New York Times.
2007: “There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share.” — Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO.
How many of you have had hopes and dreams for the future that did not turn out exactly as you had hoped they would? Our church today, does not look like what he had hoped and planned for five years ago. But how many of you know, God is still on the throne and God is still at work in our midst. When the children of Israel left Egypt, many of them would not have left if they had known where they were going to be in five years?
There are times when we want to do things for God and we want to try to make a difference for the kingdom of God, but God’s plans and our plans do not necessarily line up with each other even when we have good motives.
Acts 16:6-10 (NIV2011)
6 Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. 7 When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to. 8 So they passed by Mysia and went down to Troas.
Paul and his companions had wanted to preach the of God in the province of Asia, but the Holy Spirit would not allow them. They saw that they could make a difference in the lives of the people of Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to. I can remember the one ministry we really wanted to do and we got an overwhelming response for the congregation to do was to be a place of refuge for homeless women and children on Saturdays during the winter, but the Holy Spirit would not allow us to do that ministry. Although we had been told, we’d have a lot of people referred to us, not a single person was ever assigned over a period of three weeks. Somehow our vision and God’s plan just didn’t connect with each other and only the Lord knows why.
Paul and his friends were frustrated that they wanted to serve, but God was not allowing them to do so. Finally they got a sign from the Lord.