Summary: A message explaining why we decided to plant a church. This can be adapted to show why we need to change formats, names, etc.
An old fisherman used to amaze all the locals with how many fish he was able to catch. It didn’t matter what the weather was like, or how much other fishermen were able to catch, he always caught more than anyone else.
The stories became legend, and soon reached the local game warden. He showed up one morning just as the old fisherman was getting ready to put his boat in the water and told the fisherman he was going with him. The fisherman looked up, and told the warden to get in the boat.
Once they were in the middle of the lake, the old fisherman took a stick of dynamite, lit it, and threw it overboard. A few seconds later there was a huge blast that blew a 20’ high fountain in the water near them, and then hundreds of stunned fish floated to the top. The fisherman leisurely grabbed his net and began scooping them up.
The old game warden was in near hysteria. He yelled out to the fisherman that he couldn’t do that because it was illegal. The fisherman looked over at the game warden, and then without a word took another stick of dynamite, lit it, threw it in the warden’s lap and said, “You gonna just sit there or are you gonna fish?”
There are many times in our lives when we have to make a choice to either keep sitting there or start fishing. Not long ago, God set in motion a sequence of events that led a group of people to decide it was time to get up and go fishing. They did so, and the result was a church plant called CrossRoads Church.
Today is just the sixth service in our new church and much has already happened. Each of the first three services saw people coming forward to join this church; during our time of invitation we have seen nearly a dozen make the decision to rededicate their lives to the Lord; we have already made this church a meeting place for a local girl scout troop; and there is something else that has happened that I have never seen in a new church before.
Every single person who has chosen to become a part of CrossRoads Church has taken a Godly ownership in this church and they have become more excited and on-fire for God than they have ever been before. This is being shown in people who have been faithful in attending other churches for many years.
What is the difference? Shouldn’t this be just another small new church? Well, on one hand it would have been, but there are always other reasons, aren’t there?
We planted this church because we have …
1. A DESIRE TO SERVE
I mentioned that some of us have sat in church for many years and that was the end-result; we just sat there. When a Christian who loves the Lord is inactive and cannot serve, there is discontent and emptiness that grows in his heart. There is a verse I quote frequently.
‘Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what is says.’
Christians need to be working for God in some capacity. In the Old Testament, we find the story of how Elisha became an apprentice to the prophet Elijah. Elisha had a desire in his heart to serve God. One day he was out plowing the fields with his team of oxen and the prophet Elijah came and threw his cloak around young Elisha. Here is how Elisha reacted.
‘Elisha then left his oxen and ran after Elijah. “Let me kiss my father and mother good-by,” he said, “and then I will come with you.”
“Go back,” Elijah replied. “What have I done to you?”
‘So Elisha left him and went back. He took his yoke of oxen and slaughtered them. He burned the plowing equipment to cook the meat and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out to follow Elijah and became his attendant.’
Elisha had a heart to serve the Lord and be active within the Kingdom of Heaven. Those who started this church had the same heart. They craved to serve God, and God wanted them to serve. So as Elisha left his past to begin anew, these fine folks left their past to begin anew, too.
All of us know we are supposed to serve God, but how many of us get tripped up because there are things in the world around us that keep grabbing our attention? How many times has our focus on Jesus been distracted because we were so focused on something of this world? All of us have had that happen to us. But what does God say about our desire for other things?