Summary: Spiritual reproduction is the natural outcome of a people with right priorities.
YOU DO THE MATH
C: Purpose of the Community
Th: A People with Purpose
Pr: SPIRITUAL REPRODUCTION IS THE NATURAL OUTCOME OF A PEOPLE WITH RIGHT PRIORITIES.
The ____ priority…
II. WORSHIP [AWE]
IV. GRACE [GENEROSITY]
PA: How is the change to be observed?
• Understand the mission [mind].
• Feel as Jesus did [heart].
• Live and speak the good news [hand].
RMBC 05 February 06 AM
Who will be rooting for Pittsburgh?
Who will be rooting for Seattle?
How many wonder what the hype is all about?
I do believe, if you look hard enough, that something so temporal and unimportant as football can have a larger, and even eternal significance.
ILL Church: THE FIRST CHURCH OF FOOTBALL
In a never-ending effort to attract the unchurched, some churches have considered translating their unfamiliar terminology into familiar football phrases. For example:
What most people put into the offering plate so it looks like they are giving.
Usually during the offertory when at least 14 people decide they need to use the restroom.
Leaving before the benediction.
A parent moving between two teens in the pew to halt the flow of notes back and forth during the sermon.
Asking that "new couple" to sing in the choir, work in the nursery, serve on a committee, join a Bible study, and teach the middle schoolers before they get away.
Since the beginning of the year, we have been using Acts 2.42-47 as our backdrop for our theme of the year, which is…
1. We are to be a people with purpose (Acts 2.42-47).
Collectively, as a people, as a church, we are to recognize that we possess purpose.
Not only do we possess it, we are to act on it.
Consider once again this text in Acts 2…
And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.
I have never been in a church that does not consider itself a friendly church.
But I have been to some that were not friendly.
They probably thought they were open, but they were definitely more closed than open.
Churches often try to be open by having welcoming sayings.
I checked the phone books yesterday to see what local places were saying.
The first place said, “A warm welcome awaits you” (that was ours).
Another place said, “Open hearted, Open minded.”
And another church said, “Preparing You for Success in Life.”
In another area of the country, two churches were obviously competing with one another.
The first church’s slogan was, “Where everybody is somebody, and Jesus Christ is Lord.”
In response to that, the second church wrote, “Where Jesus Christ is everything and everyone else is a nobody.”
Well, though there is something of right thinking in the latter when we compare our person with God’s, I am hopeful someone discovered the lack of effectiveness in stating it that way publicly.
Generally speaking, as churches, we do not think through what we are doing to reach people.
It doesn’t mean we don’t think about how we are doing church.
We will speak of and study methods and techniques, but when we do so, we usually speak in terms of what we want or how we want things to be.
We all do this.
Everyone of us.
This is why I continue to be excited about our working with Natural Church Development.
It is pointing us toward being a healthy, reproducing church, if we are willing to go there.
ILL Church: where are you going?
Someone said that if you were to ask the average church member the question, “Where is your church going?” they would say something like, “Going, why we’re not going anywhere. We’ve been at the corner of First and Main for forty years!”
Well, we know we should be going somewhere as a church.
And we will, when…
2. We have our priorities right.
That passage in Acts we just read is about a church that has its priorities right.
The Christian faith was a day-to-day reality, not a once-a-week routine.