Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Sermon Outline - The Destination Manifesto

- In 1972 Yogi Berra was on the way to the Baseball Hall of Fame, his wife and three of his sons were in the car with him. And somehow he managed to get lost and they all started giving him a hard time, and here is how he responded, “we’re lost but we’re making good time!”
- Obviously it does no good to make good time when you don’t know your destination.
- Yet this is how many churches live - we make sure we’re busy doing all kinds of good things but there is no plan, no destination. So we are never able to know if we’re going in the right direction or if we’re really accomplishing our calling.
- So my goal today is to share with you what my conviction is in regards to our destination. What I think we should be heading toward.
- In the broadest sense we are called to grow into a healthy church. And I think this means that if we are spiritually healthy we will be spiritually mature, we will be ministering to one another, and we will be a missionary church.
- Yet if this is to be true of us as a church it must first be true of as individuals, so our destination is a church where every member is mature, every member is a minister, and every member is a missionary.

Every Member Mature - Romans 8:29
- There is simply no getting around the truth that it is God’s plan that we are to conformed to Christ’s image - The calling of every Christian is to be like Jesus.
- What does it mean for us to be like Jesus - I think this means a lot of things, such as sacrifice, or love, but I think the dominant idea is that of holiness and devotion to the Father.
- This is the goal we are aiming at - we must keep this goal in mind so that it can guide us in our decision making.
- We keep Jesus’ holiness as a mental image always in our minds and then when each decision comes we must decide what will help me become more like Jesus and what will lead me away.
- So you see we are not just deciding between good and evil things, but more often between the good and the best.
- So must set our priorities and stick to them - not legalistically but with the hope of becoming like Jesus.
- We need to make investments toward mature Christ-likeness - primarily this means a commitment to the Word, to Prayer, and to the church.
- These are continual investments we must make.
- And there are always excuses about why we are not doing what we should be doing, I’ve been a Pastor long enough now to see them for what they are - excuses.
- We must invest in Christ-likeness, so make a time daily to read the word and pray and let nothing keep you from it, commit to not only coming to church but getting involved in the life of the church, if you do not do these things, you will never be Christ-like.

Every Member a Minister - Ephes. 4:12
- Look carefully at who is doing what - the pastors and teachers are doing the equipping.
- Now look at who is doing the work of the ministry - the saints. Now these are not the ones in New Orleans or the even the really super spiritual people - every Child of God is a saint.
- So we are all called to do the work of the ministry - its not just for me and the deacons.
- So what does this mean - here in Eph 4 the target is the building up of the body of Christ, this means that we must be investing in our fellow Christians.
- Lets look at Acts for a moment to see what that looks like.
- They were giving to the poor Christians
- They were taking care of the widows and orphans
- They were caring for one another
- We are called to a similar concern for our fellow church members

Every Member a Missionary - Acts 1:8
- Who is the mission for - the disciples only - certainly not, the call is too big.
- Well how about church leaders then - not only does he not say this but once again the call is too big
- Well who then is it for - it is for all Christians - look at who gets the Holy Spirit and for what reason - all those who receive the Spirit are called to be witnesses - which means that every blood bought child of God is called to be a witness.
- It also means that everyone of us is a missionary - you just didn’t know it. We are all called to be witnesses in our location, sometimes calls us to leave our locations and go to new locations - but the call is still the same - be a witness where you are.
- This will change how we live - if we wake everyday and realize that we have been called to be a witness for Jesus that day, well that will change how we talk over the water cooler, how we conduct ourselves on breaks or at the store.
- The question is not whether we are missionaries or not, but rather whether we are good missionaries or not.

- A boy went out to his backyard with his bow and arrow and began firing arrows but it looked strange to his dad from the window. So he went out to see what the boy was doing. He would fire an arrow and then go draw a bull’s-eye around where it landed.
- He never missed.
- Unlike the little boy we now have a target, we know what we are aiming at, so lets take aim and strive with all that we are and become the Church and Christians that we are called to be.
- So everyday we need to get up and preach to ourselves - today I must invest in maturity, today I must be a minister, today I must be a missionary. If we do not do this we will never be the church we are called to be, never reach our destination.

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