You Have Been Sent!
Last week while I was off I had the opportunity to be introduced to Exit0 Ministries…
*Tell the story of “Meatball”
*VERY troubling – both the socio-economic situation, but ESPECIALLY the spiritual situation he and others at Exit0 are in…
I appreciate Mark preaching last week…
I have heard that you had the opportunity to hear him speak on being troubled…
As he was being prepared to preach that message, I was being prepared at Exit0 to follow-up on it…
We all have things which cause us to be troubled (family situations, financial, etc)
This morning, I stand before you as one who is troubled… Troubled by the state of our neighborhood…
You see: our neighbors are lost…
Evidences: Strip clubs, over-abundance of liquor stores, crime, etc
Does that trouble you??? (Go in-depth with questioning)
St. James Church sits right in the midst of a large group of people who need an Epiphany from the Lord Himself…
Will you deliver His message?
Do you understand that YOU personally have been sent to do so?
Background of our text this morning:
*Post-Resurrection of Jesus
*Religious leaders of the day had paid the soldiers from the tomb to lie about Jesus’s resurrection and say that His dead corpse had been stolen by His followers while they slept on the job.
AND THEN, we come to what is known as THE GREAT COMMISSION
(which I know Mark referred to in his message last week)
Matthew 28: 16 – 20
YOU have been sent to share the Good News:
*Apostles & the new church in Acts acted under Jesus’s sovereign authority, power, & guidance…
When is the last time YOU healed the sick (on your own)?
When is the last time YOU controlled your own circumstances?
Neither will you share the Good News about Jesus and His salvation on your own!
Warren Wiersbe says:
“Since Jesus Christ today has all authority, we may obey Him without fear. No matter where He leads us, no matter what circumstances we face, He is in control. By His death and resurrection, Jesus defeated all enemies and won for Himself all authority.”
In Jesus, YOU have ALL AUTHORITY, ALL POWER, ALL the GUIDANCE OF JESUS HIMSELF to carry out the task to which He has called YOU!
AND, you have the promise that this One with ALL authority will ALWAYS be with you!!!
YOU have been sent to share the Good News:
While you GO!
*Greek verb translated “go” is not actually a command, but is a present participle meaning “while you are going.”
This is a game-changer!!!
Your job is not to identify more people for the preacher to go talk to!
Your job is not to recruit more church members, gain more givers for the church, get more people involved in more events, etc, etc!
You have been sent to MAKE DISCIPLES while you go!
While you live your everyday lives, you are to be consciously making disciples.
A disciple, in the Biblical sense, is not a convert or church member.
A disciple might rightly be looked at as an APPRENTICE.
While you live your everyday life, the Lord wants you to have your eyes open to opportunities to take others under your wing and teach them His ways.
(Examples: your children, co-workers, the young lady who scans your milk & bread at Kroger, etc, and so on…)
This is the true nature of the church: Believers calling others into believing through the everyday events of life! NO PROGRAM CAN DO THAT!
As you live the Christian life with other people, taking those who are receptive under your wing, you will inevitably have opportunities to assimilate them into the family of God.
Hence, Jesus’s talk of baptizing (which is the Lord’s chosen symbol for assimilation into His family by way of life-giving relationship with Christ)…
AND, as one is assimilated into the family of God, whether it be one who is born into a Christian home and baptized as an infant OR one who experiences the new birth as an adult and is baptized, YOU are responsible for teaching them the Way of Jesus.
Live your life and as you go, make apprentices for the Lord Jesus Christ!
YOU have been sent to share the Good News by the One who has ALL authority, and He will NEVER, EVER leave you as you make apprentices for Him!
Now that we have talked about what Jesus has called us to do & why, you are probably thinking, “Well, that is great, but HOW in the world do I do that?”
For the next 5 weeks, we are going to do a series called POP, which is going to help us glean 5 principles which will help us be a church that multiplies and reproduces – individual Christ-followers making disciples and apprentices out of our family, friends, and those whom the Lord gives us to influence.
This series will be gleaned from the truths of God’s Word in Luke 10 & Matthew 10.
1) Practice of Prayer
2) Pockets of People
3) Power of Presence
4) Person of Peace
5) People of Purpose
I am on this journey with you. In the coming weeks, I will be sharing about some of my personal experiences in trying to change my mind-set and be more intentional in sharing Jesus with those in our community.
I am going to be challenging you as individuals: challenging you to be intentional in your relationships, to pray, to reach out to your family members who should be walking with Jesus and are not, to look for opportunities amidst the mundane to share Jesus, to do the work of ministry, to see yourself as a Christian worker & evangelist.
As a church, I am going to challenge you: to look at your prayer, to more intentionally engage your community, to remove barriers which may misrepresent the Jesus of the Bible, to become a church that plants other churches, TO BECOME VERY TROUBLED OVER THE LOST AROUND US.
I have actually begun this process: Just this past Tuesday, I challenged our church council to begin having our monthly meetings in a public venue; to pick one restaurant where we will meet and do the business of the church, all the while engaging our community with the Good News.
I am on this journey with you, and I will challenge you as the Lord continues to trouble be and challenge me…
I will do this because:
1) I must be faithful to lead in the way the Lord is leading me by His Word.
2) He loves you & wants you to heed His call to be involved in His work.
3) St. James Church is meant to be more than a meeting place.
4) Jesus died for you, me, and those in our neighborhood.
Imagine your life when you are living for Jesus, engaging the least & the lost with the Good News.
Imagine your life when you are troubled more over the eternal state and spiritual desperation of the prostitute on the corner than you are about remodeling your bathroom.
Imagine St. James Church when we prioritize rapidly starting more churches to reach more people with the Good News over hiring more staff, having more programs, or doing more to serve ourselves.
Imagine… Imagine each of us living like we were created to live – Living to glorify Jesus, making disciples for Him!
St. James Church: YOU have been sent – Make disciples as you go!
In the coming weeks, I believe the Lord is going to POP our bubble, our way of doing ministry.
Are you ready to learn and grow from His Word by His Spirit in our series, POP?