My Service 1. Taking Back Sunday
Key Text: 1 Corinthians 12:27
I want us to start a conversation among ourselves about firstly what are we doing here? And secondly is it working?
The Statistics coming out the States are frightening; and I don’t thing that they are much better here. But it seems like the church is becoming more and more irrelevant within the world she finds herself in.
And so we need to be honestly and realistically asking ourselves the question; why are we doing church here in Wilro park (i.e. why does Wilro Park exist)? And what are we doing in church here (is the ministry that I have in this church effective)?
The challenge I am giving to you this evening is great; and will call you out of your comfort zones. But it is a call of God a desire to reach the nations with His love and His grace!
Beyond that nothing else really matters!
So with that in mind let’s look at why are you in church tonight? To answer that please turn with me to 1 Corinthians 12:27. I want to blow your mind right from the get go; you are not here to listen to a sermon and you are not here to sing songs!
You are here (or you should be here) to honour/worship God through serving His body the church.
That alone is the most important thing you can get tonight!
But if you are there lets read
Each one of you is part of the body of Christ; when reading a passage like this we have to ask who was Paul taking to when he wrote this.
From the get go it was not the leaders of the church; it was not the pastors it was to everyone in the church!
We are all the body of Christ and each of us belong to it!
The implication of this are profound in local church!
You who sit here – if you believe in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour – have been called to local church. In fact the New Testament calls you the body church.
The reality is that:
You are the body
The illustration of a body is an interesting one. It definitely gives us clarity to our purpose and reason for having church and for you being here in church tonight.
The thing about a body is that it is an organic mass of different parts that vitally need one another. And that is what you are here tonight.
This church here at Wilro Park; together with every other service that happens here shares oneness with each other. And you who sit here are dependent upon the person who is sitting next to you.
The issues is we might not function like that.
Often we function like a show more than a body; I’m going to worship (I hope the band is good tonight). Or I’m going to church I hope the sermon is inspiring.
If that is the sole reason for us coming to church we have missed it.
You should be coming to church saying I wonder what God is going to do through me tonight!
I need to make some things absolutely clear tonight: as a believer in Jesus Christ…
You have a place in this church
God has called you here and there is stuff that He want you to do; stuff that you are specially wired to do. He calls the church together and gives it gifts so that we can work together as a whole bringing about His good work in the world!
I don’t know how to make this more absolutely clear to you (because it is vital that you get this); you have a very special place here in this church.
And that place is not to be sitting in chairs passive and uninvolved.
It is ministry here!
Let me ask you to start thinking; what is my ministry here at Wilro Park?
You need to be figuring that out and if you don’t know; chat to anyone of the leaders we can find ministry for you to get involved in.
The reality is that this church is your church; how are you building it up to become all it can be to glorify God.
The pastors cannot build the church; only God can through each and every one of us finding our place here can we build up the church of God and make it relevant to the world around us.
You don’t only have a place you specifically…
You are called here
That might sound weird but God calls us to church; to particular church.
And God want you to love that church as much as you love Him and the church at large!
Why because the church is the bride of Christ; so if you don’t love the church it’s kind of like having a best friend who is married and you are like; he Dave I like you but would it be okay if you like didn’t see you wife anymore she bugs me.
That friendship wouldn’t go anywhere would it?
No we are called to love the church we are called to give our lives for the church because the one we love our saviour Jesus Christ loves the church!
Because you belong here and are called here and because you are called to love the Church of Christ;
You are Responsible
God will ask you what you did here. Have you ever thought that one day; Jesus might ask you what did you do for my bride? Where you faithful in the ministry that I gave you!
That is an awesome and scary thought!
You might be saying I’m going to be responsible for my walk surely. However, the more I read the New Testament the more I am convinced that this simply isn’t the case.
The New Testament has this idea that your relationship with Christ (your personal walk is intimately and inseparably connected to your walk and relation to others specifically the church)
So much so that the idea of a Christian with a church is not so much a weird thing to the writers of the New Testament it is an impossible thing.
John the Apostle writes in 1 John 4:20
Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.
This is where you have been called to and so you will be held accountable for the work done here. God desires for you to get involved and connected.
You need to be asking yourself how can I grow the kingdom of God here? I can I get involved?
The thing is this will cost you and force you out of your comfort zones; but God has given you this to do; and from personal testimony there is no greater mission to give yourself to; there is nothing more significant nor more important!
Beyond all that has been said
You are Family
This church that has been called by God together is one family.
It is a family that is called to love each other in crazy ways and serve each other so that the mission (which is to make the love of God known) can go on even when we are done here.
And this family that God has called together is God’s only plan. He does not have a plan b.
So I wonder how things would change if we actually saw this as our family.
You family you can’t pick and choose; you are stuck together; and that is a good thing because it teaches you to love people; not because they are like you but because they are family.
We have been placed, called, stuck together as a family that is poised in this dark world as a light to it.
This family here at Wilro Park is God’s plan a,b,c,to z to Wilro Park.
The church is what God will use to change our world.
So I want you to start dreaming again; to start stressing yourself out for the sake of this mission!
Ask yourself what is it that God is calling me to do here in this mission field; this family this church?
Because this here what we have is what God wants to use.
So in light of this we have to ask:
So how do we respond?
What is MY next step?
Lets ask what do we do with this? Well I believe we have to start becoming focused on our (and by our I mean all of our) roles here.
We have to again see this as our church the mission field that God has called us to. And we have to start thinking together working together praying together to see what it is that God want to do with us together!
I simply cannot say what God wants to do with this group of people here; we have to discover that together!
We have to start getting excited at the idea that God might want to use Sunday nights to change our world! (I say that because you are here; and I hope that you see this as your service).
Your next step it to take ownership of this service! To ask yourself honestly and deeply what is my role here! What am I doing here!
And if you don’t know; pray!
You need to make this service a place where God moves; not the worship team; not the preacher; you! You are the Church!
So with all the love I can say this with and with all the urgency I can communicate! You have to start being the Church together!
And so we don’t lose this with a week of not talking about it; I want to take the time to ask this question;
Where do WE go from here?
I want us to have a conversation; right now; where to from here? How are we going to take Sunday nights (or whatever service you feel is your service (and if it is all three then do that!)) and take it back; so that it is a place where we all come together to serve one another in love so that the world will know that God is here!