My Money where My Mouth is 3.
The Church Investment
Key Text: John 4:30-38
So tonight we are going to talk about church. I love church. I love the idea of the church; and mostly I love this church.
I want to address why the church should grow; and more importantly why you should be completely and utterly stuck into church.
If you have your Bibles please turn to John 4:30-38.
While you are turning there we have been going through a series called "my money where my mouth is" for the last few weeks. Looking at why we don’t get the results we want because we are invested in the wrong things.
Tonight I want to address the issue of church; why don’t we have the church we want. I will answer quickly; you are invested in the wrong idea and practice of church. I will explain what I mean over the course of tonight.
But before we get there let's read John 4:30-38. This passage happens right after Jesus chats to the woman at the well.
Now there is a lot in this passage but what I want to focus on is the fact that Jesus satisfaction; his reward did not come from consumption but from doing the will of the one who sent him.
He longed to contribute!
One of the fundamental issues we have as church goers in Gauteng is that we believe that the church actually exists to make me feel good about myself; that the church is there to feed me. That the church is about how I feel.
The reality is that the church is for Christ; and Christ wants the Church to go into the world and all this is again for the glory of Jesus Christ!
I love the way that Lifechurch has put it. They say;
"We don’t just go to church we are the church that’s why we never ask what can the church do for me? The church is not about me, the church is about we. So as the body of Christ We are spiritual contributors not spiritual consumers. Because the church does not exist for us we are the church and the church exists for the world!"
You don’t have the church you want because the church you want is not the church God wants!
You exist for the church not the other way around!
Jesus knew this His food was not of this world; His food was not to consume it was to serve and share the gospel.
Which is why we are called if we want out church to be a church of significance to be...
1. Spiritual Contributors over Spiritual Consumers
There is a sad reality that has crept into the minds of people in Gauteng; the church is there to meet my needs.
And as soon as it doesn't I will move onto a church that does.
Do you know that they church in Gauteng has grown by one researcher by only 0.05%. And this growth can be attributed to the fact that some churches are growing; but if you actually calculate the decline of others the church simply is not growing!
Why is this; because we have become consumers of church. And just like all consumer brands as soon as the product doesn't meet my needs I get another product. This does not create a church of significance it creates another product; and the world does not need more products.
Ecclesiastes 5:11 says;
As goods increase, so do those who consume them. And what benefit are they to the owners except to feast their eyes on them?
We have unfortunately treated the church as a something that is made to meet our need; kind of like a new phone or a shopping centre, and as long as it is hip and in we are stuck in. However, as soon as something better comes along we will move on.
This compromises both us and the church; because we are seeking spiritual satisfaction from something that is not supposed to give us spiritual satisfaction.
The church was never designed to give you spiritual satisfaction; Jesus is the only one who your soul can rest in.
And secondly; it compromises the church because the church is no longer made up of committed people building together for the kingdom of God; it is made up of people who are selfishly seeking their own satisfaction.
You see we are called not to be spiritual consumers; rather spiritual contributors.
Our satisfaction comes not from what we can get out rather it comes from what we can contribute.
We have to get this because the church has never been about you as an individual. The church is not me the church isabout us!
2. We are the Church
The New Testament is full of verses that justify this; Rom 12:4-5; 1 Cor 12:12; Eph 4:4 Col 1:24 just to name a few.
The church has never existed to meet your needs and to make you happy; you were called by Christ to fulfill your calling in the church and make it and everyone in it fully matured in Christ!
If we look at Christ in John we see His satisfaction did not come from physical food it came for doing the will of God.
That is our calling to; not to seek out our own satisfaction rather to seek with all our heart to do the will of God who called us!
And the will of God is that you build up one another in the body of the church.
It is as we come together with our different talents and abilities and passions and spheres of influence that we discover the true potential that God wants to do through us as a church here in Wilro Park.
But it will take all of us; it means that this church is about no one but Jesus. It means that all of us will have to contribute. And we will discover in this, like Jesus, that our food comes from doing the will of our Father.
There is a problem though; I know that we will get excited about this tonight and be motivated; because deep down we all know this is true.
But by the end of the week we will all be in the same place. Because you are not investing in the right things. You are hoping that by doing this you will be fulfilled that the church will more meet your needs and that you will have a church that you can be proud of.
This is not the goal of the church and this is not why God has called you to church.
You are the church!
You are what God is using to build the corporation of the church.
But it is not about you!
It’s about us; and God using us to reach the world!
Which brings me to my last point;
3. The Church Exists for the World
The church does not exist to satisfy its members; the church exists for missions!
You are here and this church is here to reach out. It will not take better programs; it will take everyone of us connecting in together and sharing in the work to reach out and bring the Good News that Jesus saves to the whole world!
I believe that the church is the hope of the world; because the church is where God has chosen to bring people together for His glory to reach out to the world!
And so we need to pull together so that we can reach out!
Do you know why you are here? You are here so that we can be built up so that together we all can reach out!
Last week we all prayed asking God to pour out His Spirit so that we could go out in power to our community; this week I want to remind us that God has called us and put us together so that we can reach out community!
The church does not exist for her people she exists because God is using her to reach out to the Worldshe finds herself in.
And The world needs you to be a part of what God is doing in and through His Church to reach the world!
You know why you don’t have the church you want? Because you are not invested in the church that the world needs!
The church needs you to invest in being a Spiritual contributor because the world needs a church where people are there for others rather than being their for themselves.
I believe that this church is the hope of this community because I believe that this church and its people hold fast to the gospel of Jesus Christ!
And as we engage people in our worlds that no one else can; we share that hope with all that we can and then we invite them to be a part of what God is doing here which is discipling and teaching people to follow Christ!
I believe if we stop investing in the idea that the church is here for me, and start investing in the idea that I am here for the church; the church will become what it always has meant to be; the hope of many as they are engaged with the gospel of Jesus Christ and as they are brought into the community of God and share in the goodnessand grace of God!
You are called to be light and salt in this world; you are called to be ambassadors of the gospel in your schools, your colleges, your businesses, you families.
The reality is that if you don’t there might not be anyone else to be that!
We are the church; as we go We bring the Good News that Jesus saves! And together We build each other up so that we can do it more and more effectively!
Church let us be the church; let's contribute to the mission of God in whatever way we can, so that we can see people come to know Him who is the only one can save them.