Good morning, I am so thankful for each of you. What a week it has been! I am so ready for August 20 and our relaunch here at the Point. I am also praying that each of you is carefully thinking about who you are going to bring to the Point with you on this extraordinary day. I love each of you, and I am ready for God to do something big in our midst. We are ramping up, we are revving our engines, and we are ready to go.
I want to ask you several questions this morning because evangelism is an important issue. These are issues that everyone here in this place should ponder. As believers, we should consider all of these things whether you are someone who has been with us the entire five years, or you may be someone who has joined us along the way. We all have to consider these question, and the first question is simply this: Are we open to a move of God?
I have asked this question before. I love to think about a movement of God! I love to think about what this would look like, what it would be like, to experience an awakening, a mighty move of God. I have decided that I want to be a part a spiritual awakening, that starts right here in Jacksonville Florida which leads me to more questions.
Why not Jacksonville? Considering this is an excellent question! It is a Bold City Vision for a Bold City, Why not the POINT? We are poised to do great things for His Kingdom and His Glory. We just have to decide this morning if we are open to a move of God.
Are we open to a move of God?
As we look back in our wake as a church, what are we going to see?
We should see people, many people coming to a saving knowledge of Jesus. We exist to be a catalyst for Christ. We exist to make Jesus famous. God chose the church to be the vehicle to move the gospel into the world. Evangelism is what we do, and it is about time that we get to the POINT. We need to do more than talk about our Mission and Vision. We need to live The Great Commission out in front of our community. They need to feel the presence of a Holy God when they drive down St. John’s Ave.
In the Great Commission, Jesus gives us a command; we are to make disciples! As Followers of Christ, we should be making disciples. We should be a part of the disciple making process. Jesus says, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
So let’s reconsider our first question. Are we open to a move of God?
If we are open, and I hope we are, we have to decide who we are going to disciple…or how we are going to be discipled. We have to consider who are we walking with, think about it, who are you pouring into, who is pouring into you?
To be ready for a move of God, We have to define the mission. Our mission statement is Love God, Love People and Make Disciples. This statement is simple enough. Everyone can understand this mission statement. But this morning as you consider this, I want you to realize this is much more than a mission statement, it is our philosophy of ministry. Loving God and People is is what we do. If we are open to a move of God, we are going to have to understand this theory. We are going to have to understand our mission statements moving parts; we are going to have to put wheels on this mission statement and take it out for a spin.
For us, Love God, Love People and Make Disciples means that we are to, Love people and POINT them to an ABUNDANT life in Christ. This action is what makes us unique. This statement helps us to understand the dimensions of ministry. I believe the three dimensions of ministry are Worship, Ministry, and Discipleship.
After reflection of how we have done ministry over the past five years, we realize that we do a fantastic job at worship. Our Worship team has grown in their scope and leadership. Our Worship Service is a perfect time to come before the throne of grace with confidence. So this upcoming year, we are going to put our emphasis on Ministry and Discipleship. We are going to do this because people matter, all people matter. God loves all people, and so should we.
The Bible teaches us “For God loved the world in this way: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”
Because of this verse of scripture, another question that we need to answer is what is our response going to be for John 3:16? Our response should be to make Jesus famous. How do we do this? We talk about Him, and We are to make much of Him! People need to understand the Love that the Father has for us. People need to know Jesus and how He loves them. People need to realize that its God’s amazing grace that saves us. We have to understand that God has a plan…we have talked about the plan in the past.
Jesus married the mission of the church to vision. So what does all of this mean? It means that as followers of Christ, we must do our part. Vision moves the mission. It includes people on the outside seeing it. We who are on the inside have to not only see the vision; we have to understand it. Followers must be willing to chart the course. So this brings us back to our initial question. Are we open to a move of God? If so we have to do our part! We were not created to sit idle on the side lines. So what we see and understand (our vision) needs to be able to move the mission of the church.
Making disciples is our part, it is what we do! Everyone who hears or reads this message needs to be a part of discipleship. I am asking you this to be a part. We kick off our new Discipleship year on August 20. We have four amazing new classes for you to participate in as a part of our Bold City Vision. Our classes will start at 9:45, I want to encourage you to be a part of one of these classes…(We will have information on all courses next week)
Over the next week, I am going to be calling you and talking to you about the importance of discipleship. I am going to let you know the classes available and encourage you to be a part; I want you to join in and to invite your family and friends. I am also going to talk to you about an outreach as you go approach, as you are out in the community, as you are in your work place, as you are in the parks or pubs, walking your dog…jogging or working out at the gym. We want you to be missionaries, and we want you to make much of Jesus all over Jacksonville. I want you to invite your friends, family and those random people that you are meeting every day along the way,
Can you see it? Can you see people filling up our auditorium? Can you see two services on our campus, can you see us baptizing every week? Jesus said Go and make disciples! Making disciples is one on one, life on life, it is a shared experience. But there is a problem, you see, Vision Creates pressure, it’s a Good Pressure, but it is pressure none the less. It is good tension because it is God pressure.
God is leading some of you to lead out in ministries that have not even started yet. He is leading some of you to be involved in these new ministries. Are we open to a mighty move of God? I certainly hope so. We have talked about how vision creates pressure, and how vision enables change. Why should we want to change? Because 93% of our city is searching, they are unaffiliated and need Jesus.
Jesus when he looked out among the masses, the Bible says that Jesus was moved with compassion for the lostness of the world. If we are going to be imitators of Christ…we should be stirred with compassion because so many people are searching. They are searching for the peace that transcends all understanding, that perfect peace that only comes from knowing Jesus. Peace comes from a right relationship with Christ. Peace comes from knowing that you have a relationship with Christ and your life has changed. This peace that comes from working out your relationship with Jesus.
Are we open to a move of God?
Why not Jacksonville?
What is keeping us from moving on this Bold City Vision?
Our Vision has to be BOLD! It has to be God sized; the mission has to be all encompassing. This bold city vision it is going to take everyone, Can I just tell you that Satan also has a bold vision for our city? He is roaming around seeking whom he might devour, and to many well-intentioned churches are focused and concerned with what is going on inside the building. So many churches have become museums where charming relics are collected and passed around occasionally. These churches are something that is nice to see, but in reality, they do not achieve community.
Churches are to be maintenance facilities; the church should be on a total outreach offensive. We need to be sending factories, training missionaries in our Point groups to go and make disciples…to do life with the masses! We have to be in the world, but we don’t have to be of the world. If we understand our mission and vision, our very lives should challenge the status quo. We are to be different because Jesus was different, He took 11 ordinary men, and changed the trajectory of the world
Why not Jacksonville? Why not the POINT?
A bold vision triggers strategic thinking, a great vision without great people is irrelevant. We have a plan, and you are people who are loved by a Holy God and very much a part of the process! Our plan is to marry Worship to Discipleship and Ministry. Every member is a missionary. Jesus told us to Go…not build! We are the church; I have said before that the church is alive and changing, it is flesh, blood and gray matter. A bold vision stimulates strategic thinking, and it also enrages hell. Satan does not like a bold vision, he hates our guts, and this alone is reason enough to have a bold vision for our city. We need each other, and our Mission is what we want the people of the POINT to do. Our Vision…is how far we want to take the mission. We have been building a strong foundation. We are gospel centered and outward focused. We are motivated for ministry. I want to drive people to win! Why? Because if we do not win…we are going to lose, we cannot lose sight of the mission. We have to stop yelling at lost people for acting like lost people
Our mission and vision have to be big…why? Because the world is big and there are lost people at every turn, Jesus’ vision to redeem the world was HUGE! How do you know this Pastor? Because the Bible teaches this, Acts 1:8 tells us, “but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”
Acts 1:8 is a big vision. This bold vision extends to the farthest parts of the earth. Jesus is saying that you will receive power, we talked about this last week. When the Holy Spirit has come upon you and this that happened the moment that you in faith believed, you were different. Do you feel the Holy Spirits power in your life?
You see if we Love people and POINT them to an ABUNDANT life in Christ. We take a risk. But I want to tell you; it is a risk worth taking.
I love you all!