Church Unity and our new Vision & Mission
Who are we as a Church? Sermon from 11/29/2020
Today is Sunday November 29th, and it is the last Sunday of the month.
Which means two things:
First, the younger kids class gets snacks and movies for Sunday School while the older kids get to stay up and listen to my boring Sermon
And next week we’ll be taking Communion.
So please bring your own drink and bread, so we can avoid the person to person contact that everyone in the world is afraid of right now
I'll be sending out reminders this week so you don't forget your Communion, and if your not on our remind system, let me know, and i'll get you added
THIS FRIDAY December 4th we will be having a Free take out Community Dinner.
This quarter will be Chili and Cornbread
So if you want to volunteer, or if you want to grab a bite to eat,
Friday December 4th at 530 ---- Chili and Cornbread
Last announcement before the younger kids are dismissed
Our Christmas Eve service will be at 730pm on Christmas Eve.
It will only be about 1hr long
Invite your friends and family
And the kids are dismissed
Today’s message is going to be a little different than normal, going to mix things up and get your brains and your hearts moving around → →in fact---more towards the end, i'm going to be asking for 2 volunteers to hand something out------because I will be introducing the new Vision & Mission of Christ Community Church
But first, our Bible verses for today.
1st Corinthians 1:10-12
10 I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought. 11 My brothers and sisters, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. 12 What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas”; still another, “I follow Christ.”
( → → Opening Prayer ← ← )
Ok, so, here we have Saint Paul writing a letter to the Church in Corinth.
This city, is right on an isthmus separating northern Greece from Southern Greece, and it’s a massively busy Port city, because of where it's located.
So there are all different kinds of people, from all over the world, going through this city
Tons of shops and business
And because of the clash of different types of people, there is a clash of world views ---- as well
A worldview ---- is quite simply, how you view the world. Your explanation for why things are the way that they are.
And with all the people traveling through Corinth, there were tons of worldviews all clashing and competing against each other.
There were people from all over the Roman empire, which means there were temples to Roman gods
Who just so happened to look and act like the old greek gods
There were followers of false gods, people worshipping idols and nature, and especially in Corinth, there was rampant sexual promiscuity.
In fact---- every manner of sexuality was accepted and encouraged in Corinth
The temples of all these different god’s had their priestesses, and for a price, you could worship that god by sleeping with them
These temple prostitutes even had little arrows on the bottom of their sandals, so people could follow their tracks through the city to find them.
There was idolatry, sexual immorality and man made morality ------- everywhere
And then Christianity gets thrown into the mix ----
----right smack dab in the middle of all this nonsense, the apostle Paul starts a Church
So the Christians there, were rightly trying extra hard to stand on the Word and preach and teach Christ.
But the thing with human effort, is that it is limited and leads to either failure or arrogance.
And what we have here in Corinth, was arrogance
Cliques of Christians who looked divided themselves from other believers
That’s what Paul was calling out when he said in verse:
12 What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas”; still another, “I follow Christ.”
The Christians at this Church are dividing themselves up against one another, based on who they “follow”
Some of them said ---- listen, I'm following the guy who started our Church, i'm doing things the right way
Others said ---- well he’s gone, i'm going to follow this guy or that guy
And still others said ---- all of you are wrong, I'm just going to follow Jesus ---- look at me, and how ---I---- do Christianity.
Their church was emotionally and mentally scattered all over the place.
There was no unity, and as a result, they're work was stalled out.
Paul goes on in the rest of this chapter to talk about all the things that a Church is supposed to do and think and how they are supposed to act.
He talks about Jesus Christ and His death and resurrection being the foundation of our faith
He talks about any sexual relations besides a man and a woman in marriage is an abomination
He talks about caring for widows and orphans and people that are less fortunate
He talks about Christian liberty and how we can eat and drink and be merry within the confines of what God calls sin
He talks about laying down our rights
Doing everything we do, including work and leisure, to the glory of God
He talks about the cultures definition of right and wrong invading the Church
And the resurrection of the dead
And then…..he writes them another letter ----- 2nd Corinthians
And he continues to teach and show and guide them in all the things of what it means to be a Church
He talks about giving and supporting one another in the body
He tells them to boast in their weaknesses so that Christ can be shown through them
He warns them about false teachers
This Corinthian Church was smack dab in the middle of a wicked and sinful culture------
And the first thing Paul said to them ---- was our verse this morning.
“10 I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.”
He calls them to unify and come together and work together and support one another
And then he finishes the 2nd letter by saying this
2nd Corinthians 13:11
“Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.”
When there is work to be done----- local Churches need to be unified
When your life has taken a turn you didn't expect ------ the local Church needs to be unified
When tragedy and trauma strike
When your own sin ----- strikes
When someone you love hurts you
When you hurt someone you love
When life hits you, regardless of if it was your own fault or not ------
The local Church needs to be unified
When there are friends and families and loved ones and neighbors and strangers----- that need to hear the word of the Lord----
That need to hear they can be forgiven
That they can be made new---
That their life can have meaning beyond anything in this world
The local Church needs to be unified
When the culture of this world celebrates sin-----
When they encourage others to sin----
When they take pride in their wickedness----
When they teach our children evil is acceptable----
When the world raises its forces of evil and molds right and wrong into whatever they want it be----
The local Church needs to be unified
Now---- with that being said-----------
I need those volunteers I mentioned earlier
If you haven't noticed the new banners in the Community Center, they go right along with all these
So here, we have the new direction that Christ Community Church is going to be going in------
This is who we are --- this is our DNA --- our identity
If someone were to ask you what Christ Community is like ----- this can answer their question
On here, you'll be able to see our new Vision Statement and our new Mission Statement
A VISION is where we are going to be in 5 years,
Which is “A church where God is known, and lives are changed”
In 5 years, every single person who is a member of this Church, will have their lives changed by knowing God
A MISSION statement, is how we are going to get there
How can we do something like that in 5 years?
Through the teaching and preaching of The Word, we will encourage and support one another, all for the glory of God and the good of man.
All for the glory of God and the good of man
This is who we are
This is what we do
This is why we do it
And at the very bottom, you can see the core principles that will be infused through everything that we do.
Every Sermon ----- will have these three elements
Every time we open the doors of the Community Center
Every bible study
Every discipleship program
Every sunday school lesson
Every holiday special
In fact, if you were to go back at listen or watch or read the Sermons from the past year, you'll be able to see these three core principles
Christ Community ----- is evangelistic
We preach the name of Christ and Him crucified for the redemption of sins and eternal life
At Christ Community we will confront the evil and flawed thinking of this world - and be evangelistic in everything we do
Christ Community ----- cares and loves everyone who enters our doors
We will never look down on anyone
We will stop someone from attending our Church
We will go out of our way to love everyone
No matter their race, age, gender, economic status or denomination anyone can be a member of Christ Community
At Christ Community, we value relationships
We will love
Teach and be there through every and anything life can throw at you
Christ Community is a Biblically Literate Church
Not all of us are called to be scholars
But all of us are called to read and study the word to the best of our ability
We will rightly divide the word of truth
We look at the original languages
We understand that every single verse has a context that helps determine its meaning
We don't cherry pick verses out of their context and use them to hurt people
We stand unwaveringly on what Scripture teaches, regardless of what anything else in this world has to say about it
Yes we look to others who have gone before us for help
We look to other preachers and teachers when we may not understand something
When we need a different point of view
When our own understanding has hit a brick wall that we can climb over, we will look at the confessions and creeds of Christians who have gone before us and learn from them
But if any of them contradict what Scripture says, we reject them in disgust.
Christ Community Church will look to Scripture Alone for all truth necessary for our salvation and spiritual life.
Do you want change in your life?
Be involved in your local Church
Do you want change in your family?
Get your family involved in your local Church
We are not some random concoction of people who just so happen to attend this Church for this reason or that reason
Ask yourself, why do you go to Christ Community?
Is it because your parents always did?
Is it because it's close to your home?
Is it because what you've always done and you're afraid of change?
If you're watching from home and you dont attend our Church------why
Well id like to say this morning, that this is no longer the Christ Community of the past
This isn't the Christ Community of the 1980’s or 1990’s
We are going somewhere new
We are doing something new
We are involved in a new and different way
And everything we do, is going to be guided by the three core principles
Are you confused about what Scripture says?
Are there things that don't sit well with you when you read it?
Do you want to know it better?
Do you know that the truth of reality is contained within the pages of the Holy Bible?
Then Christ Community is the school that will grow your understanding of it
That is why we hold to Scripture Alone
Has life hit you?
Does nothing make sense anymore?
Are you lost?
Do you need people by your side?
Do you need someone supporting and caring to hear you?
Then Christ Community is where you can find a lifelong relationship beyond the shallow nonsense that this world offers
Are you aching to fight the devil?
Do you want to break down the wicked fortresses that this world has built?
Do you want to stand unblinking before the evil and sin that forces itself on the innocent?
Then Christ Community is the warship that will carry you into battle
So what do we do with this?
We attend our Church
We go out of our way for the new person
We love the new person
We understand that if we want to judge someone who walks through our doors, that your Pastor will have some words for you that you don't want to hear
Your Church holds to the reality that Scripture is the end all be all for everything in the world.
Scripture gets the final say and your Church stands on that ground
Your Church cares deeply and immensely for every person that walks through her doors
Regardless of if they are a believer
Regardless of their age
Their God made gender or their man-made gender
If you wish to grow and change and learn and love and be more than a byproduct of the world
Your Church, it’s Pastor and it’s congregants, value relationship
Your Church is evangelistic in everything that it does.
We exist for the purpose of spreading the Word and the Love of God to every area of our life
We confront the flawed and illogical arguments of this world that say humans are the ones who decide if something is right or wrong
Your Church will share the Gospel at every chance in every setting
( → → Closing Prayer ← ← )