I Am a Functioning Church Member
I Am a Functioning Church Member
I Corinthians 13
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. 4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
Testimony: Kris Headington – 5:00
Introduction: Today we begin a new study for the next six weeks entitled “I Am a Church Member”. This study is for those who are members of the church, regular attendees of the church and guests who are here today. If you are a believer in Christ, you belong to the Universal Church. But I believe that each one of us who are believers in Christ have a responsibility to be a committed, a serving member of a local church. We are to be all in with our time, talents and treasure when it comes to supporting the local church we call our church family. At some point in this study we will be offering a class called Spiritual Journey 101 that will help you to understand the ins and outs of PVBC and to allow you to prayerfully determine if you want to join and be a part of the church family
Illustration: Private Country Club – join to have the benefits and the responsibilities that go along with it. Sam’s Club – shop but cannot check out without a card – need to have paid your entrance fee to be a member.
The purpose of this study is for;
Purpose: Every believer to understand what the church is and their role in serving one another as part of this local body of Christ we call Pleasant View Baptist Church
- I believe the church started on the Day of Pentecost which was 50 days after the resurrection of Christ. The Holy Spirit came down from heaven, the promised Comforter that Jesus said would come, and came upon the disciples and the Gospel was spoken to all who were in Jerusalem that day in a language that they could understand and receive.
- It is the greatest institution on the planet
- Jesus predicted the birth of the local and universal church and said it would be on His authority and He would build it.
Matthew 16:18 - 19
And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock, I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
- Jesus is the Chief Shepherd and the Pastor is the under shepherd
- The Church is the hope of the world
- It is the only hope because of the healing and delivering message of Jesus Christ
- It is the hope of abundant life (John 10:10) and the hope of eternal life ( I John 5:13 -14)
- 21 centuries later, the church is God’s plan for world evangelization and to make disciples of those who receive Christ in order to continue to make disciples.
- It is the only plan that God has in place to reach the world for Christ
- He promises that the gates of hell will never prevail against the church – Matthew 16:18
- The heart of the church is found in two things
- The Great Commandment
Mark 12:29 – 31
29 Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
- The Great Commission
Matthew 28:19 – 20
19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
- Since those two verses show us the heart of God and what He commands us to do, the great commission and the great commandment must be our heartbeat as well
Illustration: We are on a Mission for God as the Blues Brothers would say
- Seriously you and I are on this earth to further His kingdom by using our time, talents and treasures to impact others for eternity
- My hope for each of us is that we can point to people in heaven that we had a part in coming to Christ as Savior and that we can celebrate the fact that they are there with us.
- And we do that through being a faithful member of the local church
- I believe the NT especially the book of Acts teaches us the importance of being a part of a church family.
Definition of the church – read it together without the Greek word in there.
The church is a dynamic group of called out (ekklesia) born again, baptized, people who assemble together and go out individually to glorify God through worship, to fulfill the two ordinances of the church, to equip believers to grow and serve the Lord through their spiritual gifts, to fulfill the Great Commandment and the Great Commission with the goal of bringing people to a mature relationship in Jesus Christ.
- Let’s turn our attention to the specific purpose statement and vision for our church.
- These things we share here and that are in your notes are why I came to pastor this church and is the reason and focus for what I do each and every day I come to work and minister here.
- These statements are my passion and what I measure and evaluate the things we do here as a church.
Purpose Statement – What we do
At Pleasant View Baptist Church we believe according to God’s Word our purpose in life is to worship and glorify God and to share the Good News of God’s love in Christ Jesus with the world, beginning with the people of our community. Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we will seek to lead people to conversion, baptism, and a maturing relationship with Jesus Christ, through worship, outreach, discipleship, fellowship and service.
Vision Statement – Who we are
Pleasant View Baptist Church is a multi-generational family of believers in Jesus Christ, seeking to connect others to God and His family, striving to grow spiritually and relationally, and finding our places of serving God in His church, in our communities, and in the world.
- Connecting people with God and His family
- Growing spiritually and relationally
- Serving God in His church, in our communities, and in the world
- These two statements, the purpose statement and the vision statement, I want to encourage you to read over each day for the next 7 days. Take time each morning or evening or some time each day. Put this on a mirror in your bathroom, somewhere in your car, in your Bible as a marker, wherever you will look at it and be reminded why we gather here on Sunday and have all the ministries that we do. In simple form we are;
Connecting – Growing – Serving
Transition: Let us look at some of the key points from Chapter One of the book; “I Am a Church Member”. I hope everyone has a copy of this book and this week will read the introduction and chapter one. First of all,
We are all necessarily connected
Ephesians 4:15 – 16
15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.
- We need each other because we are connected to one another in Christ
- We need each other because as a Christ follower you have a unique set of spiritual gifts that are necessary to complement the rest of the body of believers in this room to carry out the kingdom work God can only do through you and I
- In this room we have all the money to carry out God’s kingdom work out of this location, into our community, country and world.
- We need each other to be there when we are hurt and crying and when we are celebrating and cheering
- We need the fellowship that keeps us going
- We need the hope that only we can give to each other when we fall or fail.
Illustration: The pictures of the watch
- You and I cannot function properly without our coming together on a regular basis and sharing our gifts to carry out the work has for you and I.
Illustration: Synergy is defined as this: “The whole is greater than the sum of the parts.” In other words, you can do more with less. A laminated beam is an example of synergy. If 10 boards had a breaking point of 10 pounds each; when you laminated them together, the breaking point of the 10 boards together far surpasses 100 pounds (the sum of the parts).
At a state fair there was an event where horses were being hitched to wagons to see which horse could pull the most weight. Two horses pulled 9,000 pounds. They then hitched these two strongest horses together on the same wagon. The horses didn’t pull 18,000 pounds – a mere doubling of their individual efforts. Instead, together, in true teamwork, they pulled 35,000 pounds. Now that’s synergy!
- That is why we need each other in the church family. We are stronger together. We are capable of doing more for God together than each one alone.
- The Christian life is not meant to have orphans and lone rangers.
- That is why membership and being a part of the church family is so important.
Application: We need each other as a church family
We are all unique but essential
I Corinthians 12:4 – 6
4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 5 and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; 6 and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone.
2 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many.
- The responsibility of the eldersof PVBC
- Teach, guard and maintain the doctrines of scripture – Acts 20:26-35
- Shepherd disciples to spiritual maturity – I Peter 5:1 5
- Equip the disciple to use his or her spiritual gifts in service to God – Ephesians 4:11 - 13
- Establish and fortify the church to have holy integrity and a strong witness for Christ in our community – Ephesians 5:25-28
- Set the example in teaching the congregation to love one another in the church family and the community at large in word and deed – John 13:35; I John 3:17-18
- The responsibilities of the members of PVBC
- Fellowship with one another – I John 1:1-4
- Ministry with one another – I Corinthians 12; 14; Ephesians 4:16; I Peter 2:4 - 8
- Share the Gospel with others as fellow believers –Acts 1:8; Matthew 28:19 - 20
- Share in the decision making with the elders of the church – Acts 6:1-7
- Accountability and urging to repent by those who are caught in habitual, public sin – Matthew 18:15 – 20; Galatians 6: 1 -3; I Corinthians 5: 1-13; 2 Corinthians 2:5 - 11
- We function best as the body of Christ when the family is here using their spiritual gifts in service to others and God.
- God is pleased when He sees His local body of Christ followers fulfilling the one another’s
- Love one another
- Serve one another
- Submit to one another
- Care for one another
- Have mercy toward one another
- Forgiving one another
- Reconciling with one another
- When we are together functioning one with another in our service and worship to God, those who are outside of the church will see the genuine love of Christ
- Paul gives us in I Corinthians 12 & 14 the picture of how the Body of Christ should function.
- Each one using his area of giftedness in the Spirit working in harmony and teamwork with others in the church family.
- There is no better picture on earth of unity and harmony
Illustration: Heaven on earth – Guaymas, Mexico
- To some extent at Awana and Youth Group
- You just wanted to be together and not let it end
- Can’t wait to be together again
Application: We desire to be together as a church family
Transition: We need each other, we desire to be together because we love each other and;
We are all bonded together in love
I Peter 1:22
Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart
Application: We serve and love in harmony together as a church family
Key Thought: To function properly as the church; Give abundantly and serve without hesitation
- The sum is greater than its parts - Synergy
- The parts need to function in harmony – Teamwork
- Like a finely tuned watch with each gear meshing with the other gear in order to have precision in keeping time.
Summary of this study
Ask not what your church can do for you but what you can do for your church.
- It should be all about worshipping God and your service to His people in the church and those who outside of the church needing Christ.
- It is showing up each week to say what can I do to encourage someone in the Body
- How can I use my spiritual gift today or thank God you are using your spiritual gift today
- It is being willing to hear from God and be stretched by the sermon or music in your heart. Making fresh and new commitments or rededicating yourself to commitments you have made in the past
- It is having a burden for the lost and doing something to bring your friend or family member to Christ
- It is being proactive, intentional and missional
- It is giving faithfully of your tithes and offerings
- Being a functional member is one who when a need is shared is willing to step up at times outside of our comfort zone and be willing to stand in the gap and make a commitment to reach out to people who may not be exactly like we are.
Video: Life Saving Station – 3:55
Remember our theme throughout this study
Ask not what your church can do for you but what you can do for your church.
Questions to Ponder this Week
1. Do you view the church as a country club or a lifesaving station?
2. Do you understand the authority of the elders in our church?
3. Do you embrace the responsibility of being a functioning member at PVBC?
Read the book this week – Raise your hand
Read the vision and purpose statement each day this week and strive to put Connect – Grow – Serve into practice this week intentionally.
Meditate on the questions to ponder this week
Pray about how you can be a faithful, loving and functioning church member this week