Vision Sunday Part 2: Relationships

Vision Sunday Part 2:
Relationships
Pastor Stephen "Red" Shumate
March 6th, 2016
Image courtesy of Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Listen to full sermon here.

Click here to Download an audio file of the sermon.


2 years ago, We had our first vision Sunday, And we answered 3 questions…

1. Who are we?  We are a group of people brought together by God on purpose for a purpose. (Romans 8:28, Jeremiah 29:11, Proverbs 16:9, Isaiah 45:7, Isaiah 14:24)

2. What is our Mission? Sharing God with our Communities, family and friends (Matthew 7:13, Matthew 9:37, Matthew 28:19-20)

3. What is our Vision for accomplishing our Mission?

A) To get back to the basics by focusing on following the two greatest commandments in the bible and follow them the best that we absolutely can. (Matthew 22:37-39)

And truthfully if we were to focus all of our efforts on just these two commands, to Love God and to Love our Neighbors, then without a doubt we will accomplish our mission.

Last year we added a little bit of focus to our vision and we said that we would….

B) Look to see Where God is already working and join him there. (John 12:26)

All Too often we try to come up with a plan on our own on how to do things, and then we invite God to join us where we are at.  Often we will pray “God, please help me do this,” or “Please help me do that”…when really our prayer needs to be, “Please help me see what you want done.”

This year we want to tighten our vision even more.

Last week, we talked about some of the things that the church has done and will do, to help us stay relevant and inviting to the community…And in all honesty we do a lot of stuff from maintaining the property, to doing upgrades to our building (like adding TV's and storage, and getting new carpet).  We also maintain a nice website and we have a Facebook page.  And we do all of these things so that we can better serve those who come through our doors.

The point is, we’ve been doing a lot of things, that should help us be more visible in the community, that make us more attractive to the community, that even help us communicate with the community.

After all, weren’t these all things that Jesus did in His ministry?
Wasn’t it in Matthew that it said, Jesus started a community group and organized events? Maybe it was in Luke that Jesus, joined Facebook.  Was it in Mark that Jesus used his carpentry skills to fix and paint the church, so that people would come.

Hopefully by now, you realize the point I’m making is that these things have very little to do with why the church grows.  Don’t get me wrong, these things should be done and need to be done.  But here is one thing that Jesus understood better than anyone on the planet.  You don’t change the world through a real nice church or a fancy worship service.

Jesus understood that the way you change the world is through relationships, one person at a time.

And so we want to focus on creating genuine relationships with people as well.  The early church did not grow because Jesus joined Facebook, the church did not grow because Jesus built beautiful churches (they met in homes…) the church did not grow because of the service they created.  The early church grew because of relationships.

Acts 2:46-47
Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple complex, and broke bread from house to house. They ate their food with a joyful and humble attitude, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And every day the Lord added to them those who were being saved. [emphasis added].

This text describes relationships: hanging out, talking about God, being cheerful and not letting the world issues getting you down (they had their fair share of world issues, we do not own messed up politics, there is nothing new under the sun!) but they didn’t let this get them down, they put their hope in Jesus and fellowshipped with one another and Jesus added to them daily.

And so the early church grew because of relationship and word of mouth.  And this is the focus we want to add to our vision this year.

C) Creating relationships and sharing God, one on one. 

So, how does this fit in context with our mission and our vision?

As we have already said our mission begins by loving God.  Then we follow it up by loving our neighbor.  And the way we are going to Love God and Love our neighbor is by looking for where these to commands intersect by looking to see where God is working and joining him there.

And this is where relationships come into play…

Do you know someone who is unsaved or unchurched…and is hurting right now? Maybe they are struggling financially or having issues with a relationship…maybe they are the just the grumpy Gus at work.

But here is the thing, where they are hurting… may be where God is working and we can join God by just being a friend to them – no matter how grumpy they are.

Have you ever had someone ask you a question about God or church stuff or post it on their Facebook? Maybe God is working in their lives and we need to join him there by being a friend and following up with them.

Have you ever had someone who is unchurched ask you to pray for them? Come On…if they are asking you to pray for them, they are practically begging you to be friend that can lead them God.

Our mission and our call, is all about relationships.  In fact, Christianity is all about relationships.  The two greatest commands are about relationships, our relationship with Him and our relationships with one another.

We can do everything in the world to the church…Have big tv’s, nice lights, big sound system and the most talented band in the world, but if we aren’t creating relationships, then we have nothing but a nice show.

And I’ll tell you something…you can get people to attend a great show and you can fill seats all day long with a great show…But you can’t lead a soul to Christ, without relationships!


So there we have it, our mission and our vision…
1. Who we are?  We are a group of people brought together by God on purpose for a purpose.

2. What is our Mission? Sharing God with our Communities, family and friends

3. What is our Vision for accomplishing our Mission? 

A) We get back to the basics by following the two greatest commandments in the bible and we follow them the best that we absolutely can.

B) Look to see Where God is already working and join him there.

C) Creating relationships and sharing God, one on one.


Are there relationships that you have been avoiding in your life?
Who is hurting around you (whether you currently know them or not), 
who can you pray for and be a friend to?

Who do you need to start a relationship with today, so that you can share the good news with them?


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