Big Idea: The church is a family, a team and an army; the church is a loving community, not a country club.
“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another”- Proverbs 27:17
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” – Hebrews 10: 24,25
- Spur toward love and good deeds/ Spur together/ Spur is encouragement
- In other words, CHURCH IS A TEAM SPORT
Pastors and Ministry Leaders cannot do the work of ministry alone; we may be at the front of the wagon but it is all of us that help get the firewood to the shed.
The Church is a Family
“So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God”- Ephesians 2:19
- Members of the household of God doesn’t mean that you go to church
- Members of the household of God mean that you don’t feel like a stranger when you go to church
“And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, …”- Acts 2:42-47
- Although I love that signs and wonders were being done and prayer meetings were being had, the most powerful team quality of the early church is BREAKING OF BREAD and ALL THINGS IN COMMON
The Church is a Team
“Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free —and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.” – 1 Corinthians 12: 12-14
- Just like a team is not made up of one part but many, so is the Church…Many parts forming one body
- Like a team, we have many purposes, callings and anointings but we are ONE BODY- this means that with all of our individual giftings, we are called toward ONE DIRECTION, ONE CALLING and ONE GOAL
- That is what teams do…are you willing to sacrifice your own comforts to help the Church move forward? This is called serving
The Church is an Army
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” – Ephesians 6:10-18
- As a member of an army, you must face this very important question: are you beyond correction? Are you teachable? Are you open to construction criticism? Are you offended easily? These are all things that will hinder you from being a member of an “army”
- Many of you are tired, weary and “out of spiritual gas” and the reason is that you are going at it alone…take my advice…stop Doing Christianity alone…you are members of an army
“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ” – Galatians 6:2
- Your burden is my burden
- You might be pulling something pretty heavy…I want to help
Questions for consideration:
- When was the last time you carried someone’s burden? (in other words: helped someone through a difficult situation)
- What do you think holds people back from being genuine, authentic or vulnerable in the Church?
- Do you relate to the Church as a family, a team or an army? Or another metaphor?