Sunday Morning 1/19/2014

Posted by Sherry

I WILL LEAD MY FAMILY TO BE HEALTHY CHURCH MEMBERS
Matthew 7:3-5
CBC 1/19/2014 SM
INTRO: PLAY VIDEO “I AM A CHURCH MEMBER”
  • We need to explore a “PATTERN” that everyone encounters @ church:
    • get excited about church
    • get more involved
    • discover imperfections of the church
    • get discouraged about the church
    • leave the church
  • It happens to everyone who goes to church seriously
    • things make us angry
    • we experience frustration
    • that leads to discouragement
  • What we need to realize
    • no church is perfect
    • no pastor is perfect
    • no staff member is perfect
    • no church member is perfect
  • The plan & purpose of coming to church is...
    • to find JOY in serving the Lord through the church (members)
    • NOT CONSUMERISM...
      • here to see what I/you can get out of the church
      • here to serve and care for others
      • perspective: GIVING not RECEIVING
      • the ones that disappoint us should be @ the TOP OF OUR PRAYER LIST
  • We are to strive to be perfect like Christ, knowing we won’t make it till He changes us
    • adventure is to see how close we can come to that standard
    • Christ died for people that rebelled against Him
    • we should be able to love the seemingly unlovable church member
      • despite their imperfections
      • look at “log” in my eye before I look at the “speck” in their eye
TEXT: 3 And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
CHURCH AND FAMILY
  • Families & Church go together like peanut butter & jelly
    • Eph. 5:22-26  
22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. 24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word,
  • Paul connects this to the church 
    • Eph 5: 32-33 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
  • Paul continues in next chapter
    • Eph 6:1-4 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: 3 “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.”[a] 4 And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.
  • We are instructed to sacrifice & love our families unconditionally
    • likewise the same applies to our relationships at church
    • family members not perfect
    • neither are church members or church leadership
    • find ways to love and serve BOTH!
  • Family is important to church...
    • attend as a family (pack a pew can be exhilarating)
    • pray together in pew or in altar
    • love & serve church together as a family
PRAYING TOGETHER AS A FAMILY FOR THE CHURCH
  • Ways to pray for our church
    • for spiritual protection
    • for protection from moral failures
    • for the preaching of the Word
    • for their families
    • for encouragement 
    • for physical strength
    • for courage
    • for discernment
    • for wisdom in their leadership
  • the beginning of “loving the church” is praying for the church
WORSHIPPING TOGETHER AS A FAMILY
  • God created us to be “relational” creatures
    • numerous activities that are just more enjoyable when there is more than me
      • ever went bowling alone?
      • played checkers?
      • how about you are the only fan in the stands at a football game?
      • imagine being the only person watching a Branson show?
      • what if I’m the only one that shows up at church? (AKWARD!!) 
  • When a church member has a family member that’s not not a Christian or doesn’t go to worship service.
    • Paul address issue of divorce in an “unequal” relationship (1 saved & 1 not)
      • 1 Cor 7:10-13 Paul instructs believing spouse not to leave
      • why? believing spouse is testimony to unbelieving spouse
      • 1 Cor 7:14  14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy.
      • It can be lonely to “worship alone”...remember you’re on a mission field
      • you don’t have to travel thousands of miles...minister to your family
      • how the believer loves the family impacts their witness
      • how the believer loves their church affects the unbelieving spouse
      • (ILL: Robert & Nancy Smith)
FALLING DEEPLY IN LOVE WITH THE BRIDE OF CHRIST
  • Christ is the Groom
    • the church is the Bride
    • our commitment is to love the Bride w/ all we have
  • Unconditional love is not always easy
    • loving w/ little or no love back...
    • loving amidst disagreements...
    • loving when my preference is not met...
  • Jesus demonstrates unconditional love to us
    • loves us with little or no love back...
    • loves us when we disagree with His leading & calling...
    • loves us when His preferences are not met...
THE FIFTH PLEDGE
  • A commitment to unite your family in love for your church.
    • I am a church member. I will lead my family to be good members of this church as well. We will pray together for our church. We will worship together in our church. We will serve together in our church. And we will ask Christ to help us fall deeper in love with this church because He gave His life for her.
SIGN & DATE:______________________________________________

Sunday Morning 1/12/2014

Posted by Sherry

I WILL PRAY FOR MY CHURCH LEADERS
1 Thessalonians 5:25
CBC 1/12/2014 SM
INTRO:
There’s never a dull moment when you’re on staff at a church.
You keep in the back of your mind that phrase from the old Candid Camera show,
“Don’t be surprised, if somewhere, sometime somebody says, ‘Smile, you’re on Candid Camera.”
Because at anytime, no matter what you and your family is doing...the unimaginable can happen.
Rick & I could take the rest of the time today telling war stories about unexpected, unbelievable, unimaginable events that have come about.
Keep in mind these are ministry opportunities that everybody doesn’t get the chance at.
24 hours a day, 7 days each week, 365 days each year...It’s constantly on my mind...
Common misperception is Church Staff guys only work Sundays & Wednesdays...I wish
Another common misperception is that preachers are bullet proof to emotional pain, stomach upset & heart ache...
The reason for this mostly private insight is this...
TEXT: 1 Thess. 5:25 “Brethren, pray for us.”
PRAY FOR THE PASTOR AND OTHER CHURCH LEADERS
  • full-time staff, part-time staff, deacons, SS teachers, Nursery workers, volunteers
    • life is full of mountain tops & valleys
  • things needed to continue to be effective
    • wisdom
    • insight
    • words to preach, teach & sing
    • people don’t need to hear from us...they need to hear from God.
  • PRAY FOR OUR FAMILIES
    • easy to neglect family because of the demands of the church
    • our families live in “glass” houses...
    • families hurt, grieve, & lash out privately when critics direct barbs toward leaders
    • church members need to interceed in prayer on behalf of leadership families
  • PRAY FOR LEADERSHIP PROTECTION
    • 1 Tim 3:2-4 An overseer, therefore, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, self-controlled, sensible, respectable, hospitable, an able teacher, not addicted to wine, not a bully but gentle, not quarrelsome, not greedy - one who manages his own household competently, having his children under control with all dignity.
    • Whew...NO PRESSURE...
    • just getting past “above reproach” is an accomplishment
      • reproach - to be above finding fault
      • not perfect, BUT, a reputation above most everybody else
      • words or thoughts about the pastor should be positive & encouraging
    • on top of that:
      • good self-control
      • sensible
      • respectable
      • hospitable
      • good teacher
      • gentle
      • not argumentative
      • not greedy
      • icing on cake...family must reflect a healthy, Christian family

  • that’s why church members need to pray for their pastor’s protection
    • Paul instructs Timothy that the reputation must be good with “outsiders”
    • refers to unbelievers not part of the church
    • the devil always has a “TRAP” set
    • set intentionally for one reason...
    • Bring the Pastor Down!
    • Devil sees the pastor as a threat to his business of fooling & tricking people
    • nature of trap is TEMPTATION
    • devil stops at nothing & is powerful
      • greed
      • adultery
      • anger
      • addiction
    • remember that God is more powerful
    • God works through the prayers of believers
PRAY FOR PHYSICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH
  • Not difficult for your leaders to fit the definition of “DRAINED”
    • physically & emotionally
    • no magic protection from sickness when visiting the sick
    • no special guarantee mental illness will not strike
    • dozens of decisions have to be made requiring discernment & wisdom
      • what to preach
      • what to teach
      • how to settle disputes
      • which direction to lead
      • God’s Will for the church
      • Great Commission issues
      • Finances
      • demands for numbers of people, each with their own set of challenges
      • stress & pressure are a part of every day
      • pray for PEACE THAT PASSETH UNDERSTANDING for your leadership
THE FOURTH PLEDGE
  • Requirements
    • discipline
    • not necessarily a lot of time
    • would you pray 5 minutes/day (minimum) for your church leadership
I AM A CHURCH MEMBER
I will pray for my pastor, staff, deacons, & volunteer leadership every day. I understand that church work is never ending. Days are filled with numerous demands that bring emotional highs and lows. They must deal with critics. The must be good leaders of their family. Because my pastor cannot do all things in his own power, I will pray for his strength and wisdom daily.

Sign & Date: _______________________________________________________

Sunday Morning 12/15/2013

Posted by Sherry

I WILL NOT LET MY CHURCH BE ABOUT MY PREFERENCES AND DESIRES
Mark 9:35
CBC 12/15/2013 SM

  • INTRO: Did you grow up with a sister 5 years younger than you?
    • Probably not, but I did.
    • you’d never believe there was fussing in the preacher’s house, right? LOL
    • over what... “preferences”
    • but that was “all b4 Jesus, right”...
    • Christians don’t behave like children, right?
    • no temper tantrums, kicking & screaming in the floor...right?
  • Church Membership
    • we actually are called upon to GIVE UP OUR PREFERENCES
      • there to meet needs of others
      • there to serve others
      • there to give
      • there to sacrifice
  • Even the disciples had a tendency to fuss with one another
    • argued over “who was the greatest”... Mohammed Ali was...right???
    • closest followers of Jesus having a “ME FIRST” fight
TEXT: Mark 9:35 And He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, “If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.
  • Jesus put them in their place...
    • but then that’s FOR ME ALSO...and any church member.
      • I’m supposed to be last, not first
      • I’m supposed to be a servant instead of seeking to be served
THE SERVANT MOTIF
  • Servant appears 57 times in the New Testament
    • the word “serve” occurs 58 times in the New Testament
    • Serving MUST BE IMPORTANT
    • being LAST of all and SERVANT of all doesn’t describe many church members
    • “Norm” - personal preferences, desires & the way we’ve always done it, stay on the surface
    • Jesus said we are to serve
    • Paul (Eph 3:7) I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of his power.
    • Never find JOY in church membership seeking things “OUR WAY”
    • the greatest joy is found when we choose to be LAST
    • Jesus explained, “the last will be first”
    • true joy is giving up our rights & preferences & serving everyone else
    • why did Jesus go to the cross???
      • for the JOY on the other side of the experience
A SURVEY SAID A LOT
  • Inwardly focused churches surveyed (10 dominant behavior patterns)
    • WORSHIP WARS...fussin’ over the music style & instruments
    • PROLONGED MINUTIA MEETINGS... inordinate amount of time in meetings about inconsequential items, while Great Commission & Great Commandment topics rarely discussed.
    • FACILITY FOCUS...priority is protection & preservation of rooms, furniture & building and grounds
    • PROGRAM DRIVEN...programs become and end instead of a means to greater ministry.
    • INWARDLY FOCUSED BUDGET...disproportionate share of budget used to meet the needs & comforts of the members instead of reaching beyond the walls of the church
    • INORDINATE DEMANDS FOR PASTORAL CARE...all church members deserve care and concern, esp. during times of need & crisis. Unreasonable expectations for minor matters & “personal” time w/ staff in exclusion to the others on the membership role.
    • ATTITUDES OF ENTITLEMENT...demanding and having a sense of deserving special attention
    • GREATER CONCERN ABOUT CHANGE THAN THE GOSPEL...heated passion over any “change”, but not the same passion about reaching the lost, praying in the altar, giving the tithe or seeing lives changed
    • ANGER AND HOSTILITY...members constantly angry, upset, whining to the staff 
    • EVANGELISTIC APATHY...very few members share their faith & testimony how they were “saved” on a regular basis. More concerned about personal needs than eternal needs of the world & community.
THE MIND OF CHRIST
  • Phil. 2:5-11 summarized says, “Make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus.”
    • He did not consider equality with God as something to be used for His own advantage
    • He emptied Himself by assuming the form of a slave
    • He humbled Himself
    • He became obedient to the point of death - even to death on a cross
  • Our example to follow as church members:
    • we are to be servants
    • we are to be obedient
    • we are to put others first
    • we are to do what it takes to keep unity in the church
  • If we approach church membership from the perspective of ENTITLEMENT...
    • we have it upside down
    • we are to ask FIRST what we can do for our church
    • then we get the JOY benefit
THE THIRD PLEDGE
  • Have you noticed it’s easier to sign a commitment on paper than it is to practice that commitment continually?
    • WARNING: It won’t take long after you make today’s commitment that it will be challenged by a disgruntled church member.
    • REMEMBER: a “gentle” rebuke may be in order...
      • but that’s the church member you’ve committed to “serve”
  • Commitments are not easy
    • w/out God they are impossible
    • pray for strength and wisdom
    • when you’ve had it with sacrifices for others...THINK OF THE CROSS
I Am A Church Member:
     I will not let my church be about my preferences and desires. That is self-serving. I am a member in this church to serve others and to serve Christ. My Savior went to a cross for me. I can deal with any inconveniences and matters that just aren’t my preference style.

Sign & Date: _________________________________________________________

Sunday Morning 11/24/2013

Posted by Sherry

I WILL BE A UNIFYING CHURCH MEMBER
John 13:35
CBC 12/01/2013 SM

INTRO: God desires for Christians to get along.
Jesus said,
TEXT: By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another 
  • The world knows if we are Christians or not by the way we believers act toward one another
    • ever been ugly at a business meeting?
    • ever let your preference choice outweigh good thinking & make a rude comment?
    • Would an “outsider” be impressed w/ that kind of “Christian” behavior?
    • What about Christians gossiping about other Christians?
    • If it were possible I’d give you a glimpse into my email & message file and let you read the foul language and cursing I endure.
  • When we become a Christian, God expects us to be a part of His church.
    • When we become part of His church God wants us to be a unifying presence there.
THAT THING CALLED UNITY
  • If you love sports the way my wife does you’ve probably noticed something
    • a team with average talent can win a championship w/ team unity
  • When a church doesn’t work together, the church is weaker as a whole
    • Unity is vital to the health of the church
    • every church member must contribute to that unity
Eph 1:15 Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, 16 do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers:
  • What is Paul thankful for in this church?
    • their faith in the Lord
    • their love for all the saints
      • saint was KJV term for Christian
Eph 4:1 I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, 2 with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, 3 endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
  • Keep the unity of the Spirit...
    • church members are to be the source of unity
      • never be a divisive force
      • love fellow church members unconditionally
      • doesn’t mean we agree all the time
      • does mean we are willing to sacrifice our personal preferences for unity
  • When we seek unity, we demonstrate love
  • Col. 3:14 But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.
    • “above all” - doesn’t get much more important than that
GOSSIP AND OTHER NEGATIVE TALK
  • Rom 1:29-32 is pretty depressing:
    • 29 Until they were filled (permeated and saturated) with every kind of unrighteousness, iniquity, grasping and covetous greed, and malice. [They were] full of envy and jealousy, murder, strife, deceit and treachery, ill will and cruel ways. [They were] secret backbiters and gossipers,
    • 30 Slanderers, hateful to and hating God, full of insolence, arrogance, [and] boasting; inventors of new forms of evil, disobedient and undutiful to parents.
    • 31 [They were] without understanding, conscienceless and faithless, heartless and loveless [and] merciless.
    • 32 Though they are fully aware of God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve to die, they not only do them themselves but approve and applaud others who practice them.
  • In the middle of the “evil deeds” is GOSSIP
    • Gossip: idle talk, rumors, unproven personal or private information about others
    • It’s BAD
    • It’s DESTRUCTIVE
    • Few things can destroy unity like gossip
  • James 3:6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell.
    • Don’t be a source of gossip
    • Gently rebuke anyone who begins to share gossip with you
    • Spread the word that gossip is not tolerated at CBC
1 Peter 3:10 For “He who would love life And see good days, Let him refrain his tongue from evil, And his lips from speaking deceit.”

FORGIVENESS AND UNITY
  • Our church needs Prayer Warriors
    • God will not hear and answer our prayers if we hold unforgiveness in our heart
  • Matt. 6:14 “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses”.
    • Unity in church can’t happen if members have unforgiving hearts
    • Member to member
    • Member to pastor &/or staff
    • Pastor, staff to member
  • Col 3:12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.
    • CBC made up of imperfect pastor, staff & members
    • we all make mistakes
    • we all sin
    • we are all hypocrites
    • Church unity is torn apart when we refuse to forgive
    • Unforgiveness is a “PRIDE” issue & God hates pride
    • Christ laid down His pride & went to the cross of humiliation for us

THE SECOND PLEDGE
  • Church membership is more than getting your name on the roll
    • it’s different from the perks & privileges at a social club
  • Church membership is about:
    • sacrificing
    • giving
    • forgiving
  • Before you make this pledge think seriously about the words you will read.
    • join me in seeking God’s help to keep this pledge

I am a church member.
     I will seek to be a source of unity in my church. I know there are no perfect pastors, staff, or other church members. But neither am I . I will not be a source of gossip or dissension. One of the greatest contributions I can make is to do all I can in God’s power to help keep the church in unity for the sake of the gospel.

Sign & Date: _____________________________________________________

Sunday Morning 11/17/2013

Posted by Sherry

I WILL BE A FUNCTIONING CHURCH MEMBER
1 Corinthians 12:27-28
CBC 11/24/13 SM

  • I Will Be A Functioning Church Member
    • I’m a member of a Country Club
      • Membership means perks & privileges
      • Membership means others will serve me
      • Pay the going rate & & others take care of you while you enjoy a life of leisure
    • I’m a member of Central Baptist Church
      • Is your understand of Church membership like that of a country club?
      • this is my church so play the music the way I want it
      • remember pastor who pays your salary
      • if you don’t do it like I want it I will withhold my check (dues)
      • I’ve been a member here for years so I’ve earned the right to get what I want and things be done the way I want
      • I don’t pay good money to this church to...
        • hear sermons that long/short
        • have to put up w/ music style I don’t like
        • not get my way & have my preferences met
    • If view of membership is more aligned w/ the country club...
      • membership is about receiving instead of giving
      • being served instead of serving
      • rights instead of responsibilities
      • entitlements instead of sacrifices
    • Wrong view of church membership...
      • sees tithes & offerings as dues
      • an unending list of entitlements, privileges & expectations
      • instead of: unconditional cheerful gift to God

  • Membership Means We Are All Necessary Parts of the Whole
    • 1 Cor. 12; 13; & 14 explains church membership
      • ch 12 - metaphor of church being a body with many members
      • ch 13 - love is central attitude & action all members should have
      • ch 14 - messed up church @ Corinth that had it all wrong
TEXT: 27 Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually. 28 And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues.
  • The Difference
    • church members comprise the whole & are essential parts of it
      • members are individual parts of the body
      • some are eyes
      • some are ears
      • others feet
      • still others hands
1 Cor. 12:12 “For as the body is one and has many parts, and all the parts of that body, though many are one body - so also is Christ.”

  • Membership Means We Are Different but We Still Work Together
    • @ country club you pay others to do the work for you
    • @ church everybody has a role or a function
    • we are all different but necessary parts of the whole
    • if each part (member) doesn’t do their work, the whole body suffers (handicap)
    • beautiful diversity in midst of unity in church membership
1 Cor. 12:26 “So if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it”

  • Membership Means Everything We Say and Do Is Based on a Biblical Foundation of Love
    • 1 Cor. 13 known as the “love” chapter
      • I use it at weddings for definition of biblical love
      • demonstrates agape (unconditional) love
    • Original intent was to demonstrate how church members relate to each other
      • how awesome would church be following these guidelines?
      • talk about a revolution...
1 Cor. 13:4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never fails.
  • a;s
    • Not to love fellow church members b/c they are lovable (all sinners)
      • don’t just pray for preacher when he does what you like
      • we don’t just serve when others are joining in the work
      • we act according to guidelines of ch 13

  • Church Membership Is Functioning Membership
    • How do you “remain” a member of the country club?
      • PAY YOUR DUES
    • How do you remain a “biblical” member of a church?
      • give abundantly & serve w/out hesitation
      • easy to be on a church roll
      • CME membership is not biblical (Christmas, Mother’s Day & Easter)
      • neither is SM only
      • those approaches are...
        • man-made
        • man-centered
        • man-maintained
        • totally contrary to biblical design
    • Biblical membership gives without qualification
      • it views tithes & offerings as joyous giving, opportunity & worship
      • there are no “strings” attached
      • biblical members serve & minister in a “natural” sort of way
    • 2 Reasons for using the “body” as a metaphor for the church
      • First, the body is a unified whole
        • likewise the church is to be united in...
          • mission
          • purposes
          • ministries
          • activities
      • Second, the body is made up of many parts
        • foot - walk
        • hand - grasp
        • ear - hear
        • eye - see
        • nose - smell
    • church members are to function in the same manner
      • concept of an “inactive” church member is an oxymoron
      • biblically, no such member exists
      • we are exhorted to “know” our gifts & use them for God’s glory
      • the more diversity, the stronger the church is
      • ask, “How should I be serving my church”
      • not, “should I be serving my church?”
  • The First Pledge
    • most church rolls are overinflated by a factor of three
      • with 300 on roll, probably only 100 are biblical church members
      • it’s questionable if 1 out of 3 are biblical members of Central
    • You can make the difference by your response
      • the invitation is to make a pledge to be a biblical member
        • commit to giving cheerfully
        • commit to serving & ministering w/out hesitation
        • commit to be a functioning member
The First Pledge:
I am a church member.
     I like the metaphor of membership. It’s not membership as in a civic organization or a country club. It’s the kind of membership given to us in 1 Corinthians 12: “Now you are the body of Christ, and individual members of it” (1 Cor. 12:27).
     Because I’m a member of the body of Christ, I must be a functioning member, whether I am an “eye,” an “ear,” or a “hand.” As a functioning member, I will give. I will serve. I will minister. I will evangelize. I will study. I will seek to be a blessing to others. I will remember that “if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it” (1 Cor. 12:26).

SIGN & DATE: ____________________________________________________