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: _________________________________________________________

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