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November 5, 2018

I Will: Nine Traits of the Outwardly Focused Christian

Session 1:  I Will: 9 Traits of the Outwardly Focused Christian

Introduction

Here’s the church and here’s the steeple….

…open the door to see all the people!

“Here is the church…here is the steeple…open the door and see all the people!”  That little hand gesture describes WHAT WE DO in the church, viz. what we do, we do TOGETHER and this study, entitled “I Will,” is going to help us remember HOW to go about doing church together!

…open the door and WHERE are all the people?

But too, the other way to do the hand gesture is also important: “Here is the church…here is the steeple…open the door and where are the people?” This way describes WHY WE DO what we do in the life of the church! We live our lives together so that we can go out of the church building and engage our neighbors with Jesus’ good news!

“CHURCH” – what are we talking about?   How might you define “church” in just one sentence:

  • “God’s agenda for the world.” Rick Warren
  • “Mission points God has given us.” Thom Rainer
  • “Called to proclaim JESUS as the life-giving Son of God.” Jesus, Matthew 16:18
  •  “A fellowship of believers on mission in the world as they live in community as disciples of Jesus.” Sunday night Chapel Small group
  • WHAT do all of these definitions have in common?
  • They assume we exist for OTHERS not just for ourselves.
  • That is what is RIGHT with the church when things are going right with the church!

Now, there is PLENTY that can be WRONG with the church:   From the home office in Nashville, Tennessee this is the Top Nine list of reasons why churches drive away first time guests:

  1. Unfriendly members – faking it.
  2. Unsafe/unclean children’s areas
  3. No place to get info
  4. Bad website
  5. Poor signage
  6. Insider language
  7. Boring service
  8. Members telling guests they are in their seat
  9. Dirty facilities

Yes. There’s plenty that can be wrong with the church. There is no church that is perfect.  Every church is made up of humans.

BUT, in this study we are going to focus on what is RIGHT with the church AND how to make it right if it’s not right– it depends on each of us!! 

What’s right?  Jesus calls us to himself for his purpose and shows us how to be the church!    “Ekklesia” — is the New Testament word “church” and it means “called from within the world, self ” and “called to follow Jesus, the selfless one”    We exist for others (for our brothers and sisters in the church AND for those on the outside).

So, how can we become the church Jesus intends for us to be?

It starts with ATTITUDE and that attitude leads to ACTION!

How do you think right Attitude results in right action?   Read Phil 2:1-11

 

4 Biblical Examples of Right Attitude!

  1. I am a UNIFYING church member: Ephesians 4:1-3
  2. I am a SACRIFICING church members:    Phil 2:5-8
  3. I am a PRAYERFUL church member:  Col. 1:9-10
  4. I am a JOYFUL church member:  Phil 4:4-7

ATTITUDE determines WHO you are!

Then, we can move to what we do – action – “I Will”!  Our study will, therefore, help us to build a model of churchpersonship that will make the Lord’s difference in the way we do church together.

 

ACTION 1 — the First Piece in Our Churchpersonship:  I Will Worship with Others!    

  • Define “worship” – “worth” + “ship” – we acknowledge that which is WORTH most to us. “-Ship” is suffix of state, therefore the state of being worthy = worship.

    Building our churchpersonship toward “I Will.”

  • 2 Samuel 22: 4: “I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise,
    and have been saved from my enemies.
  • 1 Chronicles 16:15: For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;
    he is to be feared above all gods.
  • Psalm 96:4: For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;
    he is to be feared above all gods.
  • Revelation 4:11: “You are worthy, our Lord and God,
    to receive glory and honor and power,
    for you created all things,
    and by your will they were created
    and have their being.”

Define “true worship”:

  • Flows from the heart
  • Recognizes and Responds to the Magnificence of Christ
  • Gratitude for the grace of God
  • Confession of sin
  • Open and Obedient to the Lord
  • Focused attention on God! — Lauren Wortman
  • Spirit and Truth means, “beyond the surface,” to the depths of who we are.  — Tony Burnette

Worship is:

  • With OTHERS –Acts 2:46-47
  • What is your most favorite and/or beloved part of worship? Worship, though, is Not about my Preference –if it ever is,  then it’s ME-focused and I am what is Worth more!
  • Priority – “decide to go to church today?”
  • Focus on God: How?
  • I will ATTEND Worship: Can you worship God alone? Outside?  In from of TV?  Yes, to all BUT what is missing when you do?   Body life!
  • I will PRAY BEFORE
  • I will PRAY ENTERING
  • I will PRAY to be a worshiper not a Judge.

Read Acts 2:41-47:  Why was the level of commitment so high for this church?

Here’s a small group giving a “thumbs up” to the commitment to “I Will!”

  • They realized they needed each other.   We are all new at this “following Jesus” so we need each other along the way! — Tony Burnette
  • They knew what they had in common was Jesus — they had all reached the bottom of life and met Jesus there to pick them up.  Theirs’ was a common testimony, “I’ve been there too.” — Chapel small group.
  • They made a decision – “ I Will ” worship together!

 

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