The Challenges and Remedies for a Season of Radical Advance.

PJ Smyth | Sunday 17th July 2011

Notes

  • What is a biblical church? It is community on mission. God, the Trinity, is a community on mission.
  • Isaiah 54 – lengthen and strengthen, increase quantity and quality.
  • The Spirit makes us into a community, a family and into a missional people.
  • Jesus was forsaken and overlooked at His most crucial moment of mission. It is hard to get the balance right between community and mission. Emphasis on community leads to frustration; emphasis on mission can lead to people feeling overlooked.
  • We as CCK are at the stage of advancing in ministry.
  • The people who feel most overlooked are usually those who have been there from the start. Feeling neglected, left out and undervalued.
  • But there is a remedy for the problem – many solutions:

1. Not to abandon mission.

  • We are not a hospital but an ambulance or a hospital ship. We keep moving.

2. Increase honesty.

  • If you really don’t agree with something or if you have a complaint, speak up. Even if you can’t raise the issue in a godly way, raise it anyway.

3. Increase organisation.

  • When a church is large, too little organisation can damage relationships.

4. Increase number of leaders.

  • The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.
  • Raising up leaders is the most missional thing we can do.
  • God will only give you the harvest when you have enough leaders to care for those He brings – you won’t catch any more fish if you don’t increase the fishermen.
  • How? Strategy of trebling everything.
  • We’re not just trying to pastor those we have but the city we’re in.
  • Mission must shape the way we do church, not the other way around.
  • Mission creates more community and community fuels mission.
  • In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. We often discount people because we think they don’t know enough to lead – but they are more useful than we think.

5. Increase responsibility.

  • Are you merely involved or are you committed?
  • The church is a local missionary organisation.
  • The key? Keep saying yes, and when you say no say it with a clear conscience. God will promote you.

6. Increase faith.

  • Have faith for one another because of what God can do.
  • Have faith for CCK – faith moves the arm of God to break open Brighton. Have individual faith for it.
  • Have faith for giving.

7. Increase Spirit.

  • Be led by the Spirit for leading and pastoring people – ask Him to prompt you when someone needs special care or encouragement. All it takes is a call/text/email.

8. Increase hospitality.

  • Hospitality is huge in the Bible – it is seen as almost a requirement of Christians, certainly of elders.
  • Be hospitable in your home and in your spirit – being welcoming and friendly with your whole self. Give yourself completely. Be accepting and vulnerable.
  • Where we meet for church is like our lounge – you can relax, be at home, say hi to those who also “live” there. And people who are new you welcome in, love them, make an effort.
  • Arrive to church early to be there to welcome people.
  • God has been hospitable to us, now we show it to others.

9. Increase playing to gift.

  • Use people’s gifting – maximise on what people are gifted to do.

 

Some final points:

  • Give your elders freedom to make radical decisions.
  • Some of us will go by staying.
  • The real work of church is not merely launching new sites but loving those who don’t know Jesus in that area.