God Is Building A Church

January 9, 2022

 

God Is Building A Church

 

Read Matthew 13:31-33

31 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field:

32 Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.

33 Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.

 

In these verses we find 2 short parables, 2 earthly stories with heavenly meanings. 

In the first 2 verses, Jesus describes the way the Kingdom of God grows. 

He says, “It grows like a mustard seed. 

It starts off small, and then grows surprisingly large.”

That’s certainly the way Jesus’ ministry went. 

When we think about Jesus and His ministry, we think of the thousands of people Jesus fed on the day He multiplied the loaves and fish. 

We think about the many people He healed, and the countless thousands of people He must have taught when He was on earth. 

Yet, in spite of all the work He did, in spite of the people He healed, the people He fed and the people He taught, we find that at His crucifixion, there were only a few of His followers present at the cross. 

After His death and burial, there were only a few people gathered in an upper room. 

Even after His resurrection, only 120 people gathered in an upper room for prayer. 

That’s even after many saw Him risen from the dead! 

Talk about a poor start.

But the Bible says that on the day of Pentecost, over 3000 people were saved. 

A few days later, another 5000 became Christ-followers. 

Later, the Bible records that the Lord added to the church daily.

From that small beginning, Christianity has spread around the world! 

 

Today, the Bible is the fastest and largest selling book in the world! 

Most people have the scriptures in their own language and more languages are being added each year. 

Churches are being planted around the world. 

Russia, that great persecutor and killer of Christians now has a growing group of Christians and new churches are planted in that country almost daily. 

China has growing numbers of Christians there, and in spite of the government’s crackdown, the church continues to grow.

From a small beginning, great things.

We purchased this building in December 1998 and moved into the upstairs church in February 1999. Expound

We have come a long way in this building in 23 years. 

I want to thank all of you for what you have done over the past few years. 

Many of you have given and worked sacrificially. 

You have prayed. 

You have hung in there when times were tough and finances were tight. 

You’ve hung in there, through mistakes I’ve made, and prayed the Lord would set me straight. 

You’ve ministered in our community and taught our children, and we have seen people saved and grow. 

As Paul said, “One planted, another watered, but God has given the increase.” 

God has built from a mustard seed.

We still have work to do.  We should begin work on our new building in the next two to three weeks.  We need to keep winning souls.

We are excited about the tools the Lord has given us and look forward to seeing what He is going to do in the future. 

As we turn from the looking back at our past, to looking ahead at the future I want us to think first about the Mission of the church.

 

I. THE MISSION OF THE CHURCH

1. The Church’s Mission is to Make Disciples

Matthew 28:19-20 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: 

Our job, our mission is to make disciples. 

Our goal, our mission is to make authentic Christ-followers. 

Our success is not to be measured by the property we have, not by our buildings or budgets, nor by our ministries or membership. 

The success of this church is to be measured by whether or not we are making disciples; people are obedient followers of Jesus Christ.

 

2. The Church’s Mission is Important

Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

God forgive us for getting distracted by other things and forgetting how important the mission He has given us is. 

God forgive us for spending more time worrying about the paint on these walls, than we do talking to the lady who sold us the paint about her salvation. 

Luke 19:10 For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save the lost.

God forgive us, if we ever forget the importance of the mission God has given us. 

And let me tell you, God does not have a plan B. 

If you and I in the church are not doing what God has called us to do, then the Lion’s Club will not pick up our slack. 

Neighborhoods, inc is not going to do it. 

Heaven knows our government isn’t going to do it.

Jesus says it is your job and mine to make disciples. 

It is a vital mission.

But, not only must we think, this morning, about the mission of the church, let’s think also about the method of the church. 

Look with me again please at Matthew chapter 13 and verse 33.

33 Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.

 

II. THE METHOD OF THE CHURCH

Do you see here, the method of the church? 

Do you see, how it is that we are to go about completing the mission Christ has given us? 

We do it silently, and continuously, from the inside out.

When yeast is working in bread, sometimes it doesn’t look like much is happening, but all the time that yeast is growing, and multiplying, and expanding. 

The yeast is working from the inside to cause the bread to expand and to grow.

The same is true of the church. 

The church grows; the church fulfills its mission, from the inside out. 

It fulfills its mission by the people that make up that church body, being and doing what God has called each one of them to be and to do. 

God has equipped each of you. 

He has given each of you a spiritual gift, and the Bible says that each of you are building blocks in the church. 

What you are, who you are, determines what this church will be.

When The Potter’s House Church was started almost 70 years ago, the founding members worked together to decide what the core values would be. 

They worked, studied and prayed about what they felt God calling us to be and to do. 

These should be our Core Values:

 

CORE VALUES

A.GOD-GLORIFYING – In other words, we said that we were not looking for stars. We are not looking to gain attention and recognition for ourselves. Our goal is to bring glory to God in everything we do.

If you are constantly craving attention, if you are looking for the atta boys and such, if you sing, work, serve, mow, or whatever, so that people can tell you what a good person you are, this is not the church for you. 

We work, we minister, we teach, preach, and sing, in order to bring glory to God.

B. AUTHENTICITY AND INTEGRITY – By that we mean, we want to be a church where the people don’t say one thing and do something different. We want to be a church where the people practice what they preach.

C. RELATIONSHIPS – We focus on relationships. We strive to build relationships within the church but we also strive to build relationships with our community so that we can earn the right to share Christ with them.

D. REPRODUCTION – We mean that we want to be a soul-winning and a church planting church. We want to support missions and be missionaries ourselves. We are not building us a kingdom, we are working in the Lord’s kingdom.

E. COSTLY COMMITMENT – We want membership in this church to mean something other than that you simply have your name on the role. If you are a member of this church, you need to be involved in ministry, and in serving.

F. WIT – WHATEVER IT TAKES – By this we mean that we will do whatever it takes in order to lead people into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. SALVATION. Our goal here is not to make ourselves comfortable. Our goal is to do whatever is necessary, whatever it takes in order to make disciples. Our style of music can change. We may use a translation of the Bible that pre-Christians can understand. We will do whatever it takes to break down the barriers between us and the community in order to make disciples.

 

Now, if we are going to be that kind of church, then we must be that kind of people. I believe that being that kind of people entails several things.

 

1) WE MUST BE AUTHENTIC PEOPLE   

 

Philippians 4:9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

Paul tells the people in Philippi to do what they have seen him do and be what they have seen him be.

My friends, we must live the life of disciples if we are going to make disciples. 

We must trust God during the hard times, if we want other people to learn to trust God in the hard times. 

If we want others to learn to turn the other cheek, then we must turn the other cheek. 

If we want others to love their neighbors as themselves, then we must do so. …

Heaven knows there are enough back-slidden, wimpy, whining, Christ-doubting, half-hearted Christians and churches in the world, without us adding another one. 

If you want this church to be different, then you live a life that is different. 

You can’t change them, and you’re not responsible for them, but you can work on yourself. …

 

2. WE MUST BE PRAYING PEOPLE

 

John 15:5 -  I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

John 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

My friends, all of our work, all of our effort is wasted if we are not prayers.

John 14:13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

 

3. WE MUST BE PASSIONATE PEOPLE

 

A.PASSION FOR CHRIST – Left your first love. Genuinely in love with Jesus.

B. PASSION FOR SOULS – Getting back to personal invitations

- Getting back to servant evangelism

- Getting back to busboys & waiters.

C. PASSION FOR EXCELLENCE –

1 Corinthians 10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

Good enough, is not “good enough.” Ask, is it good enough for God.

Jeremiah 33:3 Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.