Family let me be direct for a moment. I really hope you understand how much power you actually have in the success of Life Givers Church! Let’s make this clear and minimize this context to two parties, the Lead Pastor and the Congregation. The weight of God’s assignment is really in the hands of the congregation...that’s you. The Lead Pastor is only one person, and is only called by God to mediate and move God’s vision amongst the congregation. Remember, the Church is given a pastor and not the other way around (Jeremiah 3:15). In this the person of possession is not the pastor, but the congregation. While this does not mean the local church is led by the congregation, as we can find no such biblical church model, this means that a large part of the success of God’s assignment does depend on the congregation. Herein lies the question of success for Life Givers Church. How can we be a successful church?
Success for Life Givers Church is experiencing as many people as possible coming to faith in Jesus Christ. In light of this when we want God’s results then we must do things exactly how God instructs them to be done, according to the wisdom of His word. Therefore three things are of the utmost importance when it comes to our prosperity as a local church. We consider the following text as our guide.
Acts 6:7 - “And the word of God continued to increase, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith.
- More WORD - The foundation of all creation is the Word of God. The Bible begins with God creating through spoken word. The Bible culminates with Jesus, the very Word of God speaking that surely he is coming soon (Revelation 22:20). All things begin and end with God’s Word. 1Peter 1:24-25 captures this well by saying that at the end of the day, all things earthly (“flesh”) will perish; but it is the Word of the Lord that will remain forever. Then Peter adds a confirming piece do avoid confusion. The word of God is the very word that has been preached to you. In our context, this is the sermon preached weekly and any other time where your pastor sows into your life God’s word. Therefore if the word is to increase in our lives, it is to increase first in my delivery as your spiritual leader, your covering, the one who is responsible for your soul. Secondly the word of God is to increase in your hearing. You must lend your ear to God’s word at every opportunity. Do you see how we both have a high level of responsibility in this idea of God’s word increasing? I preach, you hear. I teach, you learn. I write, you read. All in all the word of God increase in Life Givers...in us!
- More DISCIPLES - The second point of our success is in disciple-making. The outflow of an increase in God’s word automatically produces disciples who make disciples; also known as people who follow Jesus and teach others how to follow Jesus. There is no other result. Therefore if we aren’t being disciples who make disciples then it is clear that God’s word is not increasing in our lives. The inverse is also true. Without a steady increase of God’s word in our lives it’s impossible to be a disciple who makes disciples. In all seriousness anything less than this and we are not being the Church. If we aren’t seeing people come to follow Jesus through our personal commitment to disciple-making then we at best have created our own spiritual-social group that’s devoid of the Holy Spirit. This is far from the Gospel and what Christ intended. He did not die for our spiritual and social comfort. Rather Jesus died so we who were spiritually dead would now live fully in Christ and teach others who are spiritually dead to do the same. This is the byproduct of an increase in God’s word in our lives personally and communally. This is also the challenge because in the name of getting closer to Jesus, we tend to push the word of God further into the margins of our lives. To this end we must contend to follow Jesus and teach others to follow Jesus also.
- More OBEDIENCE - The third point of our success rests in our devotion to obey exactly what we see Jesus doing. Consider the flow here. As the word of God increases in our lives personally and communally, the automatic result is living as disciples of Jesus and teaching others how to live as disciples of Jesus. Essentially, true discipleship results in God’s people, also known as “priests”, living a life of faithful obedience. To clarify, this is not a life without sin. Rather it’s a life on continual repentance from sin to God. Herein is most fundamental, that the life of a Jesus follower is one lived in faith and therefore marked by obedience. Biblically we understand that faith unmarked by obedience to Jesus is not faith at all. 1John 2:6 is clear on this; if we say we abide, or can also be said to have faith in Jesus then we must also walk in the same way that Jesus walked. It’s impossible to say I believe in Christ, and not bear the total mark of his life. I’m a liar and the truth is far from me! So then a life of obedience is the purest sign of a disciple who makes disciples because the word of God is constantly increasing in their life.
Life Givers, this is the greatest level of impact you can have in our church family. Please understand that when I say Life Givers Church, biblically this is not separate from our personal lives. Seeing how we are the church, all things Life Givers is personal life and our personal lives includes Life Givers. So if increase in God’s word, being disciples who make disciples and faith marked by obedience is the greatest impact we can have in the local church, it also means that we will have the same level of impact in our personal lives.
DO YOU GET THIS???
You can’t afford to not increase God’s word in your life. You can’t afford to not be a disciple who makes disciples. You can’t afford to not become more obedient to the life of Jesus Christ. All of our success depends on your commitment to this! Love you!