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Homecoming: Where are We Going and Why are we Going there?

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Matthew 5:13–16 ESV
13 “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. 14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
Good morning....
We are on the cusp of a massive transition for this church family.
And what I want to do this morning, really is get you up to date on where we are at, what we are hoping to accomplish and dare I say what we as a a church expect of you, if you are going to call Town Centre your home!
Matthew 5:13–16 ESV
13 “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. 14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
This is part of the Sermon on the Mount- the inaugural speech of Jesus, saying this is what my reign looks like. This is what it will look like in your life, and this is the kind of life that changes communities and the world!!!
And he has just been speaking to a large crown, but he moves from speaking to the massive crown and hones in on his disciples, he moves speaking in a general term to saying, now......YOU.
And if I could do the same with you this morning.
If you are inclined to saying to yourself on Sunday mornings (and we all do at times) “This is not for me. I got this one!! Patience!! come on!! figured that out in one day, move on to the next one please!! Read a book about it. So, I hope these bozos are paying attention!!”
If you have ever been inclined to check out on a Sunday morning, I would like your attention.
If this is your church, If you agree with the mission of this church to help seekers and believers become fuller devoted followers of Jesus Christ because in him we we find our fullest purpose, identity and humanity, then listen!!!
He looked at his disciples and made this very clear:
Jesus is using these to images/illustrations of salt and of light to describe those who follow Jesus, while in the world.
And this is his point:
Salt and light only have purpose and effectiveness of they are both fully involved IN the world yet DISTINCT from it!
The church (of which we are now the ambassadors, the hands and feet of in Town Centre) ONLY has effectiveness if it is both IN the world and DISTINCT from it!
The Church only has effectiveness if it is both IN the world and DISTINCT from it!
Functioning in the society as an alternative and challenge to it!
Salt in ancient time was known for 2 main things: flavour and preservative
It brought flavour to bland food.
There were spice you could use, but the daily, most often used source to flavour stuff was salt.
or salt!n
There was no refrigeration. So when it came to keeping meat, fish for any amount of time it was with salt as a preserver.
That is the call of the church!!
We are meant to bring flavour and preserve the community we find our selves in.
The problem is that most people connect Christianity and the church wit the exact opposite!!
We are those who take flavour out of life!!
Emperor Julian looking at the Christians populating the Roman Empire in the 4th century was struck by the shear boredom that seemed to plague so many of the Christians:
Have you looked at these Christians closely? Hollow-eyed, pale-cheeked........they brood their lives away, unspurred by ambition; the sun shines for them, but they do not see it; the earth offers them its fulness but, they desire it not; all their desire is to renounces and to suffer that they may come to die
So to Julian he looked at Christians and saw a group of people who seemed to be taking the life out of life!!
Oliver Wendell Holmes- an American Judge at the turn of last century said…he might have entered ministry instead if.....
I might have entered the ministry if certain clergymen I knew had not looked and acted so much like undertakers.
Robert Louis Stevenson once wrote in his diary, as if he was recording an extraordinary event when he wrote...
I have been to church today, and am not depressed!
How far from the life and radiance we are meant to have as Christians.
We need to discover the lost radiance of the Christian faith. In a worried world, Christians should be people who remain calm. In a saddened world, Christians should offer reason for joy and hope.
salt either as a flavour or as preservative only works when applied to something else. If it does not it has no purpose!
a. salt either as a flavour or as preservative only works when applied to something else. If it does not it has no purpose!
sitting on its own it does not help- doesn’t bring flavour to the bland and doesn’t preserve it.
Light Jesus says makes no sense unless applied to the darkness!!
And its purpose is not realized.
HEAR this>>>>> The reason most people feel that their faith is bland, is because they are content to sit near the action but not take part in it.
But when people start getting their hands dirty for the kingdom, start serving others, serving and seeking the health of their community....that is where the Christian walk starts getting vibrant!
That is were light shines.
The image is a brightly lit city on a hilltop—meaning all the lights of the city are working together to be a bright light that takes over the night.
It is meant to be a combination of all Christ followers!
not a light here and one here; but corporately all taking on the life of service and influence.
Functioning IN the community for the health, preservation and flavour of the community
Not simply because it is an option but because that is the very quality of salt!
Without salt being used for its purposes, it has no reason to exist.
The other day I had the joy of grabbing some tools, crowbars, hammer, electric screwdriver, and go pull apart an old theatre set peice for my wife.
She kept saying thank you but I don’t think she realized the actual joy it was to tear this thing apart. She kept saying I could do it later, but I was pretty much ready to go.
After I tore it all apart, and was placing the broken pieces of wood, casters, and fabric onto my car, I was getting concerned that I would mark up our beautiful Mazda 5. There were little screws and small nails sticking out, and I was having a very short lived dilemma, whether or not I wanted to put all this stuff in because it would cause scuff marks and maybe some tears here and there.
In the end I put it all in and suffered a few scuffs and tears.
And the car that can fold down its rows of seats, served its purpose.
If I boasted about how the car has all sorts of space, it can do alot more than people think, but never haul anything with it, it doesn’t serve its purpose. And ultimately I will not convince anyone of how practical it is.
As we transition to a new building, in a newer thriving densely populated location, but fail to live out the calling of the gospel,
move in an hunker down just showing up on Sundays; to worship our private God, within the four walls of the theatre, we are like salt that has lost its saltiness, a light that refuses to shine.
But if we live out our purpose, identity as the church of Jesus Christ, it will be uncomfortable at times, we will get some scuff marks, BUT then we will bring flavour, health, light to the community of Town Centre.
Let it never be said that we just took up space at Evergreen!!
I. How we got to now...
Moving to Evergreen Cultural Centre
checked 4 years ago NO- next thing I know- another church has moved in
found out and contacted within 10 minutes (had someone on the inside)
spoke to Peter Helm Evergreen Community church all is good, they had a good relationship with the theatre, but it just wasn’t working for their size. They have another place, so we are not celebrating the demise of a church.
Mark, Paula, Brett, went down 2 days later
worked out the contract which is quite close to the price we are paying
we were told up from there was no space for storage and within a week that changed to u being able to have storage in the parking lot.
Let Port know a few weeks ago——
September 9th
Setting up Office CMPNY August 28th
Hoping to get the rest fo the crew in there in September
____________________________________
Name change
from CAChurch:Huh where’s that
to
CAChurch: Town Centre
NOT just the building!!!!!
3 block radius - CMPNY- where we can use space for smaller meetings in the evenings/Sunday after church
Coquitlam Public Library - we have already booked ministry in the building
Douglas College
Town Centre Park
PRAY for us
change always brings some small bits of irritation, not matter how great it seems
II. What you can expect?
Pros:
much larger entrance
the busiest area in the Tri-cities.
It has been difficult at times to get people here; they are here because they are lost or they had a treasure map.
it will be a blessing to be where people are!
One of the things I’ve loved doing here is the halloween hot chocolate and fire-works.
The reason we have enjoyed it so much is because it is the one time of the year everyone is out walking the streets around here. It takes no advertising, and they cannot escape.
“Here take a hot chocolate!!”
“I don’t want it!!”
“Be served!!!”
Moving to Town Centre means that opportunities to serve the community grows exponentially!
the Winter Lights Walk, the different festivals, parents freezing during fall soccer league, we can be serving these people
Set up
building itself
Cons:
NOTHIN!!!
it is going to be so easy!!
We will do everything we can as your church leaders to make this the easiest transition you’ve ever felt, so that you are not challenged in the least!!
Because we believe at CAChurch that every attendee is a fragile flower that must be carefully nurtured and .......
It will take some getting used to:
kids church will be in different places (all closer to the sanctuary)
a few weekends a year, we will have to do something outside of the building for a church service.
At times like those we will be forced out of our comfort zone and serve the community somehow; and to be honest I’m trying to find a negative in that!!
sanctuary
baptisms
With a theatre rental there are some rules that might be new to us.
There is no coffee in the sanctuary. There is in the lobby of course. But not on the inside of the theatre.
please do not test it, try to cheat it, complain about it!!!!
There will be people from the theatre that will be present on Sunday mornings, what a great opportunity, people are forced in fact paid to be close to a bunch of Christians, please do not have your witness to them be that you tried to smuggle coffee and snacks in!!!!
Please be extremely gracious to them!
Say hello and ask them how they are doing!!
They will be your first interaction, and first opportunity for ministry in our new home!
III. What I expect from you?
Grab your bibles....
Matthew 5:13–16 ESV
13 “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. 14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
This is part of the Sermon on the Mount- the inaugural speech of Jesus, saying this is what my reign looks like. This is what it will look like in your life, and this is the kind of life that changes communities and the world!!!
And he has just been speaking to a large crown, but he moves from speaking to the massive crown and hones in on his disciples, he moves speaking in a general term to saying, now......YOU.
And if I could do the same with you this morning.
If you are inclined to saying to yourself on Sunday mornings (and we all do at times) “This is not for me. I got this one!! Patience!! come on!! figured that out in one day, move on to the next one please!! Read a book about it. So, I hope these bozos are paying attention!!”
If you have ever been inclined to check out on a Sunday morning, I would like your attention.
If this is your church, If you agree with the mission of this church to help seekers and believers become fuller devoted followers of Jesus Christ because in him we we find our fullest purpose, identity and humanity, then listen!!!
He looked at his disciples and made this very clear:
Jesus is using these to images/illustrations of salt and of light to describe those who follow Jesus, while in the world.
And this is his point:
Salt and light only have purpose and effectiveness of they are both fully involved IN the world yet DISTINCT from it!
The church (of which we are now the ambassadors, the hands and feet of in Town Centre) ONLY has effectiveness if it is both IN the world and DISTINCT from it!
The Church only has effectiveness if it is both involved IN the world and DISTINCT from it!
Functioning in the society as an alternative and challenge to it!
Salt in ancient time was known for 2 main things: flavour and preservative
It brought flavour to bland food.
There were spice you could use, but the daily, most often used source to flavour stuff was salt.
There was no refrigeration. So when it came to keeping meat, fish for any amount of time it was with salt as a preserver.
That is the call of the church!!
We are meant to bring flavour and preserve the community we find our selves in.
The problem is that most people connect Christianity and the church wit the exact opposite!!
We are those who take flavour out of life!!
Emperor Julian looking at the Christians populating the Roman Empire in the 4th century was struck by the shear boredom that seemed to plague so many of the Christians:
Have you looked at these Christians closely? Hollow-eyed, pale-cheeked........they brood their lives away, unspurred by ambition; the sun shines for them, but they do not see it; the earth offers them its fulness but, they desire it not; all their desire is to renounces and to suffer that they may come to die
So to Julian he looked at Christians and saw a group of people who seemed to be taking the life out of life!!
Oliver Wendell Holmes- an American Judge at the turn of last century said…he might have entered ministry instead if.....
I might have entered the ministry if certain clergymen I knew had not looked and acted so much like undertakers.
Robert Louis Stevenson once wrote in his diary, as if he was recording an extraordinary event when he wrote...
I have been to church today, and am not depressed!
How far from the life and radiance we are meant to have as Christians.
We need to discover the lost radiance of the Christian faith. In a worried world, Christians should be people who remain calm. In a saddened world, Christians should offer reason for joy and hope.
salt either as a flavour or as preservative only works when applied to something else. If it does not it has no purpose!
sitting on its own it does not help- doesn’t bring flavour to the bland and doesn’t preserve it.
Light Jesus says makes no sense unless applied to the darkness!!
And its purpose is not realized.
HEAR this>>>>> The reason most people feel that their faith is bland, is because they are content to sit near the action but not take part in it.
But when people start getting their hands dirty for the kingdom, start serving others, serving and seeking the health of their community....that is where the Christian walk starts getting vibrant!
That is were light shines.
The image is a brightly lit city on a hilltop—meaning all the lights of the city are working together to be a bright light that takes over the night.
It is meant to be a combination of all Christ followers!
not a light here and one here; but corporately all taking on the life of service and influence.
Functioning IN the community for the health, preservation and flavour of the community
Not simply because it is an option but because that is the very quality of salt!
Without salt being used for its purposes, it has no reason to exist.
The other day I had the joy of grabbing some tools, crowbars, hammer, electric screwdriver, and go pull apart an old theatre set peice for my wife.
She kept saying thank you but I don’t think she realized the actual joy it was to tear this thing apart. She kept saying I could do it later, but I was pretty much ready to go.
After I tore it all apart, and was placing the broken pieces of wood, casters, and fabric onto my car, I was getting concerned that I would mark up our beautiful Mazda 5. There were little screws and small nails sticking out, and I was having a very short lived dilemma, whether or not I wanted to put all this stuff in because it would cause scuff marks and maybe some tears here and there.
In the end I put it all in and suffered a few scuffs and tears.
And the car that can fold down its rows of seats, served its purpose.
If I boasted about how the car has all sorts of space, it can do alot more than people think, but never haul anything with it, it doesn’t serve its purpose. And ultimately I will not convince anyone of how practical it is.
As we transition to a new building, in a newer thriving densely populated location, but fail to live out the calling of the gospel,
move in an hunker down just showing up on Sundays; to worship our private God, within the four walls of the theatre, we are like salt that has lost its saltiness, a light that refuses to shine.
But if we live out our purpose, identity as the church of Jesus Christ, it will be uncomfortable at times, we will get some scuff marks, BUT then we will bring flavour, health, light to the community of Town Centre.
Let it never be said that we just took up space at Evergreen!!
III. What I expect?
Ultimately, moving the church forward into the future involves every member.Since we are the church, the church moves only as its people move.All these challenges are personal challenges to each of us.This is the Lord’s Church…
It is composed of people just like me.
It will be friendly if I am.
It will do great work if I work.
It will make generous gifts to many causes if I am generous
It will bring others into its fellowship if I bring them
Its seats will be filled if I fill them
It will be a church of loyalty and love, of faith and service.
If I who make it what it is, am filled with these
Therefore, with God’s help, I dedicate myself to the task of being
All these things the church should be
C. WILL YOU ACCEPT THE CHALLENGE?
Norm Funk
Norm Funk is the pastor of Westside Church in Vancouver.
Westside has one of the coolest stories of the local church.
A massive theatre impossible to get, not even on their radar, was sold to them for an amazing price, people of wealth stepped up and gifted the church with some money that made the purchase and occupation really almost a miraculous event!!
Anytime I’ve heard Norm talk about this, and I’ve heard him in front of a huge audience or one on one at Starbucks, and his demeanour is the same.
You see awe in his face at how it all seemed divinely orchestrated and then he will say....”Getting the building is an amazing story,....but I hope its not the bets city!!”
I am so excited about this move. I have been sure to seek out godly counsel, I’ve sought out God in prayer.
but if all we can say at the end of the day is that we have a nicer building in a nicer location, and do not see this as an opportunity for the Spirit of God to shake us up, to move us with compassion for the lost in Coquitlam; to see this as an opportunity for love and good works
Bottom Line
Ultimately, moving the church forward into the future involves every person who calls this their church. The church moves only as its people move. Only as its people trust and follow Jesus. Shines light only as each of us shines light. Only brings flavour, health, hope, only as individuals in this church offer lives of hope.
SLOWLY
So as I leave you with this, as we stand on the cusp of our new home.....please understand....live with the healthy conviction given us by Jesus great commission to reach the world with the gospel.... that all these challenges are personal challenges that make up the challenge of our church. They must be believed and lived on the individual level if they are to be a reality on the church level.
The life giving work of the local church is done by individuals like me,
who know Jesus and desire to make him known!
It will be friendly if I am friendly
It will do great Kingdom work if I am engaged in great Kingdom work.
It will be generous if I am generous
It will bring others into its fellowship if I bring them into fellowship
Its seats will be filled if I fill them
It will be a church of love, of faith and service
if I who make it what it is, am filled with these.
It will be devoted to Christ, if I am devoted to Christ.
Therefore, with God’s help, I dedicate myself to the task of being
all these things the church should be!
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