Faithlife Sermons

A Vision For the Future

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This morning I want to do something maybe a little different. Though I have a couple Scripture texts studied and picked out I just want to preach in a way which reveals my heart for our church as we move into the future. I may not put many slides up on the screen, because I don’t want you to be distracted by what is on the screen and miss my heart for us.
I have been here at FBC St. Paris for over 3 1/2 years. I have roughly spoken on a Sunday morning 175 plus times. I do not have a good number on Wednesday night times, nor the special services like Christmas Eve, Maundy Thursday, and the like. To some extent I am certain what I share this morning will not be anything “new”. For truly, I try to pour my heart and soul into every message.

I want you to know the why to the what.

I don’t want you to guess why I do everything I do. I may not be able to simply or accurately describe everything I do and each reason. Yet, today I want you to have a chance to peer inside my, your Pastor’s, heart. As one of the leaders of this church I think you need to know the foundation for all my persuasions, leading us to unknown territories, and the times I seem get frustrated. I am not asking you to take this as your heart. I am also not saying just because I believe this we “must” do everything I say. Absolutely not!!! Christ has brought us together and though this is my heart I cannot say it is my way or the highway; or that this is specifically Christ’s heart for our church.

Our world is changing…rapidly.

We live in what some call a post-Christian nation and culture.

I realize living in St. Paris this is not as true as other parts. In fact, being in the midwest we definitely are not as post-Christian, meaning beyond the point where being a Christian is “foreign”. We have many people in our community, and county, who have some knowledge & experience of church. These individuals have been called the de-churched. In the next 10-15 years we will see right here in our community and area more “unchurched” individuals; meaning those who have no history or true experience with what it means to go to church let alone be the church.
Three Essentials
Christ is the Foundation!
We are to love!
We must be disciples who make disciples!

We need to be innovative/creative.

The church of the future will not, dare I even say cannot, be the same as it is today. We are living in a world our country has not seen since our inception. However this is not a surprise for Christ. He has been through this before. We are His church and we will not fail. Yet, we cannot stay the same when our task demands we learn to speak into this culture.

We will need to create true community.

I am not just talking about Bible Studie groups, Sunday School groups, small groups or the like. Those are important and necessary as we duplicate and become disciple makers. Our community needs to see, be encouraged, and needs true community. One that allows for disagreements, differences, yet still be loving communities with standards which does not allow for “anything to go” and be okay.
People need to see authentic and true people not polished ones.

True community allows for questions, doubts, and brokenness.

We must learn to be on the fringes of society.

We must learn to be interdependent. We are better together!

We must recommit to Christ’s Church.

We need to go deep with Jesus.

We need not fear, for Christ is with us! He is Emmanuel!

We are never alone in this way of life. We are not to fear. The writer of Hebrews states,
Hebrews 13:6 NIV
So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?”
1 John 4:4 NIV
You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.

Christ will accomplish this through us, his followers.

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