Faithlife Sermons

We Belong

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Happy Mothers’ Day!
Exodus 20:12 NIV
12 “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.
Today is a day to honor mothers. But not everyone shares the same perspective. There is a wide spectrum of how people respond to Mother’s day.
We all have moms, may we find ways to honor her today.
For those with great moms, may you rise up today and bless her.
For those whose memories of mom are painful ones, May you find healing and forgiveness.
For those who long to be a mother, but are not for whatever reason are not, May you find grace and peace.
For those whose Mother’s are gone, May you delight in the memories of her.
Honor you Father and Mother that it may go well with you.
My Branchline
We believe - our core beliefs
We become - our aspirations to become more like Christ
We belong - how we structure ourselves to accomplish our mission
We obey - next week. Baptism and the Lord’s Supper


The church is not a building it is a people.

“So we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.”
Romans 12:5

The church is a family, therefore, we operate on the basis of relationships not rules.

“Finally, all of you should be of one mind. sympathize with each other. love each other as brothers and sisters. be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude.” - 1 Peter 3:8
Kids need both relationships and rules. If you have love without rules, you raise entitled adults. If you have rules with no love, you raise rebellious adults.

The church is a body therefore, we function on the basis of spiritual gifts, not elected offices.

“now there are varieties of gifts, but the same spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same god who empowers them all in everyone. - 1 Corinthians 12:4-6

The church is a flock therefore, it is cared for and led by the pastors.

“keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. be shepherds of the church of god, which he bought with his own blood. - Acts 20:28

2. The Nature of Change

The story of the first few chapters of the church in Jerusalem gives us a picture of a dynamic rather than static church.
Acts 2:44–45 NIV
44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.
Acts 4:32–35 NIV
32 All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. 33 With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all 34 that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35 and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.
Acts 6:1–4 NIV
1 In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Hellenistic Jews among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food. 2 So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, “It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables. 3 Brothers and sisters, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them 4 and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.”

What signals a need to change?

a. Size and Ministry Needs

Moving from Pastoral authority to Congregational Authority
Spiritual Authority
Relational Authority
Positional Authority
The membership...
approves and delegates leadership.
approves the annual budget and purchase of new property and debt.
approves changes to Statement of Faith and By-Laws.
NOTE: you don’t have to be a member. Being a member means that this is your church and you are committed here. You may still remain committed without joining. You will still be able to...
worship freely
serve as you’ve been serving
receive communion
be part of a small group (and even lead)
share financially in the health of the church

b. Life-Cycle of a Church



Jesus Christ is the head of the Church. We submit to him as our Lord and Savior.


Members ratify overseer board members (annually) and new lead pastors (when necessary), ratify the annual budget, and the purchase of new property or indebtedness.


The Overseers help resource God’s vision, protect spiritual vitality, oversee the legal, financial, administrative, and the property affairs of BLC.


As shepherds of the church, the pastors are called to love, lead, feed the people inside and outside the church.


The Team Leaders are charged with leading the specific ministries within Branchline. They help train volunteers, create opportunities for people to use their gifts, and help people grow in their relationship with Jesus.


Regardless of membership status, we serve one another in multiple ways. Aside from some leadership roles, most of volunteer roles may be done by non-members.

Conclusion: What now?

about membership
Pray about your decision to become an official member.
If you haven’t been baptized, sign up for May 23 service.
about Branchline
Pray for our church. There is still much to do.
Ask God what part you should play in the new life-cycle.
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