RAP SHEET 11/7/21
Sermon: Called Out
Scripture: Matthew 16:18
ICE BREAKER: Would you rather ride a rollercoaster for 6 hours straight or only be allowed to eat Brussels sprouts for a whole month?
Ever year we review and remind ourselves exactly what the Church IS and what the Church IS NOT. Data shows that churches in the West are experiencing serious decline. They are seen as outdated, bigoted, backwards, and even dangerous! This all leads to the question: WHY WOULD ANYONE GO TO CHURCH?
This is a huge contrast to what we saw when the movement we call church first got started! At the first official gathering, 3,000 people put their faith in Jesus and were baptized! For the next few centuries the church spread like wildfire, even though it was suffering tremendous persecution!
This brought affirmation to the words of Jesus in Matthew 16:18b
“…I will build My church, and the forces of Hades will not overpower it."
So what happened that we are not experiencing this same kind of revival in our own context? A giant clue can be found in the word "CHURCH" itself! The word that Jesus used for 'church' was ekklesia - which translates to THE CALLED OUT. This was a term referring to the purpose of people. Over time, tradition had it's impact on what we meant in our translation and the english word "CHURCH" came to put it's focus on religious PLACES instead of Purposeful People.
It isn't that scripture is wrong, it is the way fallible humans handled that scripture that took the church off course. Why aren't we seeing the incredible growth and movement of the first century believers? It is largely because we have lost what the church actually is. It no longer lines up to Jesus' original intention when he said, "I will build MY CHURCH..."
How have you seen this mistake of seeing Church as a sacred place?
What damages has this caused in our culture?
When church means the building, it makes religious leaders protect the place - even to the great harm of the people. You judge people who don't look like they fit in. You kick people out who may do harm to the protection of the sacred Place.
Jesus did not die to build sacred Places. Jesus died to start a movement of Powerful PEOPLE. As you know, Meta just purchased a building and we are very excited about it. However, we MUST be clear - Meta did not buy a "church." The new building is not the point and it is not the purpose. When you get the "church" right, you realize that a building is just a tool for the PEOPLE to utilize for their movement.
Church is not something or somewhere that you attend.
YOU ARE THE CHURCH!
How does correctly defining Church make a difference in this movement?
What does it mean to you that you have been "Called Out" by Jesus to be a part of His movement?
How should "being the church" affect your life practically?
Spend some time asking Jesus to show you what it means to Be The Church in every part of your life. Ask the Holy Spirit to continue to reshape the incorrect views you have on church. Seek how God wants to use you to build His movement and reach more people!