Wednesday, May 2, 2012

C3 Church First Wednesday: Being A Five-Star Church

Do you like being treated well? Pastor Matt begins by talking about a hotel stay. Not the most expensive hotel, but they treated him like it was a five-star hotel. In a recent trip to the mountains, he stayed at a hotel that got rave reviews. He thought they under-delivered.

In talking about the church, Matt believes that the church ought to give top notch service. "If it's Christian, it ought to be better."

Sometimes, if we're not careful, we can give our best to everything else and we get lazy about the Church.
13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”[a]
14 “Well,” they replied, “some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and others say Jeremiah or one of the other prophets.”
15 Then he asked them, “But who do you say I am?”
16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah,[b] the Son of the living God.”
17 Jesus replied, “You are blessed, Simon son of John,[c] because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being. 18 Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ‘rock’),[d] and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell[e] will not conquer it. 19 And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you forbid[f] on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit[g] on earth will be permitted in heaven.”
20 Then he sternly warned the disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah. Matthew 16:13-20 (NLT)
The idea is that the Church is progressing and advancing on the enemy's camp. Nothing can stop a thriving Church.

"The called out ones" is what Church means in the Bible. The Church is not a building, but people or assembly.
24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another,and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:24-25 (NKJV)
While Pastor loves technology, there is nothing like being around people. No computer (live stream) takes the place of assembling with the Church.

In the Bible, people were being persecuted for gathering together. We shouldn't let anything get in the way of getting together with the Church.

Four Thoughts Of Being a Five-Star Church

It's All About Jesus

The Church is not about one person (i.e., pastor or staff), but on Jesus. If we would get out of the way, HE will build up the Church. It's about Jesus' glory and fame.

If you're not careful, one can think it's about people. God gives the Church its leaders, but it's not about them. It's about living God's dream and vision. We need to get on board with God's passion. The Church is a place to serve and support the cause of Christ.

Pastor Matt talks about a recent conference call with some pastors. On the call, Pastor James spoke for about an hour. During the call, he said, "I've lost all my dreams to be captured by His." This means that all of his dreams are about Jesus.

It Takes A Team

The Pastor talks about many stories of member's first time visiting C3. The Church starts way before the sermon. It starts in the parking lot and with the welcome team. 

The Church doesn't rise and fall based on Matt's presence. It takes a team. 

Last weekend, Chris Pipes spoke. The Church survived the Pastor's absence. It's not about Matt, but Jesus.

Has One Vision

"Real Hope for Real People in a Real World" is our Church's vision.

A few weeks ago, a visiting speaker spoke with our youth and asked, "How many visions does this church have?" They answered, "One!" That was the first time, in many years, that he has ever experienced that while speaking. It brought tears of joy to Pastor's eyes.

The vision keeps us focused. It provides power to work under one goal.

At one time all the people of the world spoke the same language and used the same words.
2 As the people migrated to the east, they found a plain in the land of Babylonia[a]and settled there.
3 They began saying to each other, “Let’s make bricks and harden them with fire.” (In this region bricks were used instead of stone, and tar was used for mortar.) 4 Then they said, “Come, let’s build a great city for ourselves with a tower that reaches into the sky. This will make us famous and keep us from being scattered all over the world.”
5 But the Lord came down to look at the city and the tower the people were building.6 “Look!” he said. “The people are united, and they all speak the same language. After this, nothing they set out to do will be impossible for them! 7 Come, let’s go down and confuse the people with different languages. Then they won’t be able to understand each other.”
8 In that way, the Lord scattered them all over the world, and they stopped building the city. 9 That is why the city was called Babel,[b] because that is where the Lord confused the people with different languages. In this way he scattered them all over the world. Genesis 11:1-9 (NLT)
Pride always leads to confusion. Babel, before this, meant "Gateway to God. After this event, the word means, "Confusion."

God wants his Church to be united, humble, and speaking the same language. In the New Testament (Acts), God gave the people the Holy Spirit and allowed them to speak the same language.

Firmly Planted

A healthy Church family is one that is firmly planted. These people are not tossed around easily. Today, this means church hopping. People get offended or don't get what they want and they leave.

In a Church Family, we give some slack. If your mom serves one bad meal, does this mean you'll never eat her food again? No. Then why do we do that in Church?
They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season.
Their leaves never wither,  and they prosper in all they do. Psalm 1:3 (NLT)
It takes time to grow a tree that bears fruit. You have to stay firmly planted in a local Church. This means come expecting and find resources. Finally, surround yourself with positive people.  Don't let negative people in your circle because they can drag you down.

If you do all that, you will bear fruit. Remember, fruit brings benefit to others. People like hanging out with fruit-filled people. Fruit is a sign of health.

Do others consider themselves blessed when they hang out with you?
Those who are planted in the house of the Lord
Shall flourish in the courts of our God.
14 They shall still bear fruit in old age;
They shall be fresh and flourishing,
15 To declare that the Lord is upright;
He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him. Psalm 92:13 (NKJV)
Let's be filled with the power of God. Let's make this city, state, and country a better place by being firmly planted.

Do You Need A Fresh Start?

If you need hope or help. God wants you to know that he loves you. Jesus died and rose from the grave. If you would like to know Jesus as your savior then pray this prayer.
Dear God, I realize I've sinned and I need you. Thank you for dying on the cross and rising from the grave. Come in to my heart and save me. Thank you for giving me eternal and abundant life. Help me to live for you, for the rest of my life. In Jesus' name. Amen.
To share your story, want more information about next steps, or just in need of prayer, please contact Pastor Matt Fry.


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Damond L. Nollan, M.B.A.

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