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Tag: engage

Instructions for Engagement

I want to begin this morning with a question: What responsibilities come with being in a family? If you’re in a family, what is expected of you? I’m going to give you just a minute or so to discuss this with the people sitting around you and then I want to hear some of your answers.
It’s tough to come up with one conclusive answer because all of us have grown up in different families. And different families do different things. And sometimes they do the same things, but in different ways.

But despite these differences, there are some universal, core responsibilities of a family. For example: A family shares. They share a home together, they share food together, they share money, they share time and experiences. Sharing is a universal, core responsibility of a family. No mom or dad would refuse to share their home with their kids. No mom or dad would refuse to share their food with their kids. Sharing is just part of being a family. It’s one of those universal, core responsibilities that comes with being in a family.

So this morning, I want to look at some of the universal, core responsibilities that come with being part of the family of God. How are we to function as members of the family of God? What is expected of us? Even though different churches do different things in different ways, what are those things that are expected of every person in every church?

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Engaging with God’s People

We’ve been talking a lot about the word “engaging” recently. And before we go further, I want to refresh our memory on the  definition of the word “engage” so we don’t get lost in the jargon.

Engage Defined:

  • To become involved in or participate in
  • To pledge or to promise
  • To assume an obligation
  • To become meshed or interlocked
  • To draw into

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been looking at how we engage with God and I realize that we’ve only just begun to just touch on what exactly that involves, but I trust that God has stirred your heart a little so that you will continue to explore what it means to engage with God in a deep, significant way in your own life.

But now, once we’ve begun to engage with God, the next area we want to look at is engaging with God’s people. So here are our goals for the next month.

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Becoming a Whole Church

This is the introductory sermon to a series on becoming a “Whole Church”. This sermon was born out the concepts in Mel Lawrenz book – “Whole Church: Leading from Fragmentation to Engagement“.

As I mentioned in the introduction this morning, over the next four months we are going to looking at how we can become a whole church. We want to take full advantage of the opportunities that God is sending to us to expand His kingdom, but we can’t do that as a broken church or a fragmented church. We have to do this as a whole church.

Now there are two aspects to this idea of a whole church. The first aspect that I want us to look at is the idea of unity. Moving beyond our differences and focusing on what we have in common. This is exactly what we read in our passage earlier.  1 Corinthians 12:12-13

12 The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. 13 Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit.

Yes, there are many different parts, but we make up one body. Does everyone still have your puzzle piece? Can you take it out and hold it up for me to see for a minute? (Earlier, I had invited everyone in the congregation to come to the front to take a piece of a jigsaw puzzle that I had put together earlier…)

One of the biggest issues that I’ve wrestled with as a pastor over through the past two years is this issue right here. God has a lot of different puzzle pieces. And I don’t always know how they fit together, but I know that somehow they do. Just like the verse says…

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