Fulfilling God’s Vision Sermons

FULFILLING GOD’S VISION

Oct 22- Nov 19 2017 Stewardship Sermons

October 22      20th Sunday after Pentecost     Without vision the people perish

Scriptures:   Psalm 99;  Luke 17:20-21               Theme: Vision Beginnings

Thoughts: Without vision the Church perishes. Our mission is “to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.”  1st UMC does this as we, “Connect disciples to Jesus Christ, Grow disciples to maturity in Christ, Care for disciples in Christian community, and Send disciples into ministry and mission.”  Now, what is our vision for that ministry?  What is God’s vision for us for the next 3-5 years.  Jesus presented before the world a vision of the Kingdom of God, that was far beyond what they could imagine.  It was a vision of moving mountains, healing diseases, driving out evil, and making disciples of the whole world.  Twelve yokals could do this?  We are still asking that today rather than taking Jesus at his word and dreaming like Jesus.  Today I will outline a vision for our ministry in the four areas of our mission: Connecting, Growing, Caring and Sending.  It is the kick-off of our stewardship campaign.  But this campaign, will focus on our vision for ministry not fund raising and budgets.  For the next four Sundays we will concentrate on each area of ministry; what it is, what it does for the Kingdom of God, what it costs, and how we can get involved.  I hope you will join me as we dream like Jesus.

 

October 29      21st Sunday after Pentecost, One Worship schedule, Mark Broussard- mission minute

Scriptures:  Matt 25:31-40; Matt 25:41-46             Theme: Sending into Ministry and Mission

Thoughts: We have heard this parable in connection with missions so often that we can almost quote it, “I was hungry and you fed me, I was thirsty and you gave a drink, naked and you clothed me…”  What we overlook many times is the role of vision here.  In Revelation, John see a heavenly kingdom where hunger, and thirst and sadness are no more.  Jesus on the other hand gives us a vision of this happening on earth because God’s people SEE the need and do something about it even when they do not see Jesus.  They have vision for ministry and mission.  Is this our vision?  Do we see the suffering in our midst and just outside our doors as well as around the world?  Are we willing to dream like Jesus and do what is beyond our capabilities?  As Paul says, “All things are possible through Christ who strengthens me!”

 

November 5    All Saints Sunday, Communion

Scriptures:  Ps 34:8-18; John 13:1-17; John 13:34-35             Theme: Caring in Christian Community

Thoughts:  Everything Christians do is motivated by love.  Ministry and Mission is generally outside the Church locally and globally.  Caring is inside the church.  It is my experience that there is a great deal of silent misery in the Church.  We come in the hope that we may be touched, healed, comforted in some way.  Yet we don’t say a word.  Sometimes we see the quiet tears of another and turn away or give trite words we’ve learned to offer with little action behind it.  It is about time we start believing in miracles.  Healing the sick, comforting the grieving, lifting up the hopeless, and loving the unlovable. To dream like Jesus is to believe he has given us a love that conquers the ills of those around us.  When we have healed one another then we can move beyond the walls and heal the community an world.

 

November 12  23rd Sunday after Pentecost

Scriptures:  Ps 100;  John 15:1-11 ;  Eph 5:15-20                Theme: Connecting to Christ

Thoughts:  The ministry of Connecting is central to the Church’s ministries.  From worship to evangelism, our business is connecting people to Christ.  We usually do not think of worship as connecting to Christ, but it is in worship that we stay connected to the source of our spiritual strength.  If our worship is not connecting us to Christ, we need to re-think everything we are doing in it.  If we are not moving from worship to connect the people we encounter outside it to the love and grace of Christ, we need to re-think why we exist as a Church.  To dream like Jesus in the ministry of Connecting is to dream of the power of worship and urgency of evangelism.

 

November 19  24th Sunday after Pentecost

Scriptures:Ps 78:1-8; Eph 4:11-16;  Matt 13:1-9                Theme: Growing to Maturity

Thoughts: Paul tells the Corinthians that when he was a child he thought, reasoned and acted like a child, but when he became an adult he put away childish things (1 Cor. 13:11).  John Wesley taught us that Holiness/maturity in Christ is a real possibility for every growing Christian.  To dream like Jesus in the Growing ministries is to envision every member and constituent of the Church engaged in spiritual growth and learning outside worship.  We need teachers, leaders, conveners and many many students.  The Christian faith is not static; it is either growing toward God or falling away from God.  Are you Growing or Falling?