Waynedale United Methodist Church
Sunday, August 20, 2017
Making Disciples of Jesus for the Transformation of the World!
   

Jan 15, 2017 Sermon

“Ministry in Action”
Confident Leadership, Focused Outreach,
Passionate Worship and Radical Hospitality
Acts 15:22, Luke 15:1 – 7, Psalm 100:2, Psalm 95:6,
Romans 12:13, 1 Peter 4:8 - 10
Ted Jansen  January 15, 2017  Waynedale UMC
 
1.)        How many of you have played football?  How many of you have watched a football game?  I want you to think about a football illustration as we look at our Ministry Action Plans. 
            Imagine that you are a receiver on your football team.  The play begins and the quarterback has passed you the ball and you have caught it.  This is good, this is success, this is great. 
There is more to the game that catching the ball, you have to run with the ball.  You don’t run anywhere you want to but you run towards your goal line.  That doesn’t seem too hard does it?  Oh yeah, there is one more thing.  You have to run without being tackled by 11 players on the opposite team that don’t want to see you run anywhere.  They are after you to stop you.  
            You have the ball and for a split second you pause and consider what your primary source of motivation is?  Are you motivated to run toward the goal line or are you running to get away from the 11 players who want to tackle you? 
            Are you motivated by what is ahead or what is behind?  You might say that you are motivated in both directions.   I would say to you that both motivations are valid to move you forward. 
            In football, most of the time the players get tackled and they try again.  They have a time limit to keep moving forward.   
 
2.)        As I thought about a football game I was thinking about the church and what really motivates us.  Do churches focus on the goal, or are they trying to avoid being tackled? 
What about Waynedale UMC?  Are we a church that is motivated by what is behind, those forces that might tackle us?  Or are we a church that is motivated by what is ahead, the goal line?
Both are valid motivations.  When we cross the goal line and score some points that is when the celebration occurs.  That is the joy of setting goals together and as a team moving the ball to victory.   
            Let’s look at the Ministry Action Plans as a way of moving us, motivating us to reach the goal line of being the church, the Body of Christ, which Christ calls us to.  We make disciples of Jesus so that the world is transformed. 
Last week we explored the first two action plans, today we look at three action plans.     
 
3.)        Develop New Leaders to Facilitate the Church’s Mission and Vision 
(Ministry Action Plan #3)
 
a.)        Have you ever played the game Simon says?  In the game you are only to do what Simon says.  If you do something that Simon did not say you are out.  You have to listen carefully in this game.  If the actions of the person leading the game do not include the words, Simon says, you should not do the action.  This game shows the importance of actions and words together.  
 
b.)        In the early days of the church there was a conference in Jerusalem that brought the leaders of the church together to discuss what was vital and central about following Jesus.  You see this was all new to each person.  This new faith was a movement of disciples following Jesus through the leadership of the Holy Spirit.  You can read all about this time in Acts 15.      
            So, Paul and Barnabas are reporting that Gentiles are coming to faith.  This was surprising to the Jewish followers because they did not realize that Jesus came for all people. 
As they were working things out in relation to the future of the church they decided that new leaders were needed to help guide the work of Paul and Barnabas.  We read these words in Acts 15:22, “Then the apostles and elders, with the whole church, decided to choose some of their own men and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas.  They chose Judas and Silas, two men who were leaders among the brothers.” 
The early church selected leaders to go with Paul and Barnabas as they traveled away from Jerusalem to the Gentiles in other parts of the world.  These leaders were vital as the mission and ministry of Jesus Christ spread and took different directions.  
 
c.)        Waynedale UMC needs new and different leaders for the new and different directions that God will lead us in.  We affirm our leaders and thank God for them.  We celebrate how new leaders will be invited, involved and inspired. 
            I know that God is stirring up leaders among this congregation.  I pray that we continue to pray and bless leaders.    
 
4.)        Effectively Reach and Integrate Young Adults with Children into the Life of the Church  (Ministry Action Plan #4)
 
b.)        Years ago a group of people had a passion, a vision, a commitment, a desire to see young children know the love of God.  A Pre-School was started to reach children and integrate families in this community in the life of the church.  God blessed it and many children and families grew in their faith and witness to the love of Jesus Christ.  God is still blessing our Pre-School.  We need to reach out and touch the lives, the hearts, and the needs of families all around us.    
            Laurie Sorg, one of our Directors, gave me a copy of the Pre-School family list and the majority of our families in the Pre-School did not list a church family.  Will we be willing to reach out to them and share our love with them?  This is a beginning point that is here. 
           
b.)        Jesus told a story in Luke 15:1 – 7 about a Shepherd who had 100 sheep.  He knew and cared for each one.  One day, one sheep was missing and the Shepherd made a decision to leave the 99 behind, who were safe together, and look for that one lost sheep.  He finally found that one lost sheep and was happy.  He was so happy that he shared the news with his friends and neighbors. 
            This story reminds us that there are lost sheep.  It also reminds us that we are all shepherds that God calls to see those who are lost.  God wants us at times to go out and find those that are lost to bring them back with the rest of the flock.  We also need to find ways to celebrate when we find the lost.  
            We need to celebrate all the good ways we reach and find lost people through our ministry.  What a good thing it is to be thankful when we find and reach a lost person. 
           
c.)        Waynedale UMC desires to focus on those who are lost and need the Great Shepherd.  I believe it starts when we affirm that at times the 99 will not have the Shepherd with them, because the Shepherd is out looking for the lost. 
May God stir in us, through the Holy Spirit a desire to reach out to children.      
 
5.)        Develop a Plan for Radical Hospitality and Passionate Worship 
(Ministry Action Plan #5)
 
a.)        When we gather for worship we desire God to be with us.  We also want each person to know that we are with them.  We desire to that one feels alone in this place, either by God’s Spirit or by our welcome.  That is what this action plan boils down to.       
 
b.)        Psalms is a guide to us of information and inspiration about worship.  We can learn a lot about Passionate Worship from reading and studying the Psalms. 
Listen to these verses from Psalm 100:2, and 95:6.  “Worship the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs… Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.” These are just two scriptures that I have chosen that remind us to be joyful in worship.  We are to bring songs of thanks, and believe that the Lord is present.  We are to have an attitude and action that causes us to bow and kneel before our Lord.   
              
c.)        When we worship with passion our worship must be linked to our care for other worshippers.  The ministry of hospitality is a way of living out our faith.  A great sermon, a great song, a great prayer, a great video can do wonders in allowing God to work in a heart.   But one person who cares for another in love, friendship and hospitality preaches a powerful message.   
            Paul shared these words in Romans 12:13. “Share with God’s people in need.  Practice hospitality.” 
            Peter shared these words in 1 Peter 4:9, 10.  “Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.  Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.”  
 
d.)        The message of God’s grace is lived out in relationship with each other.  What are ways that we can become radical in sharing hospitality to those who come to AA, to our Scouts, to the Exercise group, to our teachers at the Elementary School, to area churches to those who live close to this building? 
 
6.)        Let’s go back to the football game illustration.  When the team has finished the football game and they either win or lose what do they do for their next game?   They practice, yes, but they review what happened to cause the victory or defeat, and they study the next opponent.    
            In this process of looking at the game film they make correction, updates, move people around and coach so that when they play again they will be better. 
            I read on a web site that said it is not uncommon for the coaches to watch a game film several times to prepare them for the next game.  They believe the time they watch the film will help them in the future.   
 
7.)        These action plans are ways that we can review our game film of what we have done in the past.  We celebrate the victories and understand why we were tackled. 
We are wanting to be a better version of the Waynedale UMC than we have been in the past. 
May the Lord keep moving us forward as we make disciples of Jesus for the transformation of the world.