Waynedale United Methodist Church
Tuesday, June 27, 2017
Making Disciples of Jesus for the Transformation of the World!
   

Jan 8, 2017 Sermon

Shared Vision and Intentional Discipleship
Acts 2:14 – 21, John 6:1 – 3
Ted Jansen  January 8, 2017  Waynedale UMC
 
1.)        2017 is the year that we embark on a journey into our future.  As we gathered for worship on Sunday, November 20, 2016 we had prayed, talked and discerned about the consultation plan and five action plans that a team had presented to us.  85% of those present affirmed this direction for our life together.  We have been taking steps since then and I wanted to take the next two weeks and look at these action plans, two this week and three next week, and what it means for us. 
On Sunday, January 27, 2017 we will have Rev David Schramm come to preach and lead us in prayer.  We are beginning our journey surrounded in prayer.  I want to thank all those prayer team members who have made a commitment in 2017 to pray for this ministry and the people.    
            I want to walk through our strengths, focus on two words in each action plan, explore scripture and affirm our need.  I will take a few minutes you to share with each other your feedback. 
 
2.)        Develop a Clear, Shared Vision.   (Ministry Action Plan #1)
 
a.)        Strength.  One of our strengths is we have vision, a perspective based on God’s church.   Every single one of us has vision of faith, the church and what we believe is most important.  That is what connects us.     
 
b.)        Words.  The two words of the first action plan are Shared and Vision.  Vision is what we have in each of us.  The challenge of this action plan is addressing how it is shared.  We need to share our vision, we need to agree on our vision, we need to affirm our vision together. If we don’t have a shared vision our strength and ministry can be diminished. 
            How do we share a vision?  We share it by coming together to talk, listen, prayer and discern God’s leading. 
We are going to have two important workshops.  On Wednesday, January 18 at 6:00p.m. – 7:30p.m. we will have our Biblical Value workshop led by Rev. Scott Pattison, our coach.  We will also have a Vision workshop on Saturday, February 4, from 9:00 – 12:00 led by Rev. Scott Pattison.  These times will help us build our shared vision.      
            We affirm that our mission is to “make disciples of Jesus for the transformation of the world.”  That is the banner of our church and how we live that out is our unique “vision.” 
 
c.)        Scripture.  When the church was born on the day of Pentecost Peter spoke.  He referred to scripture, the prophet Joel, when he said in Acts 2:17, “I will pour out my Spirit on all people.”
            When the Holy Spirit was poured out there will be visions, dreams, and prophecies.  God will stir up vision inside of us by the Spirit of God.  We need the Spirits direction as create our clear, shared vision.    
 
d.)        Need.   We need focus in our lives, I need focus to make sure the main thing is the main thing in the life of the church. 
You can take electrical energy and disperse it in the form of a light bulb.  It can bring soft light for some.  You can take the same electrical energy and focus it in the form of a laser and you can cut steel.  That is an impact because of focused energy.   Focus allows us to bring the resources God has given to us for His Kingdom.  I believe God desires us to focus our resources around a shared vision.       
 
3.)        Eight people were blindfolded, men and women, old and young, and they were placed at different locations around a large elephant.  They were asked to describe what they touched.  So, they described what they touched. Each of them were correct, yet because they were blindfolded, they were not able to correctly describe the entire elephant.  They did not realize that the parts of the elephant that they were describing were connected.  
            Those eight people were asked to take off their blindfolds and move ten steps back from their spot.  They realized that all the parts were connected and though their specific description was accurate they needed a bigger vision to describe the elephant.    
            I am asking each of you to take ten steps back from your vision of the church so that we can all get a bigger picture.  I have shared a vision of Connecting to Christ and Community.  Is that my perspective, or is that a shared vision?  What do we see as our unique vision as the Waynedale UMC?  We begin with a clear, shared vision.       
           
4.)        Feedback.  What did the Spirit speak to you?    (Let people share with each other.)
 
5.)        Develop a Discipleship Pathway  (Ministry Action Plan #2)
 
a.)        Strength.  One of our strengths is that we desire to grow in faith.  You are here in worship because your spirit wants to know God’s Spirit and grow in deeper in relationship with the Lord.  I also see your growing desire to know and learn God’s word. 
 
b.)        Words.  The two words of our second action plan are intentional and discipleship.  Intentional is a plan with practices that are clear.  An example would be my intention this Lent that each person will read the book, “Listen,” and practice prayer through the teaching.  That is intentional and has caused me to use my energy and the resources of the church to deepen our faith.   
Discipleship describes the different aspects of our growth through different spiritual practices.    
            Each of us are at different places in our spiritual journey.  Each of us have different needs in different areas of growth, or discipleship, that we need to practice.    
            One resource that I have used is this “Disciples Path” resource.  It gives some teaching and practices based on the five different aspects of discipleship/membership vows. 
            The five aspects of discipleship in the life of the church are:  Prayer  (and Bible Study), Presence (committing ourselves to being present with God and others), Gifts (tithing and aiming for giving ten percent of our income to God), Service, (Knowing and using our Spiritual Gifts for others and the community), and Witness  (Sharing our Faith Story to others). 
            What is the path that all can see to walk on?  This is what intentional discipleship needs to focus on.                 
 
c.)        Scripture.  In John 6 we read that Jesus needed to get away from the crowds, He needed a break.  Jesus used some time to teach His disciples. John 6:3 says, “Jesus went up on a mountainside and sat down with his disciples.” 
            Jesus sat down, right in front of them, to be with them.  Jesus is not planning, He is not sleeping, He is not reading, He is sitting down with His disciples being with them.  I have this picture of Jesus together with His disciples and Jesus loves them, loves being with them.    
 
d.)        Need.  We need the assurance of God’s presence with each of us and the knowledge of your faith.  Jesus wanted to get away from the crowd, the voices, the pressing agenda of the people.  Jesus was intentional about getting away and spending time in relationship with His disciples.   
Jesus, wants us to get away from the crowd, the voices, the pressing agenda of others so that we can be with Him and listen to Him. 
 
6.)        As we think of Jesus sitting with His disciples I want you to look at these two chairs.  One chair represents the chair that Jesus is sitting in.  He has come to you and He is sitting down right in front of you.  The other chair represents the chair you are invited to sit in.  You see the chair, you know the chair exists, but you feel like you don’t have the time, or the energy, or the belief to sit in the chair and let Jesus teach you.  Yet, Jesus wants to sit with you and for you to listen to Him.   
            The image of these two chair might be in the middle of a worship service with lots of people.  These two chairs might be in a Bible Study, or a SS class.  These two chairs might be in your car, or when you are listening to praise music, or when you are sitting alone in the morning or night, with a book, or with a Christian friend.
            Intentional Discipleship is when you choose to sit in this chair and grow in your faith, knowledge and relationship with Jesus. 
            The Waynedale UMC desire to let each person know how they can sit down in this chair and listen to Jesus. 
 
7.)        Feedback.  What is the Spirit saying to you?  I desire that each person uses the time given to you each day to pray, read scripture, pray for others, allow God’s message to come to your heart.   
            We as disciples of Jesus give away what we have inside.  As we grow in our relationship with Jesus Christ we give away more of His life and love to others.
 
8.)        Let us pray.  I will share the words of a song and ask that you repeat after me. 
Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on us, Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on us.  Melt us, mold us, fill us, use us.  Spirit of the Living, God fall afresh on us.