Most people want to see their church grow. Maybe they don’t want it to grow so big that people start to get lost in it, but they would like to see new faces. But how does the church grow? If we dress the church up, and get a bright flashy sign will that grow the church? What if we had the best children’s program would that work? If we could just get the right program, or the right combination of programs then we would have a formula for success.
Well, I’m afraid not. You see God is wiser than we are and he tells us something in his word about growing the church, he says that’s his job. He’ll grow the church. But he’ll grow it through us, so your mission, our mission, the church’s mission is to go spread the message.
Of course, we might know that, already That’s Matthew 28, “Go and make disciples…” we may know the passage well. But what does going and making disciples look like? to answer that question we have to know what we're sharing. We grow by listening.
The church’s mission is to listen to God’s Word because that’s the one source. "But God’s Word is out of touch," people say. Listen to how “out of touch” Paul sounds as he struggles with sin in Romans 7 written about 2000 years ago. "The good I want to do, I do not do. No the evil I do not want to do, this I keep on doing. Who will save me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ." That sounds a lot like me and you as we struggle with sin. And it sounds like hope, too. If we listen.
The church’s mission is to listen to God’s Word because that’s the one source. "But God’s word isn’t practical," people say. Look at the end of many of the books in the New Testament and you’ll find practical ways to put your faith into action like how husbands should treat their wives, or how children should behave. Or open your Bible to the book of Proverbs and see how practical God’s Word is as it tells us how to be better parents, better kids, better people.
The church’s mission is to listen to God’s Word because that’s the one source. "But God’s Word doesn’t solve the problems I have in my life!" Look deeper because God’s Word solves the real problem in your life, the problem of sin. That’s the whole point, that’s why this is the one source, that’s why the church’s mission is to listen to God’s Word. If God’s Word were just self-help but no real help, we’d be lost in our sins. But we know it is real, spiritual help. And knowing that we’re right with God’s puts things into perspective.
Say it with me now: The church’s mission is to what to God’s Word? The Church’s mission is to listen to God’s Word. And why? Because that’s the one source.
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