It wasn’t so long ago that you were mired in that old stagnant life of sin. You let the world, which doesn’t know the first thing about living, tell you how to live. Ephesians 2:1-2 | The Message
It's pretty easy to get caught up in allowing outside influences to define what life is all about. Church culture is no exception. It can be susceptible to the ways of the world. Sometimes church culture can define success by financial health, congregational capacity or engaged believers serving on Sunday morning. Maybe you've recognized how powerfully church culture can influence believers about social and political issues. No doubt there will be plenty of messages preached across America on Sunday about Ferguson, MO. For some, the numbers game or divisive issues feels contrary to the gospel. So, how should we define success at church?
Maybe a more accurate measurement for the successful church could be phrased as a question. How close are we to the mission of Jesus Christ?
Luke's gospel states Jesus' mission succinctly. "For the Son of Man came to seek and save the lost." (Luke 19:10 NIV) It's very tempting to lose focus on what matters to God. People matter to God. All I need is a reminder of what I was like before I met Jesus to keep me focused on why we take the gospel of Jesus Christ so seriously. Lost. What a lonely, isolated, panic-stricken but accurate description. That's what we are without Jesus.
Sunday we will celebrate some of our ministry wins and cast a vision for our next season of ministry together. God has some exciting plans for Wheatland. I am sure you will not want to miss this message. I believe God desires an 'all-in' attitude and our focused dedication to reach his Kingdom goals. Wheatland has enormous potential to reach thousands for Jesus Christ. Let the measurement of our success be determined in transformational life stories. Let us hear them over and over again. Be with us to celebrate each impactful account of how lost people were found. Help us stay close to Jesus and his mission. He already gave the signal. Go!
Now because of Christ—dying that death, shedding that blood—you who were once out of it altogether are in on everything. Ephesians 2:13 | The Message