ALL IN | Week Four
We are going ALL IN! A decision that changes everything. This could be the moment that changes your life forever! The right direction tomorrow begins with the right decision today.
If you are just getting back to church in 2014, we want to welcome you to go All In with us! Come and Follow Christ with us!
We are accustomed to “Following” – social media. I’m in. I’m out. I’m in. I’m out. I “like you” because you might could help me out.
Following Christ is completely different.
I have Decided To Follow Jesus – The lyrics are based on the last words of a man in Assam, north-east India, who along with his family was converted to Christianity in the middle of the 19th century through the efforts of a Welsh missionary. He was called to renounce his faith by the village chief. His response, “I have decided to follow Jesus”. In response to threats to his family, he continued, “Though no one joins me, still I will follow.” After his wife was executed for her faith, he was being led to his death, the man declared, “The cross before me, the world behind me.” This display of faith is reported to have led to the conversion of the chief and others in the village.
Mark 8:34 If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross (Luke added the word ‘Daily’) and follow me. 35 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. 36 For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? 37 For what can a man give in return for his soul? 38 For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”
We are a big church with a lot of people on different parts of the faith journey. We continually want you to take this following seriously.
As a pastor, it’s my job to show you what it looks like. Where ever you are…find yourself and take the next step.
When you loose your life, you will find it. If you continue to save your life, you will loose it.
Rick Warren broke down the steps like this:
- Crowd – “Come and See”
first appeal from Jesus was to the “crowd” – everybody come and see. Free coffee, take care of your kids, hangout, low commitment. Jesus did the same thing. Jesus first message to Peter was ‘come and see’. He filled his boat full of fish! Jesus was appealing to the crowd (miracles).
Take a few months if you need to. To see if this is what you want to do, don’t give, don’t serve. Just come see. THEN, there is a point when the next step is join:
- Congregation– “Come and Join”
- First: Join JESUS! I want to be in the family of God! Follow him. Trust in His good news.
- Second: Join PSM. When you join Jesus it is natural to join a church! Let me just say something that most pastors probably wont say. “I know you are not always going to be here.” My job is not to get you to stay at PromiseLand San Marcos. You are going to move, die, change churches, whatever. My job is not to keep you here. My job is to outline the way while you are here. So, here is the point, if you are here, JOIN UP. This is not a lifelong commitment, but it is a commitment. While I am here in San Marcos, I will be a part of a local congregation. Learn from, be accountable to, serve in, give to. At some point, join up with the group and be a part. Next week is 101.
- Committed – “Come and Grow”
Salvation and joining a church is not the end of the line, it is the beginning of the journey!
Maybe that means to start reading the Bible on regular basis. Go on the City and find a daily reading schedule.
Join a PromiseGroup.
Dig into the 21 day prayer and fasting thing. If you don’t know how to pray, then just come and watch others pray. Get a prayer guide and let us show you.
We are inviting you to go to the next level. Jump in on the Growth Track 101, Essentials 201, Discover 301
Here is what I determined from that list:
- 12 families making up 19 people are still active
- 5 families making up 13 people are no longer here (unknown reason)
- 3 families making up 6 people have moved out of the area
Rick Warren says that pastoring a church is like pastoring a parade. There is a constant moving of people and you are saying, “hello, how are you, goodbye, hello, how are you, goodbye, hello, how are you, goodbye”.
Andy Stanley said, “Everyone leaves your church..at one point or another.” They either move, quit, or die.
Knowing how to pastor people in the flow of life is often challenging. We get personally attached to those who make big time investment. We wish that others would connect more. There are times when it seems like everyone is joining the church and then times when it all seems stale. Thankfully, we have never had a mass exodus or ‘split’. I say ‘thankfully’ because of the emotional pain and logistical nightmare that incurs on us as humans. I am not sure the real damage of this ‘church failure’ to the kingdom. It is quite possible that some mega churches do just as much harm to the message of the gospel. But, I digress…
To keep on loving people, preaching the gospel, correcting, encouraging and fulfilling the commission is exhaustive when looking through the fleshly eyes. We are tempted to believe that our next technique will solve the parade. It won’t. Jesus preached to a parade just as we do. We do our best and learn all we can, however, at the end of the day we need to be focused on Jesus Christ. (period)
When pastoring with a real, personal relationship with God and always centering on the gospel, we are able to:
- Remember what is important
- Reassess priorities
- Not be as concerned with comparisons to other churches or leaders.
- Celebrate everyday victories. (1 baptism, 1 new volunteer, 1 etc)