Sounding a Clear Call - Renewing the Vision

 
Paul wrote to the Corinthian Christians:

“if the trumpet does not sound a clear call, who will get ready for battle?”  1 Cor 14:8

 

And God said to Moses "Make two trumpets of hammered silver, and use them for calling the community together” Nu. 10:2

 

I think that in recent times I have not given a clear call and I was reminded of Nehemiah’s experience recently when he had caste a vision to all Israel to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, they responded with great enthusiasm but within 4 weeks they were all drifting away and he had to re-caste the vision, to call them again to the task God had given them.

 

Nehemiah learnt he had to renew the vision every 26 days!!! Today I want to remind us of the vision, the calling, God has given us. In our reading Jesus tells us not to worry about our needs being met for God is faithful, but rather that we should “seek first the kingdom of God” and that Kingdom is our vision, but what does it look like?


Renewing the Vision
 

Jesus longs for the church, his bride, us, to reflect his purposes for her and we are seeking to become all that he desires for us.

 
This is what we are being called to be:
To be a church:

· where people come together with a common heart & mind and a common vision to fulfil God’s purposes;

· where people can’t wait for the next time they meet together, where nothing will keep them away from being church and doing church.

· where people walk compassionately with each other through life’s problems;

· where the young people are valued and encouraged to play their part in the body and supported in their walk with God;

· where people have fun and celebrate the joys of life together welcoming all people into their midst – children, teenagers, young adults, middle-aged people and older people;

To be a people who reflect true community.
 
To be a church:

· where members long to gather together week by week to worship as a church family

· where people love to offer praise to God in recognition of who he is and of all that he has done; and of what they were made for;

· where worship is a place of surrender to Almighty God, of intimacy with Abba Father, of honesty as our words express our hearts, and of unity as the family of God come before him in praise;

· where different congregations and styles of worship are valued and people are able to worship consistently in an appropriate way;

· where non-Christians come and experience the presence of God and hear the gospel in a powerful way, in a culture they understand;

· where the teaching helps people relate their faith to the situations they face day by day;

· where God’s presence among his people is tangible;
To be a people who offer and experience Worship in Spirit and in truth.
 
To be a church:

· where all people are seen as important to God and therefore important to us;

· where people ache so much for their non-Christian friends that the church takes risks to reach out to them with the gospel;

· where the lost are being saved week by week;
· where people come to find and encounter Jesus;

· where people minister to one another in the power of the Holy Spirit and people are healed and made whole;

· where people are equipped to share their faith in simple words of their own

· where people are encouraged and inspired to reach out beyond the church to the lost of our nation and to the furthest parts of our world;

· where the people have a heart for the disadvantaged and the lost of the communities in which we live, and work sacrificially among the deprived of our parish;

· where people come out of curiosity and find a passion for Jesus;

To be a people engaged in effective Outreach.
 
To be a church:

· where everyone feels empowered to make a difference through using their spiritual gifts and know what it is that God made them for;

· where people honour God and inspire others by striving for excellence;

· where the rich share their God-given resources with the poor; and where people reach out to those in need;

· where children and young people are released into serving in the power of the Holy Spirit;

· where the church and its members are committed to serving the wider community; and where people can come for their needs to be met;

· where the hurting are comforted and the desperate find solace;

To be a people who love to Serve.
 
To be a church:

· where people are wholeheartedly committed to Christ; his body and his cause;

· where Spirit-led preaching & teaching brings a new God-focused direction to people’s lives;

· where people are hungry to learn from the bible and where people grow in the application of their Christian faith in their everyday lives;

· where people develop the spiritual disciplines of daily bible reading and prayer, of tithing to the church and of commitment to fellowship in Small Groups;

· where people are being transformed to become more like Jesus and his values & teaching affect their very being;

· where people have a distinct lifestyle influenced by deep seated Christian conviction and concern for justice, the environment and the poor;

To be a people becoming mature followers of Jesus through committed Discipleship.

 

This is our vision, this is our calling.  A vision of a church focussed on purpose, of a people with a sense of purpose, of being on a mission, an adventure for God, seeking first His kingdom.


Reaching out to turn unchurched people into a community of mature disciples who worship Jesus and serve others – as our mission statement puts it.

 

It is great to be part of a church pursing a vision like this, a vision to give our all for – as we seek His kingdom. This is what we are here for – this is the trumpet call of what God wants us to become, that he wants you to be a part of and all we do must be focussed on this.

 

The first challenge today is of recommitment to that vision – will you join me in that, in seeking to become all that Jesus wants m2o to be?

 

(An extract from Martin's sermon on 19 September - see also "St. Matthew's Relocates" and "Refocussing m2o Priorities")


Martin Saxby, 22/09/2010