I am Present and Active

2019-01-27 – I am a Member Series – Part 1 – The Rev. Christopher Klukas

Proverbs 27:17; 1 Corinthians 12:12-27

  • Handbell concert at our library branch just before Christmas
    • Imagine what would happen if someone were sick and couldn’t be there?
    • Imagine trying to put on a handbell concert all by yourself?
  • Vision Statement – “Find God”
    • Not just “me and Jesus”
    • Salvation is an individual thing, but it is also a corporate thing.
      • Billy Graham crusades always included local churches.
    • When we find God, we also find the Church.
    • To “find God” means to “repent and be baptized” and part of being baptized is being, “baptized into one body” (1 Corinthians 12:13).
  • The Ark of Christ’s salvation.
    • Nave, from the Latin “navis” which means “ship.”
    • “Wash and sanctify them through your Holy Spirit, that they may be delivered from destruction and received into the Ark of Christ’s Church; and being steadfast in faith, joyful through hope, and rooted in love, they may pass through the turbulent floods of this troublesome world and come into the land of everlasting life, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”

Present and Active

  • What does it mean to be a member of the Body of Christ?
  • Your presence is important! Each part of the body is essential to the whole.
  • Membership Covenant #1 – “Worship God, the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit, every Lord’s Day in a Church unless reasonably prevented.”
    • Sick or homebound
    • Traveling (though you can still visit a different church)
    • Working (though you can still participate weekly in some other way)
  • You need the Church, and the Church needs you.

You Need the Church

  • 1 Corinthians 12:21 “The eye cannot say to the hand ‘I have no need of you…’”
    • Some people think they can go it on their own, but this is a mistake. You need the Church, we all need the Church.
  • Proverbs 27:17
  • If our salvation and sanctification had only to do with head knowledge, you could probably fill your head with all of the knowledge you need by simply listening to or watching sermons online and reading Christian books.
  • Study is a part of discipleship, but it is not the only part of discipleship.
    • Even study is aided by studying with others. This is why we have classes and Bible studies every week.
    • We also need to grow in holiness in our human relationships and to do so you need some human relationships. Many categories of our sinful attitudes (like selfishness) are impossible to encounter without other humans!
  • Value – “Community – The Church is the Body of Christ and God desires for us to develop deep relationships for fellowship, support, accountability, and mission.”
    • 1 Corinthians 12:26 – A beautiful picture of support.

The Church Needs You

  • 1 Corinthians 12:15 “If the foot should say, ‘Because I am not a hand I do not belong to the body…’” Some people think that they are unimportant or unworthy and the church would be better off without them. This too is untrue, the church needs you!
  • Proverbs 27:17 – Just as you need to be sharpened, we need you to sharpen us.
  • We also need your talents and time to keep this church moving forward in our vision.
    • Remember the handbell choir!
  • Membership Covenant #6 – “Discern and develop my spiritual gifts and actively participate in the ministries of the church, serving with my time and my talent.”
    • In many of his letters, Paul lists various spiritual gifts that have been given to believers by God. 1 Corinthians 12:27-28.
    • These gifts aren’t intended to be kept to one’s self, they are intended to be used for ministry in the context of the body.
  • Do you know what your spiritual gifts are? Have your gifts changed over the years?
    • Part of my vision for regular, ongoing discipleship in this congregation is to have an annual spiritual gifts workshop to help you discern your gifts and find ways to use them in this church.

Conclusion

  • “I am present and active” – My goal for you would be that you would:
    • Be present every Sunday (if able)
    • Participate in one other regular discipleship ministry of the church
      • Bible studies and classes
      • Homegroups
    • Identify something in the church to take on as your ministry, your way of serving
  • To do this, you may have to make some choices. We all need to choose what to prioritize in this busy world. For me, regular participation in church is an eternal investment that needs to be high on my list of priorities.
    • We choose to participate in few activities to make sure we have time for the ones that really matter to us, and the most important for us is church.
  • Hebrews 10:24-25 – “…not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some…”
  • The church is a gift to all of us and to the world!
    • You don’t have to do this on your own.
    • You can’t do this on your own.
    • You need us, and we need you!

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