Family Meeting Recap: A Transformational Church
- (audio - 00:30) Shane gave an update for Alive's Summer Plans 'Redefined' - you can find more information on that here >>>
- (audio - 08:45) We offered an update on Q1 financials - thank you all for the ways you're expressing generosity - you can sign up or setup your recurring giving here >>>
- (audio - 26:30) There was a concern shared about serving teams having enough people to best serve as we come out of a season not gathering - specifically related to Truth Quest, our heart has always been for this ministry to come alongside parents to serve in discipleship, we're having to more and more simply offer baby-sitting services due to a lack of consistency with volunteers. This is not who we've been as a church and not who we want to be in the years ahead... consider how you might be a part of the solution!
Word of the Year: Transformed
(audio - 31:00) What does it look like to be a church where people’s lives are transformed by the Gospel and how does this connect to our mission to: Love, Grow & Share?
2 Corinthians 3:18 - And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
Paul is taking the readers back to Moses and his encounters with God on Mount Sinai. Each time Moses met with God, he walked down the mountain transformed, glowing after enjoying the presence of God. Moses wore a veil over his face to cover the fact that the glory was fading (as we’re told in 2 Cor. 3:13) because with each step away from the mountain, he stepped farther away from the presence of God.
Paul says that we, as believers, have unveiled faces.
It’s amazing! The glory (weight, worth, ability, priority, etc.) of his presence does not decrease for us as it did for Moses. Because we never leave the presence of God, the glory increases. We never leave the mountain because the Spirit is in us. We enjoy a relationship with God that even Moses did not have.
The language Paul uses is intentional—God is the one who does the transforming. We don't transform ourselves. We "are being transformed." All this, all the transforming, is "from the Lord who is the Spirit."
God seeks to transform us, as HIS church into HIS image, and He wants to do so with ever increasing glory. Meaning He wants us to be more like Him tomorrow than we are today.
If God does all the transforming, where do we have opportunities to participate? If God is the one responsible to mature, what is our role as individuals? Think about this...
God transformed Moses, but Moses played a significant role in the transformation. His role was simple but still necessary.
He walked up the mountain.
Now, Hebrews 3 assures us that; We have, in Christ, one who is greater than Moses.
Consider further with me, the transformative difference that’s made for the disciples of Jesus, captured for us from the book of Matthew:
Matthew 11:28 (invitation from Jesus) - Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Matthew 28:19–20 (declaration to those who have been with Jesus) - Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. (promise for us, each and every day) And behold (look!, consider, stare in awe-and-wonder), I am with you always, to the end of the age.
That’s good news for those who are with Jesus, it’s good news for us today as well. He is inviting us, commissioning us, promising us, transforming us.
There are some key things we see throughout scripture as it relates to a church that has a heart for lives being transformed that I think are helpful for us to consider tonight:
A church experiencing lives that are transformed is led -as well as empowered- by the Spirit of God -&- There is doctrinal integrity throughout the church...
- I’m grateful for the ways we see both the work of the spirit and the truth of doctrine existing together in scripture, that’s our pursuit here at MLC as well… solid, biblical truths with the experience of the power and leading of the Holy Spirit!
- I believe a spirit-led, doctrinally-sound church leads to changed lives, not only in the community around us but, God continuing to work in us, as his people, being transformed into the image of Jesus.
- We’ve seen this throughout our series in the book of Romans, in the days ahead we’ll do a mini-series in September on Serving followed by time in the book of Genesis, ending the year with Advent. Beginning in early 2022 on the letters to the church in Corinth (1 & 2nd Corinthians together)
A church experiencing lives being transformed to the glory of God handles conflict well.
- There is an effective way to handle conflict, there are even ways to grow as a church through conflict - we grow in understanding our emotions and drives-or-desires, we seek to speak the truth in love with the gospel at the center of what we graciously bring to one another and, we seek to help one another find our identity first and foremost in Jesus Christ
- A church experiencing transformed lives has and continues to develop strong leaders.
- Even as Eric highlighted last Sunday, we’re so encouraged by the new leaders who are continually stepping into roles in a variety of community group settings. We want to see this continue across the church in the years ahead and it’s something we give priority to as a pastoral team for the church… Ephesians 4 gives us this direction for our attention to equip the saints for works of ministry.
- Learning together how to pray, understand the word, follow Jesus and the leading of the Holy Spirit with intentional training and connection to other members of the body of Christ.
These are just a few ways that we seek to experience lives transformed by the power of God - in addition to loving others, serving together, giving themselves away sacrificially and growing together in community.
These are the things that form us spiritually, they develop our Christian walk through various forms of discipleship. Tonight my goal is not to announce some new direction for the church, I want to walk carefully in the days ahead related to change. But I also want to bring, hopefully by way of reminder for us all tonight, a bit more clarity on things we’ll be focused on together as a church. What our pastors, deacons and other leaders will primarily be giving time to.
This Sunday we’ll welcome around 15 new members and families to this local church - this expression of the body of Christ, representing a gathering that has experienced the rescue that can only be found in Christ. These 15 families have shared their testimonies of saving faith, their experiences in public declaration of that faith through baptism, they understand the truth of the Gospel and want to share with us in this mission through following Jesus, loving one another through community being generous with one another and serving one-another and others through local and global mission. That’s so exciting! Who would have expected that this is the type of increase that God would bring to HIS CHURCH through this season of uncertainty, God’s purpose has always been sure, secured through His son, sealed and empowered by HIs Spirit.
Our vision to bring Glory to God with our lives hasn’t changed… we still pursue this vision as a church through our mission to: love, grow & share // serving together, find community together, living in a sacrificial and generous toward one another. This is what we see throughout scripture, let’s pursue that together and be amazed at lives transformed, including our own, for the Glory of God!