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January 18, 2021 7:00 am
Hey thanks for coming today and I want you to take a Bible. Let's open the your Bible to acts chapter 1 and all you know what Brendan I want break. We went and visited all of this local church outside of the area. Here and there. We went to an adult Sunday school class and because they can't do the folks knew who we were there at the end of the class if we come up. Ron and and take a few questions. We said all right and so one of the questions a man raised his hand and he said he said well he said. My question is here at this church. All were thinking about getting into a building program.
He said the what what advice would you have for us as a church and I thought all the temptation to say no to know to know what is what I sent to my said, here's my advice for you.
I could go to the window building program. Make sure that the tail doesn't start wagging the dog. In other words, make sure the leaders of your church keep reminding people and talking to people and focusing people not on the building program but on the reason why you're doing the building program on the reason behind the building program and that is the vision, the mission of your church.
Now it seems to me coming back from summer break.
I'll take my own advice and so what I want to do is talk to you today about the vision, the mission of McLean Bible church that lies behind the $92 million building program that we've done over the last six years. Why have we done this is not because were in love with buildings is because we got a mission in the vision that drives us and to accomplish it.
God graced us with this property in this building, but is just a tool to get the mission done is they don't know long. No no no no you know how many mission vision messages I've heard you going to give me another one. Why do you do this every September, well-built Bibles, pastor of Willow Creek Community Church said this, he said if there's anything I've learned over the years it Willow Creek. It is not to underestimate how often I need to rekindle the vision to consistently reeducate our people as to why we are on the track that we're all on and why we do things the way that we do they know this month I begin my 24th year. Here is the senior pastor and let me tell you I have learned is that Bill Hibel is exactly right, which is why I tell people all the time that the two most important sermons I preach every year are not Easter and Christmas. They are the two vision messages that I do want in September 1 and January because these are the messages more than any other focus our energies and unify our hearts and define our reason for existence as a church. These messages are critical to our success. And so that's what we want to do today but I got a few new things to tell you I think you'll have some fun with it. So let's repeat what is in vision. What is the mission of McLean Bible church. I want you to say with me. The vision of McLean Bible church is here we go. Come on, to make an impact on the secular community around us with the message of Jesus Christ.
You see the driving piston of our vision is community impact with the message of Christ were trying to see secularized people no matter what lifestage they may be at brought to a decision point for Jesus Christ in their life.
And then we don't leave them there but we go on from there to teach them how to become fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ. We are interested in ministry were we moved out of our Christian subculture where we move into the culture of secular Washington were we crossover the Christian curtain in this town, and where we talk to secular people in Washington about a different way of living a better way of living that Jesus Christ can offer them. This is a unique area of specialization within the overall work of the kingdom of God that we believe God has called us to. As a local church, making a change life impact on every single person in the metropolitan Washington area may disable Solano where did we get this mission from as a church. Well, we got it and and here's a novel idea for church right out of the Bible.
Acts chapter 1 verse eight Jesus said, you will receive power when the Holy Spirit come upon you and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea. Notice the order Samaria and then to the ends of the earth. Now what he gave them was a series of concentric circles. He said I want you to start in Jerusalem, and then you moved to Judea and then you moved to Samaria and then you go to the ends of the earth, but for our purposes here, the important point is that Jesus said to these disciples start in your own backyard.
Start by going in reaching your own Jerusalem start by making an impact on your old city and friends in developing our vision is a church. All we think we've done is to obey with the Lord Jesus told us to do to go and and penetrate our Jerusalem for Jesus Christ to go and saturate Washington DC products now.
I frankly I believe that this is the duty of every church in every city is to go do this, but what makes our job so exciting and so significant is that God is given us the most strategic city in the world to go do this soon to go make an impact on for Jesus Christ. Washington is the only city left in the 21st century, about which you can honestly say change this city for Jesus Christ and the result will change and affect the whole world they know I'm sure Des Moines, Iowa is a wonderful town.
I've never been there. And frankly, I don't really have any desire to go there but if you reached every single man, woman and child in the morning I will for Jesus Christ that would be a wonderful thing to do, but the result of that would not change America and it would not change the world presently tell you something you reach every man woman and child in Washington DC for Jesus Christ.
Every Congressman, every single senator every Supreme Court justice, every government worker. Every lobbyist every military officer every lawyer in New York that would be America to reach every single ambassador in this town every single embassy worker in this town.
Every military attaché from a foreign nation you reach everyone. Foreign student in this town reach every member of the World Bank in this town reach every one of these people for Jesus Christ and the result would be the laws of America, the Society of America, the culture of America would radically change and the reverberations of that would be felt around the world. What a town what to tell to have the privilege to go get for Jesus Christ and go to warm Asante. This is what were doing in this town.
This is what were trying to accomplish in this town and and this explains why one of our core values.
Core value number 9/10 which says that our church must have an evangelistic impact on its community. But let me tell you what will really say it here were really saying here with this core value was number one. That is a church family.
Jesus called us to be a force in the sit in the city of Washington, not just the fortress. He called us to be a player in the society of the style number two were saying that it is unacceptable for us to exist as a church in this community for years and at the end of that time for us to have made little or no impact on this community. That is unacceptable, were saying, sir, that the true measure of our success is McLean Bible church is not how many parking spaces we have or how big an auditory we have or how many people we have on staff. The true measure of our success is how many people's lives we change for Jesus Christ in this city were saying force that our mission is to saturate Washington DC the urban inner-city as well as the suburbs with the message of Christ until every single person in metropolitan Washington has had the opportunity to hear the message of Christ and respond to it and finally were saying that every dollar people give here every hour. People serve here every prayer that people pray here is dedicated to this singular mission. That's what were saying with core value number not now want you to see that that the early followers of Christ, the early believers in the New Testament that they shared core value number nine with us now. They did write down but Edwina said to them, core value number nine are church must have an evangelistic impact on its community. Every one of those early disciples in the Bible would've said amen and amen brother, and you know that's what they did little to dead the what they did is they saturated their cities in the book of acts read about it with the message of Christ. For example, the city of Jerusalem. Acts chapter 5 the Bible says they brought the apostles in Peter, James, John, these guys in front of the Sanhedrin, the Jewish High Court there. Jerusalem and the high priest said to them, we gave you strict orders not to teach or preach in the name of Jesus and yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching well is not what were supposed to do that saturating the city. Chapter 6 and the word of God kept spreading in the number of disciples continue to increase greatly in Jerusalem and a great number of Jewish priests became obedient to the faith. Hey friends, this is no small thing.
Convincing the Jewish priests to believe in Jesus is by convincing Dr. Atkins to be the spokesman for Krispy Kreme guns that what I'm saying. It just doesn't happen very often. And this is the comic impact they have on that Cindy that the apostle Paul everywhere Paul went.
This was his core value impact the city that is in, for example, acts chapter 16 when he was in Philippi. The crowds charge against him and Silas is this these men in the crowd said are throwing our whole city into an uproar when they went to Thessalonica. The crowd there said these men who have turned the world upside down. They come here now to do that to our city and in the city of Ephesus acts chapter 19 Paul taught the word of God daily in the school of prevent us. This went on for two years so that all watches all the Jews and Gentiles who lived in the Roman province of Asia heard the word of the Lord.
Now this is where we left off in the life of Paul. When I went on summer break. Paul was here in Ephesus at the beginning of his third missionary journey be admitted to the synagogue for three months preaching verse nine says when some of the Jewish people became obstinate and began to speak evil of the faith. Paul withdrew from the synagogue and taught the word of God daily in the school of Taranto snout who was a Scott Taranto as well. The truth is we don't know we don't know whether he owned the school or whether he was a teacher in the school. All we know is that he either rented it to Paul, or simply let Paul borrow it and for two years every day. Paul taught seekers and believers alike here at the school of Taranto's and look at the result. Verse 10 it two years later all the Jews and Gentiles who lived in the province of Asia heard the word of God not I will show you a map to show you how unbelievable this was what happened here with everything you see in green on the map the whole western part of Turkey. Today was the Roman province of Asia. Paul spent almost 3 years from the spring up from the fall of 53 to the spring of 56 A.D. in the city of Ephesus. We see the star the red star you map and the Bible says as a result of his ministry there in almost 3 years. The entire green portion of your map every single Jew and Gentile heard the word of God is they'll come online you don't really believe that do you. That's like Bible speak you know that's like.
That's like hyperbole. No no no I don't think it's hyperbole at all because a little bit later in this chapter Demetrius, who is Paul's enemy is going to say this, verse 26, this fellow Paul has convinced them, let astray large numbers of people here in Ephesus and in practically the whole province of Asia. This is an enemy agreeing that the whole province is been affected by phone on, let's go back to the map and let me show you what happened. You see all the red circles on your map. The three on the bottom. The cities of Mirabilis Laodicea and Colossae impact Colossae.
Of course, as a letter in the New Testament written to the church in the book of Colossians. These three churches were all started in the Lycos Valley during the time Paul was in Ephesus all of the churches you see north about that are mentioned in Revelation chapter 2 and three, to whom Jesus wrote letters, the cities of Pergamum five-star resort of Smyrna, Philadelphia all started during this 2 1/2 year. And there were probably of hundreds of other churches that were started throughout the province of Asia that are mentioned in the Bible we don't know about him, but we know about at least these in the Bible says is the result of Paul's ministry there in Ephesus. He marinated this entire province with the message of Jesus Christ in those 2 1/2 years and he was in Ephesus that you know and let me just say the evangelization of the province of Asia was so thorough during those years that the 14 centuries this province and the churches in it. This was the leading province for the Christian faith in all of the eastern part of the Roman Empire for the next board team century because of the ministry of the possible.
They know when I was a young believer are down in Chapel Hill, North Carolina the first year I was a believer 1971 I began reading the New Testament never read it before I began reading the book of acts and I read the way these churches absolutely blew their communities apart from Christ, and I remember always saying to myself, why can't a local church today have this same kind of impact on its community for Jesus Christ.
Why can't that happen to be there in Chapel Hill, there were churches all over everywhere and friends.
They were doing one thing to reach 15,000 students who were just outside their doors and I kept asking why, and I'll tell you the answer. The answer is because they didn't have any vision for you. Take the average church on Ellman Maple Street.
What's the vision of the pastor down there at that church will tell you what it is for so many churches the vision is keep the sheep in the pen. That's it: the sheep grew machine don't rock the boat for the sheep make the sheep feel comfortable and if you do a good job that will give you more sheep to keep in a bigger pan and then if you do a good job that eventually they'll promote to the headquarters.
We only mathematics was she now this is exactly what was happening in Chapel Hill North Carolina.
Those churches were playing keep the sheep in the bed. Meanwhile, not 100 yards outside their front door.
Thousands of college kids were going to hell in a hand basket. I was one of them and those churches were doing one blessed thing to reach us. If I waited for the churches in Chapel Hill reach me at being held today.
Let me just telling and I remember as a young believer swearing out loud and saying God. If you ever give me a measure of leadership in some church somewhere and let me just say at that time would hair out to my shoulders and love beads and bellbottoms and motorcycle boots. Osgood look good. I said God if you ever give me a chance to do that. I said, you have my solemn promise that I will do everything in my power to see to it that the church I get to be a leader in acts like the churches in the book of acts and not like the churches in Chapel Hill and that's how we got the vision that we've got consisting pulsates inside my veins that this is our duty. This is our privilege is our responsibility. There are thousands of people right outside our doors going to hell in a hand basket and we gotta be like the churches in the book of acts, and go out and seek to reach Melanie answer one more question before we close and that's this. How did Paul do this.
How did he pull this off. I mean, how did you go out and saturate a whole province in 2 1/2 years for Christ. Well friends I want to tell you something might shock you know it. During those 2 1/2 years. The apostle Paul himself never left Ephesus. Although cities that you saw with the little red circles on the map. He never went to a single one of those cities and preach he stated Ephesus the entire 2 1/2 years is a woman.
How in the world did they reach that whole province where they did it to people like you pathless Susa well. Colossians chapter 1 will tell you.
Paul writes, we thank God for you believers and Colossae every day because we have heard of your faith in Christ. Remember: never been there.
He heard about. He said John and he said and you heard the message about Jesus from pathless. There is our God, who is a faithful servant of Christ and who told us of your faith in Christ.
Colossians 4 goes on to say that a path for us is one of your own fellow citizens to let me tell you what happened here.
It's obvious pathless guy from Colossae came to Ephesus on business or pleasure. It was the capital of the province of Asia. The key commercial center. I don't know why came, he ran into the apostle Paul. He heard Paul preach he gave his life to Christ he started attending the school of Paramus.
He grew into a fully developed follower of Christ. Paul challenged him to be a missionary to his own friends.
His own relatives, his own neighbors, his own hometown and sending back there and a Pampers went back to volunteer every day missionary about growth and he led people to Christ in that town preached in that town and started the church in that town and folks every single one of those other circles you saw the map got started, the very same way how to call doing very simple. Paul raised up in Army thousands of volunteer every day missionary and dispatch them, deploy them all over the province of Asia during those 2 1/2 years and they went and saturated and marinated that problems with Jesus Christ.
That's how we did. Now this has huge importance for us today. Here McLean Bible church.
We want to tear this city up the way Paul tore up the province of Asia, how we going to do it. What seems to me if were trying to achieve the same thing Paul was trying to achieve that we ought to use the same strategy use that seems logical. They said the long wait a minute, we got a lot of things today. The apostle Paul didn't have Connie, we've got youth camps and take ministry and see the ministry when God targeted ministry to children and young adults, and seniors.
We got access ministry for children with special needs. We got a food pantry a clothing exchange and we got the house down in Anacostia and they break down in Lincoln Heights and we got beginning again for people been through divorce and we got all these are ministries that didn't have we got the radio Paul and have the radio to use.
We got the radio and yes it's true were on 13 secular stations with not a sermon, just a thought.
Seven stations with our half hour Sunday program try to get up to a dozen with Sunday morning programming were on HFS and MZ cueing DC 101 and smooth jazz and wave on an and wash it for him and we bought time on Howard Stern 210 yeah absolutely take people.
It's not the folks could listen to Christian radio that need a doctor at the people to listen to Howard Stern.
So why should we bought time on Howard Stern. We bought time on the sports junkies yeah can you imagine your listener how it's not listen to them, but I don't think is very nice and you imagine you listen to that then then then we come on talking about that on the people go. What was that will you wouldn't believe how many people come to Christ here who we asked him where did you first hearers. They say Howard Stern unreal. That's true. We get more Howard Stern conversions and all the other radio station together. I'm not 10 yeah that is the honest truth and you know I think were doing a better job in the city than most people realize. I think we become a player in the city. Everywhere I go I hear people talking about McLean Bible church what's going on McLean Bible church. I was out of the white out this summer and had more staffers walk up to me while I was waiting… The opportunity going to meet the Pres. in the Oval Office for staffers came up on the waiting room or go to church I go to church I go to the anointing of the right in there right there in the White House. And though Brenda and I would a restaurant this summer and we were sitting there will tell you what you want and the waiter came up. Though our waiter and said he said could you do me a favor, said we got yes he said you can you answer question.
He said I got a bit. I got a wager with that waitress right over there any point to this young lady and I said really he said yeah I said when I came over here waiting on you and heard your voice. He said I said to myself that is the not a sermon dude sitting right there anything I made a wager that I sent the girls over to bring your drinks and they can talk about wonder to hear your voice and she said you're not there is not a sermon doing so. She said we got a bed and I need to know are you not a sermon, and I said yes I am and he went hot. I don't know what they wagered. I was afraid to ask but what I didn't say too much away. Just out of curiosity, how come she didn't think I was the God she said all she said she hears all the time on the radio.
She thought to be younger okay I want to complement but anyway the point is one of the been sent in a restaurant. Somebody recognizes that God I'm telling you where doing a better job in this town than we think we are using these things, but all that to say, we can use radio we can use all of these other technological advances, but the real way to reach this city is the old-fashioned way that Paul did the secret to reaching the city is to do what Paul did and what he do Paul raised up and deployed an army of everyday volunteer missionaries to go out and talk to people about Christ in the province of Asia and where to really reach the city. That's how were going to do with the old-fashioned way by just dispatching people like a pathless by dispatching people into watching the light missionary Bob is and who was missionary ball well I got a letter and I'll tell you dear Pastor Solomon this letter is long overdue for a couple years ago. A very dear friend of mine Bob gave me your testimony today for many years. My friend Bob has prayed that someday I would come to know Jesus Christ. I grew up in a conservative Jewish family, where I went to Temple in Hebrew school very regularly. I was bat mitzvah the 13 years of age. My uncle was a rabbi in Puerto Rico for many years and we observed all the Jewish traditions and holidays. However, although my friend Bob tried many times to witness to me. I was very much against even the idea of Jesus. It wasn't until my boyfriend and I began to discuss marriage that my mind was even open enough to consider the facts I reflected on how I'd grown up in an abusive home where my father was an alcoholic and regularly beat my mother.
I thought about how my mother was now on her fifth marriage.
I wanted more for my marriage, and more for the life of my future children.
It was at this time.
When I finally went back and found your tape from Bob and listen to it. I listen to it over and over and over. I began studying the Bible and attending Bible studies with my future husband five months before we were married I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, and my life has never been the same.
I have since given your tape to a Jewish friend of mine in California who is also seeking.
I truly believe the Lord is called me for I can touch people that perhaps other Christians cannot. So I have dedicated myself to becoming involved in being a missionary to other Jewish people will Pastor Solomon thank you for your time.
I just wanted you to know how you and Bob have made a tremendous difference in my life folks, this is success right here.
This letter is what success is all about your loss and how many tell you how to this young lady get reach. She got reached by missionary Bob not by me missionary Bob reached her, and interesting. She copied his example and now she became missionary young Jewish lady told her friends use their will on. That's great.
You know you're up there brother just preaching your heart out.
God bless you. I give you got a B+ this morning.
Not bad for the first time back, but but if you really think that I'm gonna go out there and I'm to be one of these missionary shoes. These are missionary Bob out there then you got another thing coming. You got the wrong person.
You just don't understand when somebody tosses me the softball and I get the chance to speak to Jesus you don't know what happens to me that I get caught in my throat. My armpits get all wet and I say, here I go hunting anything out of my mouth you got the wrong person.
I'm not on no missionary Bob Mindanao tell you some friends. Every single person who is adept at sharing their faith day didn't start that way. We all had to learn how to do it. Nobody is born knowing how to be a missionary nobody… Whipple dust from heaven on people and turn them into missionary Bob's and Susie's. It's a simple matter of skill training. You just going to learn how to do it and that's what Christianity 301 is all about. It's all about learning how to share your faith in you give us six weeks and we will teach you how to do this.
It isn't that hard. And anybody can learn how to share their faith. And so the action point that I want for the day when you walk out of here is first of all I want you to be excited about our mission a God given us the greatest city in the world rock Christ. This is a wonderful opportunity we have, but I want you to walk out of here saying either one of two things you still either. I want you walking out here today saying you know what I know how to share my faith. I'm adept at doing that and I'm committing myself that I'm going to go out to be a missionary everyday here in Washington because that's what it's going to take to reach the city or I want you walking out of this auditorium saying you know I really don't have share my faith, but I'm committed to learning how to be missionary Bob and Susie Tsonga right out in the lobby inside of the Christianity.
3011 way or the other. It's an army of missionaries is going to reach a city, not professional missionaries and get paid a salary or on a church that balding reaches… Province with people like that. It's everyday volunteer missionaries who go out and talk to the relatives or friends, their neighbors, their coworkers and do just what Bob did give them an opportunity to respond that Taliban reaches city and friends of the tell you we unleashed 56 7000 missionary Bob's and Susie's on the scalp.
We will rock this help Jesus Christ.
We want you to be one of them and I hope you'll join us at spray or thanks for reminding us today why we exist thanks for reminding us today of our vision and our core values and and thanks for refocusing us today as to why this building program is even happening is just a tool to enable us to rock the city for Christ and father I pray that his people sat and listened that you would really work in their hearts and lives and that they would say well I want to be part of that. That's an exciting thing to live for more exciting than money and stuff to change lives for Christ like that young lady in that letter, and so Lord I pray that we would walk out of here today.
Determined to either be missionary Bob's and Susie's order to learn how to be God help us rock the city for Christ in our prayers that you would exceed even our wildest expectations and that the cause of our ministry in this town, all of America and the world feels the impact of that God.
We can do this as the spirit of God empowers us and as we do our duty, so grant that we would step up to the plate and say will do our part in God we trust you to do yours and we pray this in Jesus name, amen