Multiplication is My Responsibility
ConnectUs Church Audio Podcast
ConnectUs Church Audio Podcast

Episode 4 · 2 years ago

Multiplication is My Responsibility


Every follower of Jesus has a unique role to play to accomplish the task given to them by God. We want to help you take ownership of the mission and do everything we can do to see you succeed!

Well, now is the time, at the last three vision nights, that I gave something like a sermon and I started off by encouraging you to engage with the message, like don't just listen to a message, engage with the message, really listen, take notes, a clasp if you like something. You know, praise God. Where's your God as you're hearing his word preached? Give me some encouragement, let me know you're following along, and that is super important when we're meeting in person, but it is even more important in this setting, even more important today. You can speak while I'm talking, and I encourage you to speak so much while I'm talking. Chat away, talk to the person you're sitting next to. I can't hear you talk right now. You're not interrupting me at all. In fact, you're engaging with the Messenger. You're engaging in such a way that's so unique to this particular setting. So use it to your advantage. Chat away right messages in there. You are not interrupting at all. It's kind of awkward because I'm talking you're supposed to be listening, but that's not how church online works. The experiences so much better when you are chatting away. So please, please do that, and then when we get back in person together, I'll have to tone you down, which will be which will be good, a good problem to have. But I'm going to preach a message to you now called multiplication is my responsibility. Let's practice right that in the chat. Multiplication is my responsibility. Multiplication is my responsibility. See, I connect US church. Our mission is to connect you to God's next step for your life. We're going to reach out, to invite all people to connect to a gospel community and challenge you to take God's next step for your life. See, we're going to be a church. We are a church that reaches out beyond wherever we're meeting. Meeting online like this is great, but we're going to be continually reaching out beyond those that are here, those that are engaging. Who is the next person that could come and contact with this message, with this community and with this mission, we're going to reach out and we're not just going to reach out, but we're going to invite. We're going to have something exciting, something great, something thriving, to invite people to be a part of, and then we're going to challenge you to take God's next step for your life. We say that a lot and we mean it. We really believe it, that we want to try our best. We're going to challenge you, as a strong word, but we're going to challenge you to take God's next step for your life and we believe that if we accomplish this mission, that it will look like making more and better disciples. We say it this way in our vision that we will multiply more and better disciples connect us. Church provides an exciting and thriving experience when the church gathers together, even online, and partners with God in the community. We valued church planting and will be multiplying disciples in churches across central Pennsylvania and beyond. multiplying. There's our word for today, but it's this idea that it's going to be exciting, it's going to be thriving when we get together. And if you ever wondered, there ever question if church online was important, now is a great, great example of why it is. It's always been important and we will always continue to use all modes and methods of communication to reach people, but now we see even more the value of doing this, and so we're going to have a great experience when the church gathers together, but we will...

...always partner with what God is doing in the community. We can't do everything and we believe that God is working outside these walls, outside of whatever room you are in. He got is at work in this situation and in our world and we want a partner with what God is doing. And when we do that, we will be involved in church planting because will be multiplying disciples and followers of Jesus and will in that will be multiplying churches across central Pennsylvania, where we are started, and beyond. And it is a huge vision and we're so excited about this vision and we believe that we can accomplish this big vision because we are focused on Jesus. We value being focused on Jesus. Everything we do is to the glory of God, at Church and outside the church. We believe that he is going to make this happen, that he is going to give us the power, that he is going to do the work. Now, as we follow Jesus, we will make disciples, we will multiplied disciples. We value multiplying disciples. We are excited to share the Gospel and guide new believers so that we can all grow as Christians and support multiplying churches. See, having a conversation with somebody about your faith in Jesus is the biggest thing that can grow your faith. It's a great catalyst to get that the get you moving in your faith, taking your next step is you engage with people and have conversations about your faith. You grow as a Christian and you are also excited to share the gospel with somebody. Like we need to be telling people about the good news of what Jesus has done for us and and you need to do it, I need to do it, we all need to do it, and that's when this idea of multiplying comes in. It's not all about me and what I can do and what I say and who I talk to. It's not about, you know, who we invite through social media or how many flyers we send out. It's not about how many big events we can do and how many people can show up. Like all that stuff is really important and we're going to do all of those things and more, but what's really, really powerful and what we're going to talk about today is this idea of multiplication. It's your responsibility it's my responsibility and if we're all in this together, God's gonna do incredible, incredible things, and I'm so excited to see how God is going to use us in this way. To multiplying disciples is a main command that Jesus gave his followers when he ascended into heaven. There was eleven guys with him and he told them to go and multiply, make disciples. And so how did eleven guys turn turn into? Two thousand years later, we're still talking about that man, Jesus, who gave them that instruction twozero years later, just started with eleven guys. The answer multiplication. Check out what this command that Jesus gives. He says you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you and you will be my witnesses. What do you got to do? Tell people about me where, everywhere. And if that's not clear enough, in Jerusalem, Throughout Judea, the the country in Samaria, that place where you don't usually want to go, and to the ends of the Earth. A pretty clear command from Jesus of where this message was supposed to go.

And so what we see in acts twelve, just four verses later, they all about eleven of them met together and we're constantly united in prayer, along with Mary, the mother of Jesus, and several other women and the brothers of Jesus. And so there's about eleven, maybe a little bit more people. They're right at the beginning of this movement that's called the church. And Acts Chapter One. It records what happened almost two thousand years ago. And then from there, just a few verses later, it says during this time, when about a hundred and twenty believers were together in one place, Peter stood up and address them. So now we find this number, a hundred and twenty. They go from eleven to a hundred and twenty, which is pretty good growth. And then next chapter, acts chapter to. It says those who believe what Peter said on the day of pentecost were baptized and added to the Church that day, about threezero in all. What and incredible day when three thousand people turn and give their life to Jesus, follow Jesus as a result of Peter and what the church was doing. Eleven to one hundred and twenty, two over threezero. Now let's see what happens. Acts Chapter Four. But many of the people who heard the message believed in it. The message is being spread, and so the number of men who believe now told about five thousand. So now the number, if it's just the men, you're looking at ten at least ten thousand, maybe fifteen thousand the way twenty thousand, the way that they counted back two tho years ago, starting out eleven and just four chapters later in the record of the early church, are now at, you know, couple tens of thousands of people as believers in Jesus Christ, and then they faced some difficult times as a church. But through that, in acts chapter six, we read that the word of God continue to spread and the number of disciples in Jerusalem continue to grow rapidly or multiply. Even a large number of priests became obedient to the faith. Those that believe so strongly in the law and what they believed, they were seeing the truth that comes when you believe in Jesus Christ. And so it says the number of disciples in Jerusalem continue to grow rapidly. In Jerusalem, that continue to go rapidly. But what was Jesus's command to his disciples? They were supposed to start in Jerusalem. But they weren't supposed to stay in Jerusalem. Remember what Jesus said, you will receive power of the Holy Spirit comes upon you and you will be my witness. Is Telling people about me everywhere in Jerusalem. Okay, they seem to do that well, right, tens of thousands of followers in Jerusalem. But what about Judea and Samaria, and what about the ends of the earth? And so around this time one of the leaders of the early church was killed and there was a great persecution from the political establishment of the day. And what they did, and what was they were forced to do, is the believers weren't doing acts one eight, and so what God did was acts eight one. Check this up. It says that day a severe persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem and everyone except for the apostles was scattered throughout the countryside of where Judea and Samaria. Now those who were scattered went from place to place. And what were they doing? Preaching the word Jesus from the very beginning one in this message of what he has done for the entire world, to go to the entire world. It was supposed to start right where he was, right where the...

...people were, but it was not supposed to stay there, and so as the message was getting stuck, God allowed a severe persecution to happen which forced the people to scatter to the places where God wanted them to go. And some fortunate that sometimes we have to face some very difficult life altering circumstances for us to finally get to do what God is wanting us to do. And I feel like, as we're in a message like this talking about the spread of the Gospel and multiplying disciples, it's impossible at this day, right today, to share a message like this and not talk about the impact the coronavirus is having on our world and how that impacts the spread of the gospel the multiplying of disciples. I came across a book recently called eight to fifteen. It's about sharing the Gospel with the people that God has placed in your life. We talked about this a lot. That connect as church, and here's where I want to start. I want to start in this way, going back to, of all places, China. So check out what the author of this book, eight to fifteen, says. He says the church in China has grown at a rate history has never witnessed before. Although Public Christian assembly remains either band or Heavenly Monitor, the House Church movement has exploded, with much of the growth now originating from the rural areas into the urban centers of the country. In one thousand nine hundred and forty nine there was an estimated five hundred thousand Christians in China, and today over a hundred and thirty million Christians in China. Seventy years exponential growth. When I heard this is the author speaking about missionary reports about the oppressed church, and as a kid I remember connecting dots between spiritual power and martyrdom. Not being too fond of the idea of Oppressian political or otherwise, the idea of Christian Ministry actually scared me. If you share the same aversion to prison time. Here is some good news. It isn't persecution that generates growth. It's the ministry model that political oppression actually forces us to embrace. When the church is forced out of a traditional leader centered ministry model, where the focus is on the platform Ministry of the highly gifted leaders, into a more relational model where the focus is on the Personal Ministry of the Individual Believers, the results are startling. If only we could keep that focus when we're not oppressed. The author rights. But as government becomes more tolerant of Christianity, allowing large assemblies to become the center of Church Life, our tendency is to shift or focus too leadership gifts, leadership conferences and leadership development strategies, and Christian leaders are tempted to think more about moving up the food chain, while parishioners tend to think less about reaching out to nonbelievers to instead focus on finding the best places to have their needs met and be well fed. So the author of this book goes on to say that they want to be a support group for World Changers, and I love that little phrase. And we want to connect you to God's next step for your life and we believe that, as we do that, that God will lead you to change your world. And so you could say that we want to be a support group for world changers as well. And See, our our world is going through such an interesting time right now and we really have to embrace the power of the scattered church. And so I hope...

...this doesn't go on too long. And we I longed for the day to get back together and see you and do this in person. But until then we will really embrace what it means to be the scattered church and I want, I believe will see God multiply disciples like he does in what we're reading about in China and these other places where you just can't get together. And even when we do get together in person, we will always, always, embrace the power of the scattered church and Resources and finance it and focus on and promote it as much as we can, because there is great, great power there. And so my question for you now, and take a couple minutes in write your answer in the chat, is what is one thing you have done in the last week that you would consider it to be personal or Relational Ministry? Remember, if the Church can't gather together in a large facility, the author of that book was saying. He says more emphasis is put on this personal or relational ministry. And so since we haven't been able to get together, no churches have been able to get together. How have you done this personal or relational type ministry in the last week? I look forward to seeing what you're doing and then I'll be back. So, when it comes to church ministry, we really want to embrace the best of both worlds. We really believe that God works and incredible ways when we gather together in a large group, and we believe that God works in incredible ways when you were having a conversation with one person at your house or over coffee. We want to embrace the best of both worlds and really, when we do this, we're functioning the way God designed the church to function. Check out of Paul writes in his letter to the Ephesians and chapter for he says, now, these are the gifts Christ gave to the church. Notice the gifts are people, people with these special abilities and gifts, the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists and the pastor of teachers. These are the leaders of the church generally. You might see them on stage, you see the organizing things, you see them in charge. Their gifts Christ gives to the church. And what is their responsibility? The responsibility is to equip God's people to do his work and build up the Church, the body of Christ, and so your responsibility is to do his work. My responsibility is to do his work, but as a pastor, as someone that God has given to the church, in those particular roles. My job as a pastor is to equip you to do what God is calling you to do, and that's what connect us. Church is all about. We want to connect you to God's next step for your life. We want to equip you to do whatever it is God is calling you to do, to do his work and to build up the church. And check up what happens when we do this. It is Paul goes on. He says this will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God's son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full, complete standard of Christ. Then we will not be immature like children. We won't be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching or every new post you see on facebook. We will about. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. We won't be fooled by those posts that we see on twitter or when people tell us different things. Fusians for fifteen goes on insstead. We will speak the truth in love, growing... every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. He makes the whole body fit together perfectly, as each part does. It's a own special work. It helps the other parts grow so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love. So when we function this way as a church, where we're living into the design. God designed his church to be a healthy church multiplies disciples. A healthy church reproduces a healthy follower of Jesus reproduce, a healthy things reproduce, people reproduce, plants reproduce, and so will churches. Churches are made up of followers of Jesus and as followers of Jesus, we will make more and better disciples and the churches will have make more and better churches. So we want to equip you to do what God is calling you to do, and part of you then doing that is to equip others to do what God is calling them to do and see how this cycle continues and multiplies. So my question now is what is one way that you'd like to be better equipped to do what God is calling you to do? So take a few minutes and right in the chat. What is one way that you'd like to be better equipped to do what God is calling you to do, and I'll see you in a couple minutes. So God wants to work in our individual lives. He wants to scatter us into our families and into our homes. He wants to scatter us into our workplaces or into our schools, and scatter us into our sports teams. Wherever God takes you, he's equipping you to do his work, and when we embrace this, we really embrace what it means to be a follower of Jesus. It's our responsibility, of those who believe in Jesus, to do this and live this way. Check out this word responsibility here in Second Corinthians, Chapter Five, a letter that the Apostle Paul wrote. He said, and all of this is a gift from God. He just talked about how, when you are in Christ, you are a new creation. The oldest passed away and all things have become new. This is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ, and God has given us this task. You have a task of reconciling with just means bringing back into a right relationship, reconciling people to him, for God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people's sins against them and he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. You have a task and he gave you this message to accomplish the task. And he says, then, we are Christ ambassadors. Right that in the chat. That's who you are, that's your identity. You are an ambassador of Christ. You are his official representative. Set to wherever you are. You represent God and you have a message, a wonderful message. You are Christ ambassador. God is making his appeal through you, through us, and we speak for Christ when we plead come back to God. This verse is challenged me for many years. I'm not one to plead very much. I want to help you, I want to encourage you, I want to teach you, but plead with you. That's that's something God has been working in my heart and in... ministry and in my life to plead with you to come back to God. Please, please, come back to God. He will make a huge, huge difference in your life. Maybe you're watching right now and you have never fully trusted in Jesus for what he has done for you. I want to give you that opportunity because we have this wonderful message, this wonderful gift, like everything, can be made new. We can have a totally new perspective. We could have a totally new standing with God. We could be made right with God. Look what Paul writes how this is possible. He said in the next verse, for God made Christ, who never sin, to be the offering for our sins so that we could be made right with God through Christ. We are made right with God through Christ, because he never sinned, but he paid the penalty for our sin. See your sin, that thing that separates you from God. There's decisions that you didn't want to make, that that do you live up to your own expectations, let alone God's perfect expectations. There's a punishment that comes as a result of that, and either you pay that penalty and you take that punishment, or you believe and you trust that Jesus, God himself, took it for you, and that is the Gospel. You don't have to worry about trying to be good enough. You don't have to worry about trying to do the right thing all the time and say the right thing all the time and be nice to this person and and believe this right thing and understand that, like Jesus, did it all for you. So I plead with you put your faith and trust in Jesus. If you haven't done so already, make a note in the chat, send us an email, get in touch with us in any way. I would love to talk to you more about what that means and have that conversation. And and for those that are believers already, like you, have this wonderful message, and here Paul is just reminding us that we need to plead with people sometimes, we need to really just bang them and not only pray to God for them, but to really do our parts. Is How important this message is, how life changing this message is, not only our life here and now, but our life for eternity. So don't let the multiplication of this message stop with you. This message needs to go to all people, everywhere, through all different generations and right now, because of our current world situation, it's going house to house with people that are social distancing through the Internet. Don't let this message stop with you. Right now, more than ever, we have the responsibility to multiply disciples. It is our responsibility. Multiplication is my responsibility. Multiplication is your responsibility. Are you up for the challenge? Will you own this responsibility. I hope you will.

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