Sunnyside Church of the Nazarene
Sunday, January 9 2022
  • Light The Fire Again
  • Famous For (I Believe)
  • Goodness Of God
  • From The Inside Out
  • “Most of us live our lives by accident - we live as it happens. Fulfillment comes when we live our lives on purpose.” ~ Simon Sinek
    - bestselling author and leadership guru. Curious, which way do you think God would prefer? He tells us that we are to live by faith, and
    Faith is about intentional trust and putting into action what we know to be true of God and how He wants us to live, not accidental living.
    What I'm talking about and will talk about for a while is vision. Having a vision for one's life, career, family, church, any organization is essential. When there is a clear vision, and the people follow that vision great things happen. However, the Bible tells us that
    Proverbs 29:18 ESV
    Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint, but blessed is he who keeps the law.
    Vision is essential.
    Think about it, what if God did not give Moses and Israel a vision? What if God said to Moses, “Go back to Egypt and do something with those Israelites?” Nothing would have happened. But God did give Moses and Israel a vision to leave Egypt and go to the promised land and to become a great nation.
    What if God the Father told Jesus, “Hey, why don’t you go down there and just see what you can do - do something.” What would have happened? Probably not much. I don't know, but I do know that Jesus had a vision
    Luke 4:18–19 ESV
    “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
    That was His vision, and that vision kept Him on track for three years even when others tried to impose different visions upon Him - they wanted to make Him a king and overthrow the Romans …. He just followed the vision.
    What if Jesus, on the day He ascended said to the disciples, “Um … hey guys, it’s be real; it’s been fun - see ya on the flipside?” What would have happened? What would the disciples have done without a vision? They would have floundered - the movement would have faltered. But Jesus did give them a vision -
    the Great Commission (vision)
    Matthew 28:19–20 ESV
    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. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
    Vision is essential for the success of the individual or organization. Without vision, people and organizations perish. They don't know what to do, they don’t know what’s important, very little gets accomplished, not unified, and when it's all said and done, they wonder what the point was ….
    Vision is essential.
    Several years ago, I introduced a vision to Sunnyside. Does anyone know what the vision was or is? To be a church that
    Helping people reach their potential in Christ: physically, spiritually, emotionally.
    We’ll talk more about these later, but I believe each person has the potential in Christ to become and to do all God desires. So, unless you have reached the pinnacle of your spiritual life and you have no more room for spiritual growth, you have nothing left to learn about God and His will for your life, if there’s no more transformation for you, … and if there's nobody else to reach for Christ … unless you have arrived and people mistake you for Jesus, then there is more to learn, more to do, there’s room for spiritual growth and maturity.
    Every follower of Jesus Christ has the responsibility to strive toward their potential (2 Pet. 1:2-11).
    I agree with Dr. Rich Weigel,
    “The Lord expects you to keep improving in multiple areas of life for His glory, not to remain stagnant or accepting of your personal status quo.” ~ Dr. Rich Weigel
    So there’s a potential to strive for.
    Like I said, several years ago I introduced a vision to Sunnyside, but for whatever reason the vision never caught on. Preached about it. Put it on our bulletins, on our website, on my email, we had meetings about it, but it never went beyond that. Was it due to stubbornness, resistance, poor communication, poor execution, refusal to change and do the hard work? I’m sure it’s all the above? I’m not going to figure out what went wrong - at this point, it doesn’t matter. What matters to me, is what we do from this day forward.
    “Without a vision, a man will waste his life away. But with a clear vision, he’s a force to be reckoned with.” ~ Mark Batterson.
    I would add, without a vision, a church will waste away. But with a clear vision and where the people work together to accomplish the vision and make it into a reality - that’s a church to be reckoned with.
    I still believe in that vision. I still believe people can reach their potential in Christ. I still believe this church can reach its potential. I still believe that Sunnyside can have a children’s ministry, a youth ministry, a compassionate ministry to our community, home groups, Bible studies …. I still believe we can lead people to faith in Christ. I still believe Sunnyside can make difference in this community. Do you? I believe we can get off the bench and back in the game. Do you?
    “A God-given vision keeps us from decay and disorder. It energizes everything we do. And turning that vision into reality is one way we love God with all our strength.” ~ Mark Batterson.
    It keeps us from decay and disorder. For whatever reason, we never unified under the vision, therefore there is decay and disorder here. If we’re not unified under a vision, then it will be nearly impossible to accomplish Kingdom work. If we’re not unified under a vision, then we cannot glorify Christ as a church.
    Romans 15:5–6 ESV
    May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
    Let's be honest, we are not unified in our understanding of what a church should be and do. We are not unified under one vision. Unless we can unify under one vision and work together to accomplish that vision, Sunnyside fade away.
    Turning a vision into reality takes time, effort, dedication, commitment, yielding, and prayer.
    It takes a lot more than gathering on Sunday mornings. It takes more than a meeting here or there and talking - got to put some elbow grease into it.
    Turning a vision into reality requires the entire congregation to believe in the vision, assimilate the vision, and implement the vision.
    It doesn't work if people say, “Do whatever you want pastor, I'll keep doing my own thing.” It doesn't work when people say, “I'm comfortable. I’m not changing.” It doesn't work when the pastor has a vision, and only a couple people are interested in making the vision a reality.
    Several years ago I introduced a vision to Sunnyside, but for whatever reason the vision never caught on. Today I am reintroducing that vision and I have two questions - one I’ll ask today and the second I’ll ask next week.
    Who would like to help lead the church?
    This church cannot function practically or legally without a leadership (i.e. a church board). I cannot and will not do it alone. The current board has served for several years, and they need a break. It's time for a new church leadership. That’s not negating what they’ve done - it’s just time and they would agree.
    In March, we will elect a new board - I prefer leadership team. First, you must be an official member of the Church of the Nazarene. Secondly,
    The leadership team should be comprised of people who are willing to take on roles and responsibilities to help manage the church and to see that the vision is pursued.
    If you have skills and strengths and talents in administration, strategic planning, if you’re a doer - then we should talk. I need a team of people who are strategically minded, who are self-motivated and willing to learn and discover how to lead a church. I need people who are driven to make things happen, who can take an idea and run with it and get ‘er done - and of course, people who are spiritually mature and Kingdom-minded.
    Who would like to help lead Sunnyside Church, help bring the vision into reality? You may not know exactly what all that means or how to be a board member how to lead and that's OK. But you must be willing to learn and grow and do.
    Think about it. Pray about it. Let’s talk about it. I need to know by Jan 30 who’s in.
      • Proverbs 29:18ESV

      • Luke 4:18–19ESV

      • Matthew 28:19–20ESV

      • 2 Peter 1:2–11ESV

      • 2 Peter 1:2–11ESV

      • 2 Peter 1:2–11ESV

      • Romans 15:5–6ESV

  • Light The Fire Again

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