Yield

…wrapping up this short throw-back series with the metaphor of a rockslide on I-40 on the NC/TN border that happened in 1997. That rockslide caused a lot of detours for months, and in the pre-GPS days, you had to pay attention to the road signs.

When a rockslide closes the highway, and you have to take a detour, you learn to rely a lot on road signs…

A “Yield” sign means I should stop and relinquish my progress to someone else. The last sign on this brief road trip is “yielding” our lives to God in worship.

courtesy highwaytrafficsupply.com

courtesy highwaytrafficsupply.com

Worship is any activity in which believers experience God in a meaningful, spiritually transforming way. True worship should lead worshipers to a deeper appreciation for God, a better understanding of His ways, and to a deeper commitment to Him. Encountering God in worship transforms us more and more into His likeness.

Worship begins with God, and not people. Worship is not something people do because they want to influence God. Worship is not something people do just out of gratitude, love, or fear. Emotions do not control worship; God controls worship. God instructs us how to worship and how not to worship.

God is sovereign and holy. Worship must not be done according to our small notions of Him, our limited conceptions of what He wants, or what might please us. God is above all, and we are to worship Him in the manner He desires.

God is in charge of worship. He created us and redeems us at His pleasure. He gave forms of worship in the Old Testament to direct Israel’s worship and has given His Holy Spirit in the New Testament to give us liberty and guidance in how to worship Him for who He is and what He has done. The Spirit brings liberty and freedom to worship.

The purpose of worship is to come before the Lord in obedience to praise Him, to hear from Him, to confess Him, and to commit our lives to Him. Every worship service is to be an encounter with the Lord, transcending our feelings, desires, and even our abilities to perform.

So that’s end of this quick trip, looking for road signs to guide us in the journey:

  • EvangelismOne Way
  • DiscipleshipSchool Zone
  • MinistryMen at Work
  • FellowshipMerging Traffic
  • WorshipYield

These five functions of the church are vital signs that must be followed in balance if we are to complete our journey.

When you come upon a rockslide, look to the signs to guide you to your destination.

part of a series taken from presentations 16 years ago, introducing the Purpose Driven Church principles to a church leadership team 

brought back today to connect to Auxano’s release of the first Team UP resource, featuring the Top 100 Quotes from Purpose Driven Church, with applications and exercises from Church Unique

100PDQ

One Way

Yesterday I introduced this short throw-back series with the story of a rock slide on I-40 on the NC/TN border that happened in 1997. That rock slide caused a lot of detours for months, and in the pre-GPS days, you had to pay attention to the road signs.

At the same time, the church I was serving was going through a “rock slide” of its own: the sudden resignation of the senior pastor, with practically no warning to anyone – including his staff! Our leadership teams had just begun working through Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven Church. I had just returned from a PDC seminar at Saddleback.

Isn’t it amazing how we think we are in control and have it all together with our plans – until we encounter a rock slide!

When a rock slide closes the highway, and you have to take a detour, you learn to rely a lot on road signs…

One Way is a most appropriate sign for evangelism. Christian evangelism is believers sharing the gospel with persons who aren’t believers. It is asking them to repent of their sins, to put their faith in Christ for the forgiveness of their sins and the free gift of eternal life, and to follow Him forever as Lord. Evangelism is the good news spoken by believers and lived out in their lives.

courtesy roadtrafficsigns.com

courtesy roadtrafficsigns.com

We must never replace evangelism with anything else. Everything we do individually and corporately in the church ultimately should b a witness to lost people and work toward making them disciples. When this is not the case, the church is not healthy, no matter how busy we are and how much we seem to accomplish.

Every Christian is responsible for declaring the good news of Christ’s coming and his death, burial, resurrection, and return. If we do not, we will give an account to the Father. The manner of delivering the message is not the crucial point. The responsibility for delivering the message is the decisive issue.

Evangelism under the lordship of Chris is the only way to make disciples. Whatever else churches do, they must make disciples. Evangelism is unique in that the need for the gospel is universal and the message is universal and effective in all cultures. Evangelism is believers sharing the gospel with a non-believer in ways both understand.

We are God’s method for evangelizing the world. He has no other. We are His plan, and our obedience means growth in the kingdom and the churches where we worship and serve. God save us to send us into the world to speak, live and show His good news of salvation to persons separated from Him.

That is what evangelism is all about. That is the “one way.”

 

part of a series taken from presentations 16 years ago, introducing the Purpose Driven Church principles to a church leadership team 

brought back today to connect to Auxano’s release of the first Team UP resource, featuring the Top 100 Quotes from Purpose Driven Church, with applications and exercises from Church Unique

100PDQ

Team UP Launches

As the Vision Room Curator for Auxano, one of the exciting things I am a part of is creating new resources for church leaders. In addition to the daily curated resources of the Vision Room itself, there is the biweekly release of Sums, our leadership book summaries. Both of these resources are free, requiring only an email registration available here.

Two weeks ago, we rolled out Auxano Founder and Team Leader Will Mancini’s latest book Innovating for Discipleship. It is  Volume 1 of The Church Unique Intentional Leadership Series.

We also released Issue #3 of the Unique 19 series – a look at vision-saturated churches you’ve probably never heard of. We call it the “list for the rest of us.”

Last week, we released the first of a new line of free resources called Team UP. In this inaugural release, we’ve taken our favorite 100 quotes from Rick Warren’s best-selling book, The Purpose Driven Church, and organized them for team discussion and vision implementation in your own church.

Enjoy this free resource and be inspired all over again by these timeless quotes here.

100PDQ

As I was doing the preliminary work during the summer on this resource (reading Purpose Driven Church again, selecting 150 quotes for our team to weed down to 100), I was reminded by the powerful influence this book has had on the church over the years. That was one of the reasons we chose it, and yet in the rereading I was taken back over 16 years to the first time I introduced PDC to the leadership team at the church I was the associate pastor for.

Earlier this summer during the infamous garage cleaning out, I had come across some of the files I had used, and a quick trip down memory lane uncovered the following:

When you look back with 20-20 hindsight, the inevitable will always happen.

The condition had existed for a long time. Actually, it started small but continued to grow. Everybody knew about it but no one really talked about it. As a matter of fact, it was easy to overlook. After all, things were going so well, and the future was bright. But trouble came just the same.

Throughout the entire area, the slopes of the mountains are filled with what geologists call “wedge failures.” That’s when wedges of rock are separated by a fault, fracture, or other weakness. That’s nature’s part.

Then man stepped in and built a road through the wedge failure areas. The road that was blasted through the mountains intersected the wedge failures. Weakened by the cuts made for the road, it was only a matter of time.

Add some rain as a lubricant, and whole sides of mountains can come crashing down on the highway. On July 1, 1997, a section of mountainside 800 feet high by 200 feet wider tumbled down onto I-40 near the TN/NC state line, closing all four lanes. Hundreds of tons of mountainside covered the highway; the rock that didn’t fall remained fragile and unstable.

When a rock slide closes the highway and you have to take a detour, you learn to rely a lot on road signs.

Set up road signs; put up guideposts. Take note of the highway, the road that you take.           Jeremiah 31:21

Isn’t it amazing how we think we are in control and have it all together with our plans – until we encounter a rock slide!

Tomorrow: What a rock slide has to do with Purpose Driven Church