Being The ChurchSermon Outline/Study Guide I. Just a Building and a Business? A. Too often, Church is seen as a business and a building. People look at the steeple and the business side of things. People often see it as a safe haven from the rest of the world where Christians are often “secluded” from everyone else. B. Some people even see Church as a business to where people are often labeled by their church or denomination. That is a disgrace and needs to be stopped. C. Business is important and a church cannot survive without it, but Jesus called his church to be more than a business, but a powerful force to change the world. Church is the Bride of Christ and is made up of people who are genuine believers. 1 Corinthians 12, Romans 6 D. Even though the Bible says we are to be the church, we are to submit to authority so if churches aren’t run that way. We will just agree to disagree since God’s word is higher than man’s opinion and not resist their authority. People are not going to receive the truth for themselves if we try to force it down their throats. Sadly, many churches are united not under Jesus and the word, but under man’s opinion and ways of doing things so its hard to flow in some churches. Its best to find one that does it right. Romans 13 II. Visible and Invisible Church: Who makes up of it? A. The Visible Church is church businesses you see with people inside. It consists of the saved and the unsaved. It’s who we run into every Sunday. These people are in this church because of membership, baptism, comfirmation, etc. B. The Invisible Church is the church that is the true body of Christ and they are found in any visible church, from Catholic to Protestant to Orthodox to Messianic. These are believers that believe in Christ alone for their salvation (Ephesians 2:8-10). They are Sons of God and joint heirs with Christ. People do not become part of the church because of baptism, confirmation, Lords Supper, Good works (Ephesians 2:8), turning over a new leaf (Titus 3:5), its by faith in Christ alone. Many scriptures confirm this. Its not really my opinion. III. What is Church About? A. Church is not about rituals, going through the emotions, doing business, making money, etc, Church is about people united for one cause, the cause of Christ (John 18:37). This needs to be put in action, not in theory. B. Its about being part of a body, strengthening each other up in the ways of the LORD, so we can be a force for God throughout the WORLD. Believers are to edify each other up in the LORD, help each other when we fall, and grow corporately in Christ. Believers are to be patient with one another. In doing so, the church can be strong. 1 Corinthians 13, Galatians 6.
C. Everyone functions as being part of the body in some way. God gave everyone spiritual gifts to edify the body. We all need to feel accepted and wanted in the church. 1 Cor 12- 14. D. Church is about enjoying the body, so fellowship and socializing shouldn’t be discouraged. Everyone needs to be included. We are to do good and share with others, for such sacrifices are well pleased. Hebrews 13:16. E. The Church then individually needs to go into the world and do the will of God on their lives in service. They need to help serve others and be there for others, and be an example for all to see. We are to reconcile man back to God. 2 Cor 5:15-21 F. Individuals need to be responsible for their own load and personally disciple themselves, but the church needs to help others disciple others in Christ. What makes a church strong is individuals being the church together, helping others thrive in Christ, and being one unit. Galatians 6:1-5, Matthew 28:18-20 G. Division, Strife and Foolish Arguments need to be avoided. Church is not a place to debate doctrine. It’s a place to edify the body. Arguments are all forms of control and manipulation and can tear a church apart. Someone always gets hurt. People need to be reconciled to each other if there is an issue. People need to stop forcing people to believe stuff. It’s best to agree to disagree and to have general discussions, not debates. Some Christians are very sensitive about their beliefs. I learned that lesson once at my church. Gossip, Slander needs to be dealt with upfront. Also, the church needs to grow at its own pace so growth does not need to be forced. Also, if anyone wants to cause trouble, after the fourth time, remove him from your fellowship. Division weakens the church. Philippians 2:14, Matthew 18:15-17IV. How can we be the church? A. Love people as Jesus did. Develop Personal Connections with people (Not necessarily close). Do not treat people as ordinary business. Be interested in other people, care about other people and treat them like they are part of the church. Show them you want them in their life as brothers and sisters in the LORD (You do not have to be their best friend). You do not have to hang out with them and be their best friend, but be with them, and care about them. Treat others the way you want to be treated. You do not want to be in a church where people treat you like you are not part of the group. If you are a pastor, you do not want someone as a pastor treating you like business so treat others like they are family, not coworkers. Jesus ate with sinners, and he loved everyone. He was into us. Philippians 2:1-10 Luke 6:31 John 15:13 B. If there is any division, be someone who reconciles, not divides. Try not to be divisive. Save the theological discussions for private usage. Let people be who they are and believe the way they believe. C. Serve in the Community and at Church by using your gifts and talents. The book of proverbs says that ones gift makes room for him. Be there for your body. Be a light everywhere you go. Be a lasting example for others to see. Develop your relationship with God and walk with him. You will be with him forever and ever so its about time you
enjoy your relationship with him. Have heaven on earth. Remember, do unto others as you want them to do to you. 1 Cor 12, Ephesians 4:1-16 D. Continue to run your race. Walk by the Spirit. Serve God, Obey God and do everything by his book. The Holy Spirit will help you out with that. Just go to him. Honor All men (submit to everyone), love the bretheren (church), fear God, honor the king. Honor your church leadership. Hebrews 13:17, 1 Peter 2:13-17, Ephesians 5:21-24, 6:1-4 E. Take personal responsibility for your race. Do your own load. Just let Go and let God. Do not trust in man for everything, trust in God. Let God do his work, and rely completely on him. Its important to go with your brothers, but rely on God. You can talk to him anytime. Gal 6:5 F. Make sure everyone feels welcome and treat others with Grace and Love. Treat others the way you want to be treated. Luke 6:31 G. Be patient and bear with each other and protect each other. Meet people where they are at and help them go to their goal. Do not try to force growth or judge people, just see them through the eyes of love and help them out. 1 Cor 13:4, 8 Prov 24:27 H. Remember, you are a son of God by identity, and the church is made up of sons of God, so just be the church. As you grow up, you will be more of an influential person in Christ. I. Never put anyone down or criticize anyone, but do what it necessary for edification. Ephesians 4:29-31 J. Finally, take authority over the devil and fight the good fight of faith.V. Pastoral Advice A. Make sure the church is unified in God and his word, not a theological position, pastor, apostle, etc. Ephesians 2:20, 4:16 B. Get Rid of Cliques ASAP. Make sure the church is one body serving each other. Make sure the principle personal relationship is brother/sister, not best friendship. If you find people in your church only associating with certain people, then break it up by having other people sit in different places every sunday. Also, make sure the previous point is strictly enforced, so there wont be a catholic group, messianic group, Anglican group, etc. The same applies to groups of friends, churches, etc. There should not be a faction in the church where people cannot associate with others because of groups. Factions and Cliques divide a church so make sure everyone is free to associate with everyone. Groups of friends are fine, as long as people can be friends, and people still are there for each other, no matter what group affiliation. Unity needs to be embraced. 2 Corinthians 1, Ephesians 4. There are a variety of opinions on this subject due to personal experiences but the Bible still holds true on this matter. C. Everyone needs to feel accepted as part of the body of Christ and even newcomers need to feel like they are part of a body, not an organization. The business is what brings the body together in Christ. Luke 6:31, Romans 14:1-5 D. Be there for your sheep, and show them grace, but teach them to grow up in the LORD, even if it means the hard way. Do not let your congregation boss you around, just do what God has called you to do and believe that your congregation will turn around. Proverbs 25:28, Titus 1-2
E. Remember, humans have free will, so its important to influence people with your words and actions, not try to get people to do things. Be patient. 1 Tim 4:12 F. Make sure the 5-fold ministry and the congregation are at the proper use in their gifts. Make sure everything is done decently and in order. 1 Cor 14. G. Always follow the LORD’s direction and do everything by his book. Anything else will be chasing the wind and will be destructive. Prov 16, 1:5, 2 Cor 5:7, Hab 2:4VI. Conclusion A. Its important to be the church so the world can see how Good God is and the World can be reconciled back to God. The church needs to be strong so it can serve the world where God allows. B. When you be the church, God will see to it that the people around you will be blessed. When people see that in you, people are going to want to be apart of it. C. Whether people disagree on this or not, we are to be unified so we can stay together and keep the strife out. Part of being the church is keeping the peace. So just do your best to be a witness for others, and love others. Do your best to meet the church where it is at so the church can stay together. In some churches, you may have to just sit and listen, and in some, you can really serve. Be gentle, not pushy. Phil 4:5 D. So be the church, for the church is the children of God to overflow God’s world and reach this generation. Heb 13:16