The American church is in a state of crisis. Churches are faltering at a rate of 3500 per year and the hypocrisy of American Christianity is notorious. Why is the church no longer a community where lives are transformed from self-absorbed to God-entranced? ... from sadly narcissistic to joyfully generous?
This message in our series "the red letters" looks for answers in the calling of the first disciples in Luke 5:1-11.
Jesus' example reveals the importance of the right message, the right approach and the right leader.
The right message
Jesus was preaching the Gospel of the kingdom of God (Luke 4:18-18, 43). Without a resolve to uphold the orthodox Gospel at the root of all teaching, the church quickly abandons Christ for another Gospel (subtle though it may be). This removes the lifeblood of any fruitful, Christ-exalting church.
The right approach
Jesus preached to the crowds and chose a few "that they might be with him and he might send them out" (Mark 3.14). Our minds tell us, that for big impact, we need big programs and events. Jesus, because he cared for the crowds, focused on multiplying his life through a few. Too many churches are busy and, yet, do not know each other enough to truly spur one another on to love and good deeds. "More time with less people equals greater impact."
The right leader
Jesus revealed that he was the authority even where Peter was an expert (fishing). He is the head of the church. The church is to grow up into one head (Eph 4:15), following His example and teaching for His glory. Any confusion on this is disastrous to the church as, inevitably, a faulty personality or idea rises to take Christ's place.
The message examines the state of Summitview in these areas as well as the attitude that should naturally arise (shown in Peter) when these things are held correctly.