1. Christ wants us to BUILD HIS CHURCH
2. The Church as a Living Body
a. WE don’t create it… Christ does.
i. Isaiah 51:1-2 “look to the rock from which you were hewn, and to the quarry from which you were dug. Look to Abraham and to Sarah – for he was but one when I called him, but I blessed him and made him many.”
b. Letting Go of our own ideas – both the “good old days” and the “we shoulds”
i. Romans 12:1-2 “present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God… do not be conformed to this world but transformed by the renewing of your minds.”
c. BUT we have to use the tools that we have been given!
i. Romans 12:6ff “We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us..”
ii. “The church will never be any better than we are.” – Peter Gomes
3. It takes all of us to be the church, not just some. This isn’t some country club that you have joined, this is a community of followers of Christ and starting this fall, we are really going to focus on what that means.
a. Each week until Advent, one way that we are called to “be the church” and “embody God’s Kingdom”
b. Then after we have explored each of those ways, I am going to challenge you to take a step of faith and to make a new kind of commitment to this church (will be covenant discipleship groups starting after the new year – and dividing the congregation up into classes w/ leaders). But first, we need to get back to the basics and remember what we are called to do.