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A Vision for a Maturing Church PowerPoint Presentation
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A Vision for a Maturing Church

A Vision for a Maturing Church

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A Vision for a Maturing Church

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  1. A Vision for a Maturing Church A Special Anniversary & Vision Message Ephesians 4:11-16

  2. GAINING A CLEAR VISION THROUGH THE LENS OF SCRIPTURE • The church is not an enterprise but a spiritual family of believers in Christ. Christianity started out in Palestine as a fellowship; it moved to Greece and became a philosophy; it moved to Italy and became an institution; it moved to Europe and became a culture; it came to America and became an enterprise. Sam Pascoe

  3. GAINING A CLEAR VISION THROUGH THE LENS OF SCRIPTURE • The church is not an enterprise but a spiritual family of believers in Christ. • We belong to God’s household as brothers and sisters in Christ (Eph. 2:19). • If so, we must not see a local church from a consumer’s point of view.

  4. GAINING A CLEAR VISION THROUGH THE LENS OF SCRIPTURE • The head of the church is not the pastor (or the governing board) but Christ. • The church is the body of Christ—HE is the head (Col 1:18) and we are the members of Christ’s body. • If so, we ought to see our preeminent need for submitting to the headship of Christ and following the way of Jesus.

  5. GAINING A CLEAR VISION THROUGH THE LENS OF SCRIPTURE • The goal of the church is not organizational success but spiritual maturity. • God’s ultimate desire is to see his family to mature into the fullness of Christ (Eph. 4:13). • If so, we ought to take this goal seriously, lest we get distracted by many urgent yet temporal needs.

  6. CrossWay’s vision for 2012 is this: “We will seek to be a MATURING church —corporately as well as individually.”

  7. GROWING UP: WHAT ARE THE MARKS OF A MATURING CHURCH? • A maturing church pursues the unified goal toward CHRISTLIKENESS—growing up into the fullness of Christ. …until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ... (v.13) • In maturity, we are to think about the “WHOLE” collectively and interdependently—not individualistically (Col 1:20). • The unity of the faith means a shared conviction about Christ (doctrine/beliefs); this unity is accompanied with experiential knowledge (obedience/practice). • So, how are we to grow? We are to have the same goal and same passion to grow up into Christ as his church/followers.

  8. GROWING UP: WHAT ARE THE MARKS OF A MATURING CHURCH? • A maturing church seeks STABILITY and DISCERNMENT—forsaking childish ways. so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. (v.14) • The first signs of spiritual immaturity are instability and naivety. Why? There is no depth. • Maturity involves acquiring a discerning mind, being anchored in Scripture, and being rooted in Christ. • So, how are we to grow? We are to challenge our own shallowness and fickleness, and grow deeper in Christ through our faith and communal life.

  9. GROWING UP: WHAT ARE THE MARKS OF A MATURING CHURCH? 3) A maturing church practices TRUTH and LOVE— in all areas of individual and communal life. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ. (v.15) • We must embrace BOTH essentials of a growth process—(1) “truth-ing” and (2) “loving”; when one is lost, we do harm to the body of Christ. • It requires us to begin with ourselves—to live in truth (accepting our brokenness and to walk in light) and to have love to be our decisive motive for relating to others. • So, how are we to grow? We are to boldly yet gently apply truth and love in a balanced way, following Jesus’ example.

  10. GROWING UP: WHAT ARE THE MARKS OF A MATURING CHURCH? • A maturing church has EVERY MEMBER’S PARTICIPATION—in building the body of Christ in love. 11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ…16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. (vs. 11,12,16) • Everyone who is saved in Christ has a spiritual gift; the role of pastors/teachers is to equip them to do work of ministry. • A healthy maturing body requires every part’s vital, active function; if not, it weakens the body. • So, how are we to grow? We are to obey Christ’s call to build the body of Christ, doing our part diligently and passionately.

  11. Maturing through Building Up the Body of Christ! So don't struggle with the place in which God has put you. Accept it, welcome it, and seek to relate in honest love to the other Christians around you. As each member of the body accepts his or her role in the body, and seeks to carry out that role, ministering to the rest of the body in truth and love, then the body will grow more healthy. Each member of the body will be doing what he or she was meant to do and equipped to do. As gifts are used and love is expressed throughout the body, a marvelous harmony will emerge—a harmony which leads to maturity throughout the body, and which produces a witness that will draw thousands more men and women out of their darkness and into the church . . . The whole body together is manifesting in an increasing way the wholesome, balanced, well-adjusted manhood and stature of Jesus Christ. - Ray Stedman

  12. THREE PRACTICAL QUESTIONS FOR MATURING TOGETHER • How can I contribute to our church’s unity and passion for being a maturing church? • How can I practice both truth and love in a balanced way? What childish ways must I forsake? • What are my first steps toward building the body of Christ in love?