The parables of Christ call us to move beyond merely hearing the proclaimed word to truly listening for the fullness of the voice of God. In the Parable of the Sower (as it has often been entitled), we find a reminder that in order to receive the Word of the Lord and see it flourish in our lives, we must refocus and commit ourselves to cultivating soil in which it can take root and grow.
At the center of our church is a bold gospel: God makes all things new! This is an optimistic view of God’s grace and it calls each of us to participate in this gospel. This sermon will include stories of old lives made new, showing how God has been active in our congregation through the years, and encourage us to be faithful to the mission of our church in the next generation.
The Church is the hope of its community. Like the first disciples, God calls us to “gather (and) stay until we’ve been clothed with power from on high,” and then “to be his witnesses to the ends of the earth”. Our mission is to gather and to send. We gather people from the city and the Church, and help to clothe them with power from on high, then we send them back to the city and the Church to be witnesses all over the earth.
One of the great challenges of growing churches is to stay true to their mission. Of the organizations who don’t, 85% of their leaders blame internal factors, meaning that complexity and bureaucracy have caused them to drift from their mission. God has placed a high calling on each of us, and yet as we grow older there is a tendency to drift. We settle for something less and can miss out on the “fullness of life” (Eph. 3:19) to which God is inviting us.