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Faithlife

The Dream

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The Dream Jeremiah 29:4-14

Introduction

This is the last Sunday of our ROLU campaign, and this morning I want to simply share with you the vision that the Elders, Deacons and I have for CGS.

My outline is simple

1. Where we are

2. What the Goal is

3. How we will get there

4. Anticipated Results

1.  Where We Are

ILL – Mapquest

Last night I took Tahlia to see the Seattle Thunderbirds vs. the Everett Silvertips at the Key Arena.

Mapquest Directions – Starting Address / Ending Address

Big Red Dot “You Are Here”

We Are Here.

V. 4 "This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon

-historical background - Fall of Judah in 597 B.C. (taken out with fishhooks in noses)

Babylon was a bad city

·         Worshipped many false gods

·         Sold people into slavery

·         Conquering the world around them

·         Syncretistic, liberal

·         In Revelation it is the symbol of the World’s Power that tries to rebel against God

A.  We are in America

100 Million people unchurched

Combined unchurched Americans = 11th largest nation in the world

B.  We Are In Seattle

Founded in 1851 @ Alki w/ 350 people

·         15th Largest Market in the US

o       Transitioning from a small city to a first class urban center

·         1.7 million people in the Greater Seattle area

o       100,000 growth since the year 2000

o       Most of that growth is happening here in Snohomish county

o       Recent zoning changes will open up the urban core for development

§         Mayor predicts a 60% growth in the urban core by 2030

·         Most Educated City in America

o       50% have bachelors degrees

o       Most literate city in the country

o       #5 Creative Class city

·         WA & OR = 2 least churched states in America

o       8% of Seattle area = evangelical Christian

o       More dogs than evangelicals (150,000 vs 136,000)

o       From 1990-2000 134 churches were planted

§         There needed to be 456 to keep up with population growth

·         Most Overpriced City in the Country

o       Forbes Magazine, 2 years in a row

·         The Values of Seattle are very different from the values we hold as followers of Jesus

o       1973 citizens committee published “Goals for Seattle”

§         Boeing in the tank, Recession

o       Zoning laws to discourage people from moving here

o       Discourage marriage

§         Seattle’s Cohabitation rate is 250% higher than the national average

o       Discourage people from having children

§         Seattle has fewer children under 5 than any city but San Francisco

§         Twice as many dogs as children (75,000 vs 150,000)

C.  We are in the Church of the Good Shepherd

·         Almost 40 years of faithful service

·         Not huge growth

·         Lots of potential

·         We are a part of a declining denomination

o       Many churches experienced a 20 to 40 percent decline in confessing members over the past five years

o       a couple of dozen churches had losses of 50 to 70 percent of their confessing members during that time.

[TS] Simple outline

1. Where we are

2. What the Goal is

3. How we will get there

4. Anticipated Results

… so, if we are in a place that is Babylonian & desperately in need of Jesus, what is The Goal?

2. The Goal

Vision Statement = To help spiritual wanderers become authentic followers of Jesus.

Our goal is for every member of CGS to live a missionary lifestyle here in the Seattle Area.

Me a Missionary?

YES. 

·         Missionaries go to different nations, different cultures, different languages

·         America has many different cultures

o       Unchurched America = 11th largest nation in the world

o       We have plenty of cross-cultural work we can do right here

Language Census
Spanish 1188
Vietnamese 653
Korean 494
Chinese 406
Russian 393
Tagalog 276

Jesus’ challenge in the book of Acts was to “be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the ends of the earth.”

- We start at our doorstep and keep going until the world is changed

HOW TO?

Live a missionary lifestyle right in the heart of our area.

v.5-7    The Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: “Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile.

·         Become a stake holder in the city

o       Jesus’ prayer was not to take us out of the world

o       But to be in the World

o       LIVE like you’re in the world

§         Friends who don’t go to Church

§         Activities outside of Church


·         Be a Counter-Culture in this city

Matthew 5:14  “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.”

-          In our counter-culture, we do life different

-          The culture around us sees women as objects to be exploited

o       We value women and protect them

-          The culture around us sees sex as a casual activity

o       We believe that God created sex to be maintained for marriage and so we protect it

§         Make sure our young people don’t rush into relationships that will leave them wide open for temptation and life-time heart break

§         Make sure our older people are good examples

-          The culture around us sees money as the object of life to be kept (only 1.9% giving of gross income)

o       We see money as just “money”

o       So we are generous

ILL – William Wilberforce

The Goal

Simply put, our goal is to be a city within this city

We exist to live for Jesus, not outside the world, but in the world – transforming the world.

As we follow Jesus, we will find people who are wandering.

-          they’ve tried sex, and it left them hurt, sick, pregnant and heart-broken

-          they’ve tried alcohol and drugs and it left them addicted, bankrupt, and in prison

-          they’ve tried money and it left them greedy, living beyond their means

-          they’ve tried spirituality and it left them unsatisfied

We will help them try Jesus.


[TS] Simple outline

1. Where we are

2. What the Goal is

3. How we will get there

4. Anticipated Results

…. If the goal is to help spiritual wanderers become authentic followers of Jesus, how will we get there? 

What’s the PLAN?

3. The Plan (How we will get There)

·         Phase 1 = We have to move from a busy congregation to a focused congregation. 

Every Person & Every Ministry to follow the simple PATHWAY

(See Bulletin Insert)

-          What will I do to grow as a follower of Jesus?

-          What will I do in the ministry where I serve to help CGS be a community that follows Jesus?

·         Phase 2 = We have to clarify the roles, goals and priorities of our leaders.

1.     Leaders must be identified based on their sense of calling, integrity, and giftedness. 

2.     Leaders must have clearly expressed roles and goals with accountability.

3.     Leaders must seek to reproduce themselves, serving as mentors. 

4.     Leaders must be people of prayer

o       Leaders must be anointed by the Holy Spirit with courage, compassion, and discernment. 

·         Phase 3=We have to move from a congregation that respects God to a community that delights in God. 

o       Dynamic Worship Services

o       Spirit Anointed Prayer Ministry

§         We will develop a prayer ministry team to serve after worship experiences.

§         We will schedule times of prayer and fasting in our church’s life.

§         We will spend more times of extended prayer in current meetings and ministries.

·         Phase 4 = We have to move from being a church with small groups to a church of small groups.  

ILL – Mary & Meals

4.  Anticipated Results

1) Conversions to Jesus

2) Children Stay in Church (Next Generation and beyond)

  • Today 70%-80% of kids who grow up in church walk away from the faith by the time they turn 18

3) We will change the lives of people around us

v. 7      Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.”

There was an old preacher in Wales in 1735

·         Daniel Rowlands. 

·         Episcopal minister who was spiritually dead. 

o       No one liked his messages; his church was dying. 

o       He thought Christianity meant being a moral person. 

·         He went to hear a man preach who was visiting, who said, “The determining factor in your relationship with God is not what you have done, but what Christ has done for you.  It is grace alone, through faith alone because of Christ alone.” 

·         thought about this for a month, until one night he was taking communion and this truth exploded in his heart. 

·         The first thing that happened to him was a revolution in his identity. 

·         Secondly, the things that once controlled his life and scared him, like failure, simply lost its hold on him.  He no longer was ashamed of the Gospel. 

·         This truth exploded in his church and it began to experience revival. 

o       This revival flooded out of the church into the streets of Wales to the degree that the prostitutes began to attend prayer meetings and morning services. 

Asked one prostitute:

·         She said that there were a couple of factors. 

o       One was that the business had but left.  People were no longer visiting the streets and looking for prostitutes. 

o       the most important factor she said was that for the first time people on the streets began to treat her with dignity and respect.  She couldn’t deny something was going on and had to come see.

·         This woman had previously been vilified by the religious people who spat upon her and scorned her and she was used by the irreligious who objectified her and treated her like peace of meat.  Not any more. 

Now if the Gospel had not come in power to these people, what would have happened if it were just religion?  Well, she may have no longer found clients, but she would have been more severely vilified and made to feel less human by the religious who spat upon her and scorned her.  Instead, these people were converted by God’s grace who understood the Gospel and treated her like she’d never been treated before. 

This is the power we need, this was the essence of the Christian faith, and this will cause a revolution. 

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