What is plan B?

i am posting my notes from a message i shared with our church back in 2007.  seems like old news i know but really it’s not.  this message has been used by God to launch a focus and passion at our church ever since it was given.  many  people are no longer living for themselves and are giving their lives away for God’s Kingdom to love on the “least of these”.  i thought to share it again here for various reasons, but mostly b/c i think the Lord wanted me to b/c of the way He led and dealt with me and our staff and elders at a working retreat this past weekend.  i hope you enjoy it…if you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to leave them…blessings…

What is Plan B!

1 John 2:6 – Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did. NIV

-I have been asked in recent months what is plan b if the old winn Dixie bldg. that we have been talking about leasing as a new worship space doesn’t work out.  What is plan b?

-this question has launched an avalanche of questions in my heart about the future of Crossroads.  Many of which I to this day still don’t have answers to.  There is a constant tension within me that never goes away.

-walking as Jesus walked has wide applications for us:  our strategy, our style of leadership and ministry= servant leadership, servant ministry…Jesus’ ministry was crowned with characteristics like compassion, mercy, forgiveness, love, grace, meeting needs, practical help and teaching.

-the plan b question has launched other questions, like where is Crossroads going to land as some sort of permanent home.

A week ago, pastor in our community told me to enjoy the temporary meeting location (school) as long as we could, he said, “once you get into a building, people have a tenancy to get settled in and to put their stakes into the ground”.

-as I drove back to work from that meeting I just cried.  B/c I in no way ever want to be settled.  I in no way ever want to feel like we have arrived or that we don’t ever have to work anymore  -now I just want you to know I am in no way interested in us ever getting a bldg. if we think for one minute that we have finally made it and we don’t need to work anymore.  -I am not interested in us having a bldg. that is just open one day a week for us to gather and worship.  How self serving is that?  It cannot ever be about us!!  This is why we are changing the name of the no more set up fund-no more set up is about us, so we don’t have to set up, but Reaching Walton, is all about reaching our community and we must start here, right here.

-as I said a few weeks ago we will never be rewarded with much if are not faithful with little.  We will never be rewarded with reaching unreached people groups on the other side of our globe, if we don’t reach those right here in front of us.  We must start here!!

Acts 1:8- But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” NIV

-we must have a strategy to reach our city, our county, our state, our world

-the plan b question also led me to ask, what is Crossroads Church going to be known for???  Are we going to be just another casual, contemporary church that has slick graphics and cool music, or are we going to be known as a church that is changing lives and destiny’s forever?

-what is our attitude toward reaching people?  We should want to help people realize God’s love and to see their lives genuinely changed forever!!  -we are a disciple-making church, which means we meet people where they are and help them take their next step toward God.  Everyone has to have this as their own personal mission– to be and build disciples.  -But!!!!  There are too many church people who are here for themselves.  Do you actually realize that there are people who think they were saved for themselves?!  They think the church is here strictly for them.  Such pride!!!???

-we have it all backwards, so many church people look for a church that is what they want b/c its all about them and when the pastor doesn’t preach a certain way or the church is going a certain direction they either threaten to leave or go ahead and leave.  “growing churches don’t try to keep people they reach people” Who were any of us saved for??  Were not saved for ourselves, Not for our glory but for Gods’  -so my logical question then is how do I glorify God– by giving my life as a living sacrifice to him, through a life of worshipful service– Jesus said:

John 17:4 – I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. -NIV

-we too will bring God glory on earth by completing the work he gave us to do.

-we must live with the attitude that if no one else will, who will?  we will!!!  We cannot depend on the church down the street to fulfill our mission, it is our mission, we must work at it, all the time, and unlike a mission trip mission, this one does not have an end date in this life.  It never ends.  We are always on mission!! -People matter to God, and we must pursue them b/c they need to know of His love.

-to do this we are going to have to get down and get dirty.  We are going to have to get close to people, and they are gonna smell, they are gonna be dirty, b/c their lives are gonna be all screwed up with immoral living, addictions, selfish marriages, messed up parenting skills, irresponsible with their finances, worldly values, bad habits, and foul language, and the list goes on and on…..

-if we are going to “walk as Jesus walked” we are going to have to have a ministry mindset like Jesus, one of compassion, care, and help for those who have no one pleading their case,  the ones that are close to the heart of God, b/c he mentions them over and over in the bible.  -if we are going to “walk as Jesus walked” we must minister to the ones that are close to the heart of God, the poor, the widows, and the orphans.

Deut 10:18 – He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the alien, giving him food and clothing.-NIV

Ps 68:5 – A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows , is God in his holy dwelling. -NIV

Deut 16:11 – And rejoice before the Lord your God at the place he will choose as a dwelling for his Name — you, your sons and daughters, your menservants and maidservants, the Levites in your towns, and the aliens, the fatherless and the widows living among you.-NIV

Isa 10:1-2 -Woe to those who make unjust laws, to those who issue oppressive decrees,  to deprive the poor of their rights and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people, making widows their prey and robbing the fatherless. -NIV

James 1:27 – Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. -NIV

Lev 25:35 – “‘If one of your countrymen becomes poor and is unable to support himself among you, help him as you would an alien or a temporary resident, so he can continue to live among you. -NIV

Deut 15:11 – There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land.-NIV

Prov 21:13- If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor , he too will cry out and not be answered. NIV

Isa 1:17 – learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed.  Defend the cause of the fatherless , plead the case of the widow. NIV

-I read this quote recently:

Dino Rizzo, Lead Pastor of the Healing Place Church, Baton Rouge, LA:

“if we are going to be like Jesus we… we have to really care for people, we have to be committed to helping the people who can’t help us, we have to be the real deal”

-he went on to say, and I love this:

“we believed early on that if we would take care of the ones nobody wanted, God would give us the ones everybody wants to have”

-to reach the ones that are close to the heart of God, we are gonna have to be ok with being up close and personal, we are gonna have to be like Jesus, we are gonna have to be willing to spit in the mud and pick it up with our hands and rub in someones eyes.  -in other words we are gonna have to be willing to get our hands dirty– you cannot make a disciple from a distance, its up close and personal it’s involvement in someone’s life, you got to get emotionally involved.

-the alternative is to sit back and be critical of others, judgemental, prideful, self-serving, all the things Jesus yelled at the Pharisees about!!!!

Realize you are the method! -there is no plan b, b/c you are it!!

Matt 28:19-20 – Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” -NIV

Be the method -if we don’t, who will???  Who??  —you, me, us, we

-what I am talking about is going to take more, more from everyone.  More sacrifice.  More money, more time, more people, more commitment, more energy, more focus, more everything.  -making a disciple is not easy.  It is hard work, but nothing is more rewarding than to see a person that you are investing in cross the line of faith and then begin to grow.  -who is in your life that you are intentionally making a disciple of????  Face and a name???—are you authentic????

-we are at a turning point.  We must make a decision.  Who is Crossroads? What are you gonna be known for?  Not what is mike gonna do, the office or the staff, but you.  I want to make a difference in heaven.  I want to take as many people there with me as possible.  You need to make a commitment today!  Become a disciple maker of all people groups and more specifically the poor, widows, and orphans!!

Next steps:

1 – become a follower of Jesus, a disciple, today

2 – commit to prayer and fasting for the future of Crossroads

3 – give more of my time, treasure, temple and talents for the mission and vision

4 – start seeking to be discipled or disciple another person

5 – commit to helping crossroads figure out how to reach the poor, widows, and orphans

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