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Proverbs 29:18 says that "where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained, but happy is he who keeps the law." That word "unrestrained" is also used in Exodus 32:25 where at the scene of the golden calf, "Moses saw that the people were out of control." When we lack direction and clarity about vision we may not necessarily build golden calves, but we will fail to move forward together....A church needs vision because people need vision.
If you're going to get a group of people to work together on something you have to be clear about what it is you're trying to do. To get two dozen skilled workers together to build a house, you need clear blueprints and a clear schedule to make sure that the right house gets built. Otherwise you might get a beautiful kitchen in the middle of an empty lot! Building a church is no different. There are a lot of different "blueprints" a church could choose to be about. What are we about at SGC?
In this post we want to look at two dimensions of our vision statement, being bible-saturated and spirit-empowered. The Bible gives us the plans (like The Dangerous Book for Boys) and the Holy Spirit gives us the power (like the trial-and-error of my building project). Without these our efforts at building God's church will be wayward, reckless, and probably just wrong.
Our last post introduced the idea of a clarifying vision for SGC. We looked at the question, "What does God want SGC to be about?" Some churches would answer this question by looking at the Great Commission (Matt. 28:16-20). Some would say it is about "knowing Jesus and making him known." Others think in terms of "upward" (worship), "outward" (service and evangelism), and "inward" (personal growth). All of these are trying in some way to summarize the New Testament vision for the church and their own sense of that vision.
Over the last several months the elders of SGC have felt compelled by the Lord to be more specific about what God has called SGC to be about. Many voices have spoken prophetically and directly that God is going to do great things in our church, but part of this requires a clear sense of vision.
J.I. Packer offers a great insight about life in the Spirit in his book, Keep in Step with the Spirit.
One of the ways that we can grow in our understanding of what it means to do church together is by looking at the "one another" statements of the New Testament. These are how we are to relate together as the people of God in the local church.
Here is an update on the Redeeming Grace Church plant from Eric Holter and his leadership team.
As God has been teaching our church the importance of being filled with the Holy Spirit, we are reminded that the greatest blessing offered to us in the gospel is to experience the presence of the Creator God. In his short, but profound book, The Pursuit of God, A.W. Tozer writes, "To have found God and still pursue Him is the soul's paradox of love."
A bit as an extension of Phil's sermon last week on love, unity, and godly dissent, we added a small button on the right side of our Members Page on the website. The button is labeled "Feedback for the Elders?" and takes you to a page with the statement below.