Out of Gas
We were out of gas.
The analogy that I have been using lately is that PC is like a bunch of kids that got to drive Dad’s big truck of a church. Someone work the pedals, he’s got the steering wheel, who knows how to shift? But the shoes were too big…. the truck to large, our maturity too small. We checked the gauge… We were running on fumes. Churches have their seasons and the summertime is generally the hard season. The financial gauge was empty. The emotional gauge was empty. The energy gauge was on empty. The people serving were tired. Maybe God didn’t want us and our time was over? It was a good run, we agreed.
We were out of gas.
As you know we have been working through Genesis. This is the story of Noah’s ark. Many of you have heard this story and you know how it goes. I know, I know, make sure that if people are bad you build a big ship. Got it. Animals 2 by 2, yep. They got rain like South Dakota gets snow in April, Seen that before.
What we often don’t see is the beginning of Genesis 6:1-7 and verse 5 in particular:
5 The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and thatevery intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
It’s repeated again… Look at verses 11-12
Genesis 6:11-12 Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with violence. And God saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth.
The short story is that everyone was in constant rebellion against God*.
Verse 13 – And the Lord regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. So the Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.”
Figuratively, God was out of emotional gas…
Noah found favor in the Eyes of the Lord….
Noah walked with God.
Noah was counted as a righteous man.
He was spared.
Why? Because he was a great guy? Because he was perfect? Because he was the righteous one?
Verse 5 – The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and thatevery intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
All Flesh. The whole earth, all were evil, including Noah…
Despite our total depravity, God gives us favor.
Not because we are great, not because we are perfect, not because we are righteous,
Because God is great, because God is perfect, because God is Righteous.
We know how the story of Noah ends. We can follow the arc of the plot.
Noah is not the hero.
He is a pointer.
He points to God’s plan to save the world.
Noah is a pointer to Jesus.
You have some super duper depraved leaders in the church. There have been things that we have totally dropped the ball on. I have not lead well. I am sad about what I failed to do and angry about some of the things I did do.
God is faithful.
Last summer our lowest Sunday was 5 people. That same Sunday this year was over 50
One year ago the tithe was in the $100′s/mo. This year the same month it is in the $1,000′s.
Many churches go years without a believers baptism. In this last year we had 3.
Late in the summer, moral was at an all time low, everyone left the leadership meetings with a :( and despair, The last leadership meeting everyone left with a :) and hope.
God if faithful.
He is the one that choses to show favor to little Project Church.
He is the one that sent encouragement after encouragement after all the gauges only registered fumes.
He is the one that filled our coffers from teetering on $0 to much, much more.
He is the one that sent the smile on the face of the leaders.
For the sake of the great name of Jesus, God found favor on little Project Church.
PC was out of gas…
PC found favor in the eyes of the Lord.
PC wants to walk with God.
PC wants to be counted as a righteous church.
PC is being spared. The emotional tank has been filled. The Financial tank has been filled.
He found favor in us.
What is the rest of the story of PC?
PC’s goal is to be a picture of how grace can come to the world through one church.
Our mission stays the same
It all points to Jesus.
Trough Jesus we are all saved.
Because of Jesus…
The gas tank has been refilled…
After Noah was given favor he was given specific marching orders. In the same way we want to be organized and specific as we move forward:
What is and isn’t happening:
Campaign… We are starting a new siries in Ephesians next week. The Big idea is “Who do you think you are?” More info to come and watch Facebook to keep in the loop. It is a tool put out by Mars Hill church in Seattle and will help us to organize and structure sundaymornings and everything that goes along with it.
Small group worship/”The IDEA” … To be put on the shelf. We need to get back to the basics. Sometimes we need to remember that a basement is not a good feature in an igloo.
We are praying for 20 Baptisms by 1/20.
We want desperately to pull as many as we can, through the power of Jesus, to the lifeboat that is the church. We want to focus on moving them one step closer to the person of Jesus.
Maybe you are out of gas.
Maybe you are at the end of your rope.
Maybe you can relate…
Heres the word for you:
Jesus loves you.
Jesus yearns to fill your tank.
Jesus can save you.
I was able to listen to a fellow pastor and he continually reiterated to his congregation that “you are church planters too!” I think this it true and to those of you that have been part of PC for a while I give you a challenge this week. Details:
What: Fasting (See note below)
Date: Thursday Aug 29
Why: To pray for PC as we start into this next season
A fast does not have to necessarily be abstaining from food. It is to take something out of your usual day that you consider a gift or luxury. Food is one thing, that cup of coffee in the morning, checking Facebook or reedit etc. The point is that every time you miss that thing or stop yourself form checinkg those statuses that you take a moment and pray. Here’s what you can be praying about:
- That we will learn well from our mistakes and repent well one to another
- That PC would never forget that we move forward only because God finds favor in us. Not because we are hip or awesome.
- That PC would grow in its organization and stay focused on its goals