Psalm 103:1-5, 17-19
Benefits and Responsibilities of God’s people.
Bless the Lord, O my soul;
And all that is within me, bless His holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget not all His benefits:
Who forgives all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases,
Who redeems your life from destruction,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,
Who satisfies your mouth with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting
On those who fear Him,
And His righteousness to children’s children,
To such as keep His covenant,
And to those who remember His commandments to do them.
The Lord has established His throne in heaven,
And His kingdom rules over all.
Today let’s look at the benefits and responsibilities of being part of the Signal Mountain Church of Christ. We’ll talk about what you can expect and what’s expected of you as a member of this congregation, serving under the oversight of this churches eldership.
A preacher sat next to a woman on a plane and in conversation she asked: What do you do?
Just listen to his reply. He said, “I work with a global enterprise. We’ve got outlets in nearly every nation of the world. We work in hospitals, hospices, homeless shelters, orphanages, we do marriage work, feeding programs, counseling and crisis care, we have educational programs and do all sorts of justice and reconciliation things. Basically, we look after people from birth to death and we deal in the area of behavioral alterations.”
She blurted out, “Wow!” and heads turned from several rows around them. Then she said, “What’s it called?” He answered, “The Church that Christ built, and it has been around for almost 2000 years.”
What are the benefits of being part of this church family here on Signal Mountain? You are part of God’s global enterprise! Each local congregation is lead by the same book, and empowered by the same Spirit, but each one also has its own local servants and services. Our prime directive here is to be a church that strives to follow Jesus Christ and builds up one another to be like Him.
What words define our mission? Seeking God’s kingdom and righteousness, Saving the lost by sharing the gospel of Christ to make disciples, and Serving as Jesus Christ served. The benefit of being part of a Christian family who does this is enormous. Jesus himself gives us this mission in Matthew 6:33; 28:19-20; and 23:11. I know that without God’s help and the strength given by being part of a fellowship that walks in obedience to this, we can never fulfill His mission. Just like a coal taken from the fire will die, a Christian taken from the fellowship of fellow followers of Christ will find his or her faith dying too. But working together we can glow with warmth and light.
In fact one of the greatest benefits we offer is what we do together, sharing time and life in Christ together. This church offers several gathering opportunities to keep your faith on fire for Christ.
Let me just go over some of those: Our Sundays are the fullest, where from morning till night we have both whole congregational gatherings for worship and Bible classes, and fellowship meetings, to small group prayer services, elders meetings, singings, children’s worship and fellowship, home group Bible, prayer and fellowship gatherings, and also an opportunity to connect here, go to lunch and go visiting sick, shut ins, or just spend time sharing in Christian fellowship with one another.
Monday mornings we have a Men’s fellowship at 7:00 that meets at McDonalds. Also, every other Monday morning some of the ladies meet at Panera Bread for prayer and fellowship. Tuesday mornings there is a homeschool coop that meets here. Wednesday evenings here at 7:00 we have a midweek gathering of God’s family for worship, fellowship, Bible classes, and prayer services. Thursday mornings here at 7:00 we have another men’s Bible fellowship and breakfast together. Our ladies meet for a Bible class fellowship at 9:30. Our Prime Timer group meets here once a month on Wednesdays to plan service projects and share needs, and monthly on Thursday’s for a meal together. There are often Friday and Saturday activities for youth, family or special service opportunities. Here’s some slides of our recent Stop Hunger Now service project. I’ll keep talking while I scan through these.
We have annual mission trips in and out of the U.S. We have regular service projects like the Maji boxes where we send care packages to kids in need in various countries. We’ve had gatherings of clothing, shoes, food, school books, Bibles, medical supplies and many other service works where we’ve sent help to mission points in Africa, Israel, El Salvador, Albania, and other mission works across the globe. Lately we’ve started correspondence mission outreach through WEI (World English Institute) and several of us are teaching students English using Bible lessons as the tool.
We have local outreach our own community. First, and most importantly, is you. Your home is a lighthouse for God. Jesus said to His disciples, (that would be us today) “You are the salt of the earth… and You are the light of the world.” This church is a recharge and mission center for you. Our activities and services are geared for the kingdom and righteousness of God. You won’t find that outside of the church.
We have ministry leaders called deacons who give of their time and energy to several areas of service for this church family. From the building and grounds to the Bible school program, to the youth and adult activities, to the service works, to organizing and administration of the various parts of this worship service, to planing and organizing the small groups, our deacons and their wives are on the job.
God has blessed us with this beautiful building to come together here and share our lives in Christ with one another. This place is designed for teaching God’s word and doing God’s works with one another and in outreach to others to bring them to Christ.
Since 1948, this church family has been meeting together in this community worshipping and serving God in Christ together. This gathering is just a tiny part of the family of God all over the world today. But, get this, we are a part of God’s family! We want to do it His way and for His glory and honor. If you are part of this body, this local part of God’s great family, you have a vital role to play. Here’s your responsibility:
1. You must seek first God’s kingdom and righteousness. No one can do that for you, but we can do it together with you. This is your first responsibility as a member of this church. Seek God. Listen to His word. Decide that you will obey Him and do it together with us. Commit to follow Jesus Christ as Lord of your life and enjoy Him as Savior of your soul.
2. Pray for this church family. Pray for our elders, our deacons, our teachers, preachers, members, missionaries and pray for us to fulfill the mission of God for this church for His glory. When you pray for this church God will help your commitment to making it a better church. If you stop praying for this church, it will effect your service.
3. Come to the assemblies. This commitment is important enough that God put it in His word in Hebrews 10:25. Why? You are probably going to spend eternity with those you are most committed to gathering with. When we make gathering with God’s family as great a priority as God wants us to, we will look for ways to come rather than excuses not to. Remember, body parts work together best when they are connected together, not when they are cut off from one another.
4. Support this church financially with your offerings. Give cheerfully. God loves a cheerful giver because He is one and He wants us to be like Him. Your giving helps support the ministry and mission of this church, it’s ministry staff, mission and service works, outreach, building and grounds, utilities and growth. This place and the works of this church are ours and our responsibility as members. God uses your offerings to carry on His ministry in this church.
5. Put your talents to work for the Lord here. God has a job for you at this church. He put you here and He will work through you to your blessing and His glory. You will grow more like Christ as you serve together with us in this church family.