The church on mission

What defines the true mission of the Church? Dive into a thought-provoking exploration of faith through Matthew 16:18 and 1 Corinthians 3:1-10, unveiling the core principles of confessing, building, and confronting the world with God's Kingdom.

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David Loader


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Good morning everyone thank you um chappies for sharing uh Cheryl I'm pleased to be able to tell you I know exactly where Tara is we were there this last week um and and I took this last week off as so you probably or may or may not be aware we have two daughters and their families live out at chinchilla so we um stayed out there last weekend and then um on Monday we drove down to well we aimed for and got to Du in a couple of days which me that we had to pass through Tara and uh we'd never been there before we stopped there uh had morning tea there we uh walked the streets the street of uh Tara one minute down and one minute back and that uh that did it in but um certainly places like that and they must present one of the greatest challenges for the church is how do we get the gospel into those smaller places where humanly speaking um the population's not big enough to have a viable Church there so how on Earth are we going to as uh God's people in this uh Mission month how are we going to do that and uh not only in Tyra but lot of other small places and uh isolated places um out in Western Queensland and so on so thank you chappies for the work that you do and we are so glad to uh to support you in um in your u in your ministry uh we've been talking about Mission this month Baptist Churches all over Australia generally in um in May set aside to talk about Mission um it's not the only time we do mission of course but we focus on it and so for the last couple of weeks um I think two weeks ago we had Dylan preaching on personal mission last week Dave on Family Mission and today we're talking about the church in Mission it's appropriate that we do so today I think for a couple of reasons one today is what Sunday Pentecost I'm glad some people know that today's Pentecost which um remembers the time when the Holy Spirit was given to the church and uh you know Acts chapter 1 and verse 8 where Jesus speaking to the disciples said uh to remain in Jerusalem that you'll receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you on Pentecost you receive power and you will be what my Witnesses in Jerusalem Judea Samaria and to the ends of the Earth so Pentecost is very much the church in Mission Sunday I'm not speaking anymore about Pentecost today um that can be for another time but do you want to talk about the church in Mission today and um I do hope you've got your Bibles there either the oldfashioned way in um in book form or on your devices because it would be really great if you could follow through these uh these these passages I want to give you some homework well I can't give you homework but I wish I could um if I could give you homework this would be your homework for this week to go to 10 people might be family friends neighbors or just random people um up the shopping center or whatever and ask them this question asking this question when I say the word church what comes to your mind and my guess is depending on where you ask that question the uh responses that you get will be many and vared some will be positive some will be negative some will be uh in between and some will be totally ignorant so don't have no idea what you're talking about but uh there's out there people have a view of the church but what about your view of the church let me ask you this question which is a bit more personal did anybody ask you last Friday what are you doing this weekend and if they did did you say I'm really looking forward to going to church on Sunday or tomorrow if people say if you what' you do over the weekend will you be okay about saying well I went to church on Sunday you see sometimes we're okay about talking about that and sometimes we are a bit uh ient andit for whatever reason reluctant to say to own up to this idea that we go to church it's important that if we go by the name of Christian that is one belonging to Christ that we have some idea about if we are belonging to Christ that we um that we have a view of things the same view as Jesus did and if we go to Ephesians chapter 5 we find there um The View that Jesus had of the church in Ephesians 5:25 there Paul is talking about family and it's a bit debatable In this passage is he talking focusing about on the church or is he focusing on the family on husbands and wives but he says this he says husbands got a bit of attention mainly from the wives but uh the husbands love your wives in the same way as what as Christ loved the church and how did he love the church he gave himself up for her um husbands we've got to lift our game some of us um if we're going to love our wives in the same way that Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her I'm not talking to husbands this morning we want to focus on that that one part where Christ loved the church and he gave himself up for her and to think about that that if we're going to be jesus' followers we're going to be like Jesus then we must love the church love the church to the point to the extent of where we are willing to give up our life for the church we're not talking about the Kabul church Baptist Church we'll talk a bit about that later but talking about the Church of Jesus Christ and dare we not love something which the Lord Jesus loves and for some of us we're going to have to go home and make this a really Earnest prayer thing that father God please give me a love for the church in the same way that Jesus loved the church and if we want to understand about the church one thing which we ought to do is to go back and say well where was the whole idea or where did the word church first appear and we find that in Matthew chapter 16 and verse 18 as where the word church first occurs when Jesus first used it this is the scenario Jesus is there with his disciples we go back a few verses before uh chap Verse 18 Jesus is saying to his disciples so who is everybody saying what's everybody saying about me and so the disciples say oh some say John the Baptist some say Jeremiah some say some say all sorts of people and then Jesus personalizes it quick question so he shifted it from out there what people saying about me in the same way that I said what are people saying about the church to personalizing it where he says but what do you say about me in the same way I say what do you say about the church when he said what do you say about me the you there is in the plural so he talking to all his disciples and he says who do you say that I am and Peter gives this um this amazing response in Matthew 16 and verse 18 and he says uh verse 16 rather uh Peter says you are the Christ the son of the Living God verse 17 Jesus replied blessed are you Simon son of Jonah for this was not revealed to you by man but by my Father in heaven and then this is a key verse that we want to look at briefly verse 18 where Jesus says and I tell you that you are Peter and on this rock I will build my church and the gates of Hades will not overcome it it's the first time that the word church is used so it's important that we understand what Jesus is saying here this is a key verse this is a key uh passage about uh about the church you see um the there's a bit of a play on words here which we'll get out of the way now says your name is Peter and uh we got any Peters here this morning no Peters we do have some Peters in the church but not here um the the word there is Petros uh your name is Petros Peter and on this rock is a similar word it's Petra p t r a Ang izing the Greek there so you were Petros but on this Petra I will build my church now these two words Petros and Petra are both uh words for uh for rocks but they're different sort of rocks Petros of which Peter is named is just like a small rock it's one of those ones that we as kids or as adults even where we pick up a rock when we're near water and we have to what skim it across see how many bounces we can get that's a Petros but Petra is a big rock it's a um Tira gagon or an a rock it's an immovable sort of a rock and so Jesus says you are Petros but on this Petra I'm going to build my church now some people some sections of the church say oh well that means that on on Peter that Jesus is building his church Jesus is not building his church on a he's not building his church on Peter the man but on this Petra so what is the Petra it's the confession which Peter has made that when he says you are the Christ the son of the Living God this is the foundation of the church which Jesus is saying that he's building his church I'm going to be building my church on this confession that Jesus is the Christ the son of the Living God so what conclusions do we make from this passage of scripture three that comes to my mind firstly the confession I say this about the church that if Jesus is not Central it is not the church and so we need to ensure that as a church that Christ is always Central Jesus says I will build my church notice that it's Jesus doing the building so the second point is this the kingdom of God is Not Central it's not the church now for all those budding theologians I'm not confusing the church and the kingdom of God they are two separate things I'm understanding that but within the church is the kingdom of God the Reign the rule of God and uh and so this is what is being built so here's the foundation the conf that Jesus is the Christ the son of the Living God he's building the church this is the mission side of it that those uh who who yield their lives to God um uh become the church and then the third part is this this mission that uh and the Gates of Hell the gates of Hades the the the stronghold of Satan will not be able to stand against the church church so if the world is not being confronted it is not the church in what way might we um be challenging Society well we challenge Society Norms we want to include God in our lives we want to State how important the Bible is for our understanding of life we want to declare what the Bible says about marriage we want to declare what the Bible says about the value of Life both at the beginning of Life and the end of life we want to affirm what the Bible says about the work environment with the Bible says to bosses but also to employees you see in all of these things that we are challenging we want to challenge we need to we must as the church be challenging our societal Norms the church ceases to be the church when it goes away from any of these things and we need to understand that very very clearly that we as the church build this Foundation or we have this Foundation the confession that Jesus is the Christ the son of the Living God allowed Jesus to build his church and we've got a part in that which we're going to look at and as a result of that of the church the church becomes a force becomes a power in our society fake Society wants to push the church into the background want to make us irrelevant and useless but we need to stand firm on what the Bible says on who God is and allow that to be the challenge to the to the society in which we live so that's how it is but how does this work out in um in practice well there's that second passage of scripture that uh that I referred to that was up on the screen in uh one Corinthians chapter 3 and uh if you've got your Bibles there you might want to turn to 1 Corinthians chapter 3 and verse 6 1 Corinthians Chapter 3 Verse 6 we wouldd actually be better if we had the time to read the uh verses 1 to 10 but we don't have the time but hopefully you'll go home and make this your homework to read those verses it says this I planted the seed Paul writing here I planted the seed AP pois watered it but God Made It Grow by the way in your Bible so if you've got it open at the beginning of the chapter um it's probably got a heading there the heading in my Bible in the NIV it says on divisions in the church um those headings were not the originally they're just put in there by the translators in fact in the original there's not not even chapters and verses we're glad I put that in because that helps us to uh to locate things but the headings are there supposedly to help us and and normally I would agree with them but I can't agree with this heading on divisions in the church because I don't believe that this passage is talking about divisions in the church is talking about spiritual maturity because Paul starts this chapter by saying I cannot address you as spiritual but is v he's talking about spiritual maturity right there and so this is about spiritual maturity but this one verse which you want to focus on in one 1 Corinthians 3:6 where Paul says I planted the seed Apollos watered it but God Made It Grow talks about us and God working together um it talks about about the task uh the task that is ours that the task askask of the church in uh fulfilling in this uh Matthew 16 is to help people connect to God we help people connect to God which is both evangelism and discipleship we help people connect to God by showing the way to God and helping or explaining the walk with God that's a mission of the church that's our primary task we may do other things but this is the central task which we must never never lose sight of but it's also the mission as well this uh this verse explains to us where it talks about God and us working together I or pois but God we work as a team under God and there are these three important stages which are focused on which are mentioned here that I want us to look at so our strategy for working with God is firstly Paul now when think of Paul we um we think about two things that Paul did he went around winning people to Jesus preaching people came to the Lord but not only did he do that did uh did he wi people to the Lord but he planted churches wherever he went as well now we hear a lot about evangelism and we talk about it a lot we tend not to talk too much about church planting and so this morning I want to leave the evangelism aside but we know how important that is in planting the SE talk a little bit about uh about church planting and I want to use two case studies and case study number one is this church our church here about how it was planted you may um recall you probably heard me say that uh that I was born and bred in um Pap guine in Port morby and then when I was going on for 12 my parents decided it was time to come come to Australia and uh so those in the family is just uh my two sisters and me left at home the other four had grown up and so we moved to Australia we settled in this little Country Town by the name of Kabula have you heard of it um I was just a kid it's a very different place in those days there's a butter Factory down near the railway station you could buy Kaba butter Kucha cheese Kucha milk we used to get our milk remember that we used to get our milk at school at little lunch and the little one3 pint bottles uh used to come up from the milk thing and whatever um it was very much a farming Community uh in various ways Not only was Dairy um tobacco is a pretty big growing area here was for tobacco and if you know what you're looking for you can still see remnants of where tobacco Farms used to be by the way we have six Lanes of Highway going up and down bypassing us when we first moved here um marfield Road beerbom road was the main road to the Sunshine Coast um the um the bipasses were were underway uh being built but uh that was still the way one thing was is that there was no Baptist Church here so as a family we um we used to go to the Methodist Church there was a Baptist Church one in Woodford and one in wamuran and the same Pastor used to look after both and the pastor that time Len makok senior he was old then I reckon he was probably somewhere between 120 150 back then uh years of age so he's long now with Jesus but it's interesting how sometimes that there had been some incidents that happened in your childhood which remain in your memory I remember the day when Len makok came to our home we lived off of pstone road when uh when he came and visited us and talked to my parents about starting a Baptist Church here in Kabula um I remember the in I don't remember all the details of course because I'm only a little terer at the time 11 or 12 years old something like that but I remember the event when that occuring and here was the church in Mission resulted in that because Baptist pastors from all around the area as far as away as the sunshine Coast deception Bay um candra up on Sunshine Coast Hinterland uh beer malani was served by the One Pastor that all of these pastors descended on Kabula and door knocked every house in Kabula door knocked every house saying about a Baptist Church was going to commence here in Kabula I remember it will because um my parents we at our home we um supplied bed and bread breakfast for some of those pastors who came and stayed for a few days and stayed at our place remember I got kicked out the bed you know somebody else slept in my bed and uh and so they'd stay at our place by day and night and some of the pastors even later on would uh talk to me after I was a pastor say recalling that time but here's the church at work here is the church in Mission that pastors from all these other churches round about came and door knocked every house in Kabula saying the Baptist work is going to commence here so it did it got underway um there was um it was underway in uh 1967 when things got started here in 1968 the church formally became a church and there were 2 4 6 7 21 members as the uh Foundation members you might know some of these names Mrs ansen Mr burn Mr Barn Mrs blinks Mrs delaway Mr goldner Mrs Graham I know some of their first names remember that uh Mrs Greenland Mr Greenland here's the name you might know Mr B Ginther was one of those um Mrs H Ginther was another one Mrs o Kingston here's some other names you probably didn't know these but Mr El loader was my dad Mrs E El load is my mom Miss El loader my older sister Miss hlo also sister Pastor ill Mok Mrs Violet V Mok his wife Mrs Mrs Robson Mrs shifi and Mrs schwitzer formed the uh the foundation members my name's not there cuz I was only a little Tacker Bruce G's name was there he's my Sunday School teach he taught me everything I know everything I preach as I've said this before if you like it say good on your David if you don't like it blame Bruce because Bruce is the one who taught me those things but this is the church in Mission this is a church other churches round about getting together and starting a culure Baptist Church it wasn't always easy by the way um our family was uh Foundation members of mom and dad um they've been Foundation members of the breaka Baptist Church in Port msby so this is a second time they' had been lay people in the church plant so lay people are important even in church planting but there were times when we would uh we'd meet before we had a building when only our family were the only ones to show up and a visiting visiting preacher I that's tough but the perseverance that's required to to keep on going in all of this is what's what's really required but you know after that there's a succession of pastors here and then there was one Pastor here Reverend Roy Wright you know what he did well he resigned from the church here and he moved over to bribe and started the briy Baptist Church the church in Mission churches planting churches churches combining together to ensure that the gospel is going out in places so what am I saying this one because it's helpful for us to be aware of our history but it's also important because we know that we live in a flourishing area and that sooner or later we're going to have to be planting churches or else building a really big mega church here and it's important that we understand that that this is a part of our mission case study number two a lot quicker so one of our pastors who retired now his name is Stuart Bradley he's in the air force during the Vietnam era and uh he was The Interpreter learned Vietnamese fluent in Vietnamese in uh in the air force in Vietnam um came home at the end of the Vietnam War sometime and uh and began past past one of our churches about that time was there all the boat people coming from Vietnam and so what did Stuart did he got together those uh many of those Vietnamese people and formed the beginning of the Vietnamese Baptist Church here in Brisbane he was their first pastor this good Aussie man um but fluent in in Vietnamese because he the Air Force had taught him uh Vietnamese fluent in it so he became their Pastor as the church grew he became um irrelevant that's not the right word but they got their own Vietnamese pastors and so what did this Vietnamese church which you might remember a couple of years ago we had their senior pastor Pastor W come and preach here but this Vietnamese church which is at Oxley became aware that over in Logan that there were a lot of Vietnamese people over there too so that church went and planted another church over in Logan the Vietnamese church and then they became aware that there are a lot of Vietnamese people in rockampton so they have planted a Vietnamese church in rockampton see this is a church on Mission when I was talking with Pastor W and a couple of the church leaders just before Christmas they are aware that there's a lot of Vietnamese folk now in can and they're in process of planting a Vietnamese church now in cans as well as having a work in Townsville and somewhere else which I can't remember where that there's some somewhere else this is the church in Mission this is the church which says the whole world the whole society needs to know about the Lord Jesus and when Jesus says on this Foundation the foundation that Jesus is at Christ that Jesus is going to build his church and the Gates of Hell whatever it might oppose us is not going to stand a chance when Jesus is in control so this is what what church planting is about but Paul said this he said I planted the seed but apollis watered the seed well um this is a farming analogy of course we're at their families their families involved one of our families own several thousand acres owning buying wrenching uh leasing 10,000 acres this year only planted about about 500 Acres of cotton and about 1500 2,000 acres of sorghum um but because we've got a son-in-law I feel I'm an expert in farming long way from it of course but remember that it's not only the planting but the nurturing that's required as well and apollis is the nurturer and we find out a bit about Theus if we go to Acts chapter 18 if we read there in Acts chapter 18 and veres 24 to 28 a bit about Apollos says this meanwhile a Jew named Apollos a native of Alexandria came to Ephesus note one he's gone crosscultural he was a learned man some versions says he was eloquent with the thorough knowledge of the scriptures he' been instructed in the way of the Lord and he spoke with great further and taught about Jesus accurately he knew only about the baptism of John at that stage he began to speak boldly in the synagogue when Priscilla and Aquilla heard him they invited him to their home explain to him the way of God more adequately and when apus wanted to go to arayah the brothers encouraged him and wrote to the disciples there to welcome him on arriving he was a great help to those who by Grace had believed for he vigorously refuted the Jews in public debate proving from the scriptures that Jesus was the Christ that's a found Foundation proving that Jesus was the Christ the son of the Living God publicly refuting the Jews the gates of Hades is not going to stand a chance here folk because the gospel is being declared but what do we know not about AP Poli he's eloquent he's a public speaker he's competent in the scriptures he spoke and he taught he was involved in ongoing learning himself and he was helping others building others to maturity fact this is discipleship this is watering and this is why I say back in uh 1 Corinthians chapter 3 about uh about it's about maturity because Paul is saying there about the church having to move from fleshly thinking to spiritual thinking having to move from being milk suckers to meat cheers this is what discipleship of is about Paul is there planting that there are these babes in Jesus Apollos comes along and he grows them into spiritual maturity that was his role there so I could to ask you this morning just as a by by your milk sucker or meet chea um I'm saying that spiritually of course and I'm not saying that very very seriously because there are some people who' have been Christians for 2050 whatever how many many years and the still milk suckers and the time that we moved on into maturity in the Lord Jesus in our discipleship so Paul planted apish water but God gave the increase um you see Paul and Apollos created the conditions for growth but it's God who does the growing we could say our son-in-law plants all the seeds and might say he grows cotton s and wheat mung beans and whatever else corn and so on he might say grows but he doesn't really he plants it and tends to it it's actually God who does the growing it's a mystery to me anyway how growth occurs it's the same spiritually is that this is God and us working together is that we do the planting and the watering but it's actually God who does the growing in US you see the ch Church in many ways becomes like a greenhouse and I'm really out of my depth here so what does a greenhouse do the greenhouse is somewhere where we take in the baby plants to grow them on or we take in the sick plants because they're in a controlled environment where we grow them to health and to maturity then we shift them out into the wherever in the same way this is the role of the church f is that the church is really this built on the foundation of Jo the Lord Jesus letting Jesus build confronting the world in which we live um there was a hymn even went out of popularity as him particularly in the Vietnam when so much was anti-war but some of you may remember this hymn that went this way said Onward Christian Soldiers remember that himym um honored Christian Soldiers just the first verse it's got five verses here but honored Christian Soldiers marching as to war with the cross of Jesus going on before Christ the royal master leads against the foe forward into battle see his Banner go Onward Christian Soldiers marching as to war with the cross of Jesus going on before and there's one denomination which has even taken up this idea of the church being an army it's a Biblical view opposing Satan call it the Salvation Army but there was a man who in writing said this he put his own words to hward Christian Soldiers and these are the words that he wrote he said backward Christian Soldiers fleeing from the fight with the cross of Jesus nearly out of sight Christ our rightful Master stands against the foe onward into battle we seem afraid to go and so the goes on backward Christian Soldiers fleeing from the fight with the cross of Jesus nearly out of sight where do you stand today onward Christian soldiers were engaged in battle in the Name of the King of Kings the Lord of lords or we wanting to Sher back this is the church in Mission so very quickly just some pointers and they we. through number one is this folk Lov the church as Jesus does get down on your knees and don't get up from your knees until you love the church Like Jesus Does for Christ loved the church so much that he gave himself for it then love the world as God does you know John 3:16 for God so loved the world that he gave his only son you see that Jesus gave his life for the church God gave his son so that we might have life give as God has given and I'm not talking financially I'm talking about investing our lives giving our lives to the Church to the mission of the church fourthly work in Mission partnership you're going to be a poll planting or polish watering something like that realize that you might need to move beyond our comfort zone both in culture or in GE geography we've read about both of those today about people moving into a different culture moving to a different country to in the name of Jesus number six is this folk get involved do something if we are truly the army of God involved in Mission we cannot afford to have anybody sitting around doing nothing do something for the sake of the mission of the church for the sake of the world if you're not sure where to start plenty others Bruce Ginther is a good Sunday school teacher ask him we' got a church Council they'd be more than happy to talk to you we got pastors more than happy to talk to you so this is the mission of the church a mission which I'd like to say that Jesus invites us to be a part of but I can't say that it's a mission which Jesus commands us commands us to be involved in what's your role in the mission of the church let's. pray we so so aware Lord God that even just within a stain's throne of where we're sitting there are people who do not know enough about you to make an informed decision about eternity we realize it's our responsibility to take the gospel to them we're so thankful for people who are chaplain in schools hospitals workplaces being the Jesus presence in each of those places we pray for these isolated places isolated people in our state in our land how will we reach them Lord help us tonight countries which are crying out for people to share the gospel with them Lord the task is Big too big for any one of us but nevertheless you ask command each one of us to do something help us to each one to know exactly what that is for God's sake for the world's sake we pray. Amen.