Returning from the SBC Annual Meeting, Pastor Chris and I (with Jeremy) came home with several “take-aways” from the pastor’s conference. Two sermons were particularly striking and left us challenged and coming back to important questions about life and ministry.
The first sermon was by Francis Chan, pastor of Cornerstone Community Church in Simi Valley, CA. I really tracked with him in this sermon and found that I have been asking similar questions as he has measured his life and ministry against what he sees in the New Testament. In the take-away point of the sermon, Chan asked, “Do I really want to know the will of God? . . . what would God do with me right now if he had complete control of me?” In thinking through his question myself, and having wrestled with the text of Philippians in our present sermon series at Harvest, I found myself asking further questions: How would I spend my money if God really had complete control of my checkbook? How would I spend my time if God really had complete control of my schedule and calendar? How would I use my possessions for God’s glory if God really had complete control of my resources? What things would I have to give up if I were really willing to give it all for the sake of the gospel?
While still pondering the questions raised by Chan’s sermon, another compelling message was brought from Hebrews 13 by David Platt, pastor of Brook Hills Church in Birmingham Alabama. The main question for his sermon was “Are we going to live in our religion or die in our devotion?” or, put another way “Will we retreat from the mission of God or will we give everything for the sake of his mission?” His was perhaps the most compelling sermon I have heard at any pastor’s conference. In the sermon, Platt exalted the glory of Christ and the importance of living to make Him known. The question before us was not did we believe in the mission of Christ or even were we willing to commit to it. Platt placed before us two options: retreat or risk it all!
These two sermons are ones I’m still chewing on. The implications, if seriously considered, are staggering. I’m still thinking and praying through what this means for my life and for our church, but I am willing to take up the challenge. I want to know and do God’s will. I want to risk it all for the glory of Christ! Think and pray through these challenges with me and let us do all to fulfill our mission to glorify God and make His Son known throughout the world to this generation.