What Do We Do When We Scatter? (Matthew 28:19-20)November 28, 2021 | Brandon Cooper
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Good morning. You can go ahead grab your Bibles open up to Matthew 28 will be in familiar passage this morning, the Great Commission as you’re turning there. In many ways, we’ve spent the last several weeks however long we’ve been in this series now asking a simple question, what exactly is the church? And in part, we’ve been answering that by looking at what does a church do? And we’re going to complicate that question that some this morning. So let’s, let’s take some examples here. Does a church as a church engage in political activism? It’s not a hypothetical question. By the way, viral video, a couple of weeks back of a church breaking out and a chance that let’s just say if it were chanted here, it would just seem like you guys were encouraging me a lot. happens the other way as well. This is not a right or a left issue. This is just endemic, it seems because of course, we had our vice president, record a campaign video and sent out to 300 churches to be aired during the services during the Virginia gubernatorial election process. So does the church as a church engage in political activism? Or how about this one does a church as a church-run a for-profit business? Maybe even a Christian one? I mean, that’s fine. But you know, a Christian publishing house or filmmaking, music studios, something like that help with the funds renovation going on or something like that. Take care of some of it. Or maybe you thought those first two were easier? What about this one? This one’s a little bit harder. Does a church as a church, feed the poor? shelter the homeless? Help people with addictions recover? See, we’re asking a different sort of question. This morning, we have been focusing on the gathering. Hence the name of the series. We’re very clever here. Gathering. Right? So that’s been our focus. But now this morning, we want to ask the question, what does the church do when it scatters? What does the church do when it scatters reminds us that the whole idea of the church is a complicated idea? We looked at this a couple of weeks ago, and Kyle’s taught on the Lord’s Supper, he looked at the first week as well, when Paul says in first Corinthians 11:18, when you come together as a church, and so there’s this idea that the coming together sort of matters for us and being a church. But this morning, we’re asking the question, what, what happens when we’re not together as a church? What are we then? It’s a fascinating question, what do we do and so our text, as I said, is a familiar one, the great commission of Matthew 28, we’re going to see as we look at it, that to fulfill Christ’s Commission, we must gather and scatter. Or maybe even better, we must gather to scatter. But when we gather, and when we scatter, we do different things. That’s really important things that we do when we gather things that we do, when we scatter, to fulfill the mission, we’re gonna unpack that, as we look at these two activities, these two spheres and the one that Lord who stands above them all, let me read the passage, Matthew 28, the passages 19 and 20, read 17 to 20, just to give us a little context, features prerogative and all that when they saw him, they worshipped him, but some doubted. This is not my text, but don’t you just love this book. I just love this book. Here’s a group of 11 men who’ve been following Christ for three years, he was crucified, he’s now been raised from the dead in glory, they see him and some doubted, makes you feel at home, doesn’t it? I got a chance. If this is the people who started the church, then Jesus came to them and said, All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I’ve commanded you. And surely I’m with you always to the very end of the age. All right, to me activities, first of all. So what did Jesus ask us to do? Quite simply, he asked us to make disciples. That’s the only imperative in this text. Everything else is a participle. So going make disciples baptizing and teaching. So this is our mandate. These are our marching orders from the King of the Universe. This seems significant means I don’t think we should shirk our responsibility here. We
can’t say well, I’m not sure that I’m really called to do this. Nope, there’s the calling. It’s right there for us very little chance that when we get to glory, we’ll hear that treasure to accolade Well done, good and faithful servant. If we haven’t, you know, done what He asked us to do. So this is important. This is the only metric we really have. Are we making disciples are more people becoming more like Christ? That’s it. That’s what we evaluate here not mere attendance, which could mean a lot of different things, not the budget, not how many programs we run, not even whether or not we are feeding the hungry, but are more people becoming more like Christ. But the reality is, we can either make disciples or we can disobey. There is no third option available to us. So this all seems important then. So how do we do it? The two participles give us the activities I’ll come back to go in a moment I promise but these two participles that come after make disciples how baptizing and teaching now these seem to apply imply the work that is done before conversion, and after conversion, what we would maybe call evangelism and edification, if you want some good ease. These are the two primary activities we engage in when it comes to humans when it comes to people evangelism and edification, if you want to be or other activity that has to do with God. That’s exultation they all start with E it’s wonderful, right? We we’ve tried to get all three into our mission statement, even because they’re so important. What is it that we do here as Cityview we’re here to equip people to magnify Christ and serve others. If you like our tagline version that’s on all the posters and stuff were made to magnify center serve, made to magnify center serve. We say that a lot here. Why? Because we want you to know it that’s hopefully starting to get in our brains. Our ultimate aim is to magnify Christ, to glorify Christ in our lives that requires edification, though. That is when we say made to magnify that’s a present progressive, that’s not perfect tense. It’s not we have been made to magnify. That’s kind of true. But we are still being made to magnify because we are not perfect yet. So that requires edification and evangelism outreach, because we are then sent to serve. Well, which happens where we got evangelism edification, which happens, where earlier in the series, I think, was week two, we established up the primary human audience here in this room in the gathering is believers. Most of us here, right, and this is the place where we are made to magnify. This is where edification happens, certainly now in this moment in the service, but now we’re so beforehand, when we’re in Explorer, our it happens in Journey groups and community groups. And elsewhere, even if it’s not on Sunday morning, that still is a part of the church gathering, even in smaller groups. And of course, it could take place in informal conversations as well. But this makes sense, right? It was what we’ve seen already Ephesians four elsewhere, what do we do you know, why does God give leaders to the churches to equip his people for works of service, so that the whole body may be built up? There’s your edification. But if the primary human audience here is believers, well, how are we making new disciples? How are we doing evangelism now saw this again, a couple of weeks back, some will come in, it will happen in this room to some extent, at least we saw this first Corinthians chapter 14, Enquirer’s will come in, and wonder what exactly is going on. But as the text makes clear, here, we’re going to need to go, go and make disciples, there’s a leaving that needs to take place, here is what we’re gonna need to scatter, we must be sent to serve sent out to serve, in other words, to proclaim the gospel in word and deed. And that might mean going across the sea, in foreign missions, or something like that, or going across the block with fresh baked cookies for your new neighbors. This is why we placed so much emphasis here on forming redemptive relationships with people who do not yet believe why because that’s going into another person’s world into their sphere. And I want to speak to that group, by the way, just for a moment, quick word. If you are here this morning, and you don’t believe in Christ, you’re here because you’re one of those inquires, as I always say, first of all, welcome. We’re
so glad you’re here that you’re willing to enquire with us. You may even be here because of that redemptive relationship. But as somebody who calls Cityview home has invited you here, I just want to let you know that we are not shy about our aim here. Like you’re not getting the secret information. We’re gonna say the quiet part out loud as the kids say today. This is our mission. This is what we’ve been called to do to share the good news of what God has done for us and we share it and we share it with you because we believe that it really is good news. Like, it’s good. We believe that if you believe it, you will see how good it is. Because that has been our experience. Jesus Himself said, I’ve come that you might have a life and have it to the fall. And he speaks to the fullness of joy and peace and hope and love that he offers. This is what we’re all seeking. And so this is the good news he has brought it. If you want to know how exactly I can’t do that this morning, but let me just encourage you to come to our Christmas Eve service. 4pm On Christmas Eve, I think that’s a Friday. I know you got family traditions, we got family traditions, too. It is a holiday, you know what that word means? Right? Holy Day that this was a religious celebration at one point, many, many hundreds of years ago, we’re gonna try and recover some of that. So if you got family traditions, go ahead and take an hour off, and come here at four o’clock so that we can celebrate what we’re meant to celebrate. But I’d invite you, especially if you’ve got questions about Christianity, because this is one of the few services we have that is actually aimed at people who are seeking people who are asking questions. Alright, let me sum up so far to fulfill Christ’s commission. We’ve got these two activities, edification and evangelism, teaching and baptizing, we need to be built up so that we can be sent out we’re made to magnify sent to serve. Next part, though, to fulfill Christ’s commission. Well, there are two spheres, two spheres, I’ve hinted at this already. And now I just want to make it explicit. And now we gotta we got to learn a little bit about a Dutch theologian named Abraham Kuyper. So he’s a Dutch theologian and politician, actually. And he talked about he’s one who came up with this language of the two spheres of the church, what really is the church gathered and the churches scattered? He called it the institutional church and the organic church, but it means the same thing. So the institutional church, is the congregation gathering together with its leaders to hear God’s word and celebrate the ordinances. That all make sense, right? I guess what we’ve been doing the last many, many weeks, that word right, we preach the sacraments, rightly administered. This is what a church is. There’s the institutional church, the church gathered. Here’s the organic church, he defines it as individual Christians who are scattered throughout the world, working as individuals or in informal and formal partnerships, to do the work God has called them to do. So the basic idea here then is that the life of the church is not exhausted in the act of assembly. That was not a Dutch guy that was a Croatian guy, Miroslav Volf, who said that the act, or the life of the church is not exhaustive in the act of assembly, this is not all we do. As a church, the life of the Church continues as its members scatter, so that the church equips believers to live as Christians in every area of life. But the church itself, the institutional church, the gathered Church does not act in all those areas. So as an example, we would want to equip a Christian filmmaker, to make compelling films in a distinctively Christian way. But that doesn’t mean we’re going to start a production company Cityview pictures, something like that.
We absolutely want to have see raised up Christian Medical professionals, we would even send them overseas, we have sent them overseas, we’ll continue to send them overseas to do this. But we don’t run a clinic here in the building, nor even a medical school. That’s the idea. may quote Tim Keller here who says Church, the Church produces individuals who change society, but the local congregation should not itself engage in these enterprises. That’s that’s the ideas there are things we do when we gather and they’re things that we do when we scatter, we can start to see why the gather scatter question then becomes so important. What do we do in each, there are two spheres, and we’re gonna get confused. If we don’t have those two spheres clear in our minds, we could lose our focus as the gathered church or just kind of become the insular areas. We never actually bothered to become the scattered church to fulfill Christ’s mission. We have to gather and scatter and the things we do when we gather and things we do when we scatter. So let’s talk about what we do in each of these now Kuyper speaks of for ministry fronts for areas where the church as a whole the church comprehensively understood acts. Now. I’m gonna pull back the curtains for a moment we’re Hyperion church. You had no idea but our vision statement is actually based on Cuypers. For ministry fronts, we just have five if you’ve read our vision statement, because we added the family in there wanted to make that a distinct category as well. But so let’s, let’s walk through our vision statement to begin to see how this happens when we gather and as we scatter. So our vision statement, we talked about the church, the seeking the family, the city and the culture. Do we serve those groups when we gather or when we scatter the church? First of all? Well, of course, that happens when we gather primarily, when we can connect authentically and speak the truth to one another in love to build each other up. We got that one. What about the seeking? Those who do not believe in Christ, at least not yet? Well, we proclaim the gospel boldly in the service week in and week out. But of course, we also equip you to deploy you to do this work on your own. So there is some overlap, although I wouldn’t say that the work of evangelism, we don’t delegate to individuals, it is the church’s work as we’ll see. What about the family? Well, this is an interesting one, because families here, right, like you got kids down and kids city, most of the rest of you are sitting together and all of that. Well, we equip parents, especially in the church, maybe that’s in the service. Again, maybe that’s an explorer, our journey group or something like that. We equip parents in the church in order to send them into the home as individuals. In fact, what do we do when we bring the cute little babies up front? It’s apparent commissioning, to send you into your homes to do the work God has given you to do there. Alright, what about the city, the city we minister compassionately meeting the very real physical needs of those around us. Some of the things I’ve already mentioned, like addiction recovery, providing shelter to the homeless, or opportunities for at risk youth to do something after school. Do we do it here as the church gathered? Sure, sure, we do. To some extent, at least, we have the clothes closet, which we actually run, even in our building. We also have the fellowship fund. And we have deacons to minister compassionately, but tends to be kind of within arm’s reach, but it’s there. I mean, that’s even Acts chapter six, where deacons come from we’ll talk deacons next week, much more. But what happened is they kind of said, Hey, some, some widows aren’t getting food. And the elders weren’t that serious, and we can’t do anything about it. Because we got to protect the institutional church, the church gathered, so why don’t we equip some people to do this ministry, and the DX unit was born at that point. But a lot of this happens beyond our scope. Of course, when we ask another one of those questions I asked at the beginning of this sermon, does the church as the church rehab houses that have been destroyed by natural disasters?
No. But you know, what we do is we send like six guys out to do that. And we’ll even support them as they go financially. So you start to see this is a little bit of a scattering ministry as well. It’s also why we have so many partner organizations that we really do partner with Samaritan’s Purse, which we mentioned the inner city impact carrying network, love the Inc new name Christians against poverty, Safe Families, why do we partner with them? Because we can’t do it all. And we certainly can’t do it all? Well, there are people who are much, much better at this, because this is what they do. We want to support them in their efforts. And part of our supporting them in their efforts is equipping people here to go serve with them. So we collectively can’t do it. We can send you out to participate to scatter. We have volunteers serving actively, almost every one of those ministries. So there’s the city What about the culture? Our vision is to engage intentionally in the culture, well, hey, that can’t happen in the church. Like that’s pure scattering, right? So what do we do here in the church, we disciple or equip individuals to be a faithful presence in the world? What does this look like vocation especially? What do you do Monday to Friday, or whatever your hours happen to be? What does it mean to be a Christian teacher or scientists or business person so that you’re engaged in that activity in distinctively Christian ways, even though it certainly isn’t happening in the church. This might include going back to another question I asked upfront, might include political engagement as well. Abraham Kuyper again was a politician as well as a theologian, which is why he thought so much about this. That’s great, but that happens far from the church. That does not happen here. All churches role is to be a prophetic witness from outside. We describe ourselves as an embassy, right? And so we’re not a part of the culture, we’re speaking from outside the culture, we are like Jesus before Pilate, our kingdom is not of this world. But I’m really grateful for the influence that Christians have in the public sphere. I’m sure many of you are also. So this is the whole idea that of being salt, and light, we sang about it earlier this morning, we’re going to be that city on a hill burning brightly. So what a salt do for example, salt preserves, we don’t think about that as much anymore because you know, refrigerators, but it preserves food, and then flavors, food, whichever one of those you’re thinking about, it doesn’t matter. It’s not going to work. If you keep the salt in the salt shaker. Like it, the whole key to preservation and flavor is this action. And that’s the scattering action, of course. So we proclaim the gospel, unapologetically, then in word and deed, and I do mean unapologetically. Because there are lots of churches that are committed to claiming the gospel and word only. There are a lot of churches that have committed with claiming the gospel Indeed, only. And we’re not gonna be either one of those churches. We’re gonna playing the gospel unapologetically in word and deed. Why? Because if you take away the word, you’re not actually proclaiming anything whatsoever. We know this, we looked at Romans 10. Few weeks back, Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God, how will they hear
unless we preach unless we proclaim? So we got to have the word of course, but take away the deed aspect? Well, it implies that the gospel is merely intellectual. It’s up here and it’s other worldly only. And maybe even more important than that. It’s out of step with Jesus and the rest of the New Testament. And I would like to be in step with him. What does Jesus do? He comes into a new area, and it says, he’s filled with compassion. And he begins ministering to people, he feeds the hungry, heals the sick, he casts out demons. What do we see the apostles doing in the book of Acts? The exact same thing? One of our favorite verses here at Cityview, part of where our name comes from his Acts, chapter eight, verse eight, there was great joy in that city. Why? Because Philip showed up proclaiming the gospel in Word. And indeed, We see this with Tabitha, we see this with Peter just read anywhere in Acts, you will see it especially to dado so important that we do the gospel in word and deed because we are doing deficit evangelism. I say this a lot, because it’s still true. Meaning we start the conversation in a hole. Because in our culture today, people are suspicious of Christians for a lot of good reasons. By the way, we’ve got some reputation that we’ve earned some that we probably didn’t, but some that we certainly did. So are we going to proclaim the gospel unapologetically? Yes. But just knowing that we’re talking to somebody where if you were to ask them the question, hey, what do you think about Christianity? They probably have a negative response. Even if it’s just slightly negative. It’s there a little bit me I’m not so sure. So we proclaim unapologetically, but we also demonstrate the gospel in love. Again, this is exactly with the New Testament commands. In any case, First John, chapter three, you see someone in need, and you don’t help them. How can the love of God be in you? James, chapter two, a little bit about faith and deeds, right? And it’s the same thing, you see someone in need, and you say, Hey, keep a warm and well fed, and then you send them on their way without any help. It’s useless. James says, in the same way that faith without deeds is useless. But many, not all, but many of those deeds happen when the church scatters. Again, it is not the mission of the church gathered Cityview, for example, to rescue the sexually exploited. But certainly that is an activity that we would want Christians to be engaged in. And I gotta say one last point before we press on, of course, not that we cannot minimize the importance of the church gathered, because this is where we are equipped to scatter. And so all that scattering ministry won’t happen unless we gather and take the gathering very seriously. And they quote Keller again, it says the ministry of the local church is the irreplaceable agent for ministry in this world. We read that again, that’s important. The Ministry of the local church is the irreplaceable agent for ministry in this world, for its main task is the ministry of the Word and the sacraments, winning people to faith and building them up as disciples. And that’s our text right there, of course, winning people to faith and building them up as disciples. So I heard somebody say this once and I liked it. I think it’s true. It means there are there are no god forsaken place. is because God is omnipresent. And God is always ahead of the church going there at first. But if there are no god forsaken places, that doesn’t mean there aren’t church forsaken places. And there are a lot of those in the world still. And that matters because a church, this area is a truthless area and a graceless area. One of the reasons why we are so passionate about church planting here at Cityview, you know, we haven’t done it yet, or at least not for 60 years or so. But it’s still the target because we want to meet this need. Because what happens when there’s no churches, there’s actually a spiritual desert, at that point. It’s the difference between going somewhere and going well, they don’t have a movie theater there. And going well, they don’t have water. They’re the church is water. The church is that one. Some of the other things are in the movie theater realm, maybe not entertainment, but important. Of course, this is actually precisely to Paul, the point Paul makes in this odd passage, Titus chapter one, verse five. So here he’s speaking to Titus, his young, pastoral chart, and he says, the reason I left you in Crete was that you might put an order what was left unfinished and appoint elders and every what what should it say there? Your point elders in every church? And Paul says town? He was sleepy when he wrote this. No, of course not. It’s not always in every church, but every town because what is he saying to Titus here? Make sure that the church is fully established in every town. The SAM Albury says it’s not just the case that every church needs a leader but that every town needs a church.
Not just scattered Christians, but a church. Why? Because we gather to scatter. The Gathering is uniquely powerful. It’s a little bit like SCOTUS Supreme Court is reading a book by Matt mercker, about some of this stuff. And he at the time, was living in DC and lived in a neighborhood where several of the Supreme Court justices actually lived, every justice is important as an individual. And I suspect if they started speaking, you would listen because there’ll be some gravity to what they were saying. But together, they are something else entirely right. And the nine of them sit down as the Supreme Court. That’s something else entirely, which is why when lawyers stand before the Supreme Court, they do not say things like if it pleases the justices, what do they say? If it pleases the court, singular? What a wonderful picture of the church gathered to fulfill Christ’s commission. We see these two ministry activities evangelism edification, carried out in two spheres, church gathered the church of scattered doing gospel work, and word and deed. But none of this matters about the last part, because it all happens under the Lordship of Christ. So last point, one, Lord, I don’t know about you, but I’m easily overwhelmed at the scope of our mission, even here at Cityview. These five vision targets are huge. We’ll just casually engage intentionally with culture. That’s easy, right? And so I have this unrelenting sense of my and our collective inadequacy, like what can we possibly do when you look at? What needs to be accomplished? And the answer John 15, five as well, apart from Him, nothing? Nothing. But thank God, He is with us always, to the end of the age. What does he say? Verse 18, All authority in heaven on earth has been given to me. And then verse 20, the very last sentence of Matthew’s Gospel, and surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. By the way, this is how we know that this is our commission to it. Somebody asked me once Well, you know, Jesus was speaking to the 11 disciples at this point. So why are we treating this like it’s what we’re supposed to do? Because it did not matter to the 11 apostles, if he would be with them to the end of the age, because they weren’t going to be there at the end of the age. But his disciples would be that’s for sure. Because here we still are, and the end of the age is not yet common. He is with us, always between his authority and his presence. We have all we need to carry out the mission that He’s given us. Now, do you know why we’re called Cityview? hoping somebody here is gonna be Yeah, you explained this already. Good. I did explain this a couple of times. But I’ll explain one more time. Why Cityview as an Our eyes are on the city, because it’s good that we keep our eyes on the mission and the people that God has given us. But it almost goes without saying but not quite. And so I’ll say it. We got to keep our eyes on Jesus first and foremost. That is we need to be Christ’s view. Before we are Cityview food Don’t attempt to the mission without him. So when we put it like this, then it means that the message and the means are the same. In Christ alone, that’s the message. And that’s the need, we proclaim the message of salvation by grace alone, you cannot earn it. He had to do it for you. You don’t have a list of rules to keep because you have that list of rules and you didn’t keep them. So you need Jesus now, in Christ alone with claim a message of salvation by grace alone, but we proclaim that message by means of grace alone, because we can’t convert or redeem or restore. He has to do it in and through us. We see this in a fascinating passage, actually, this whole point, easy to miss familiar passage again. So Matthew, chapter four verses 18 and 19. This is Jesus calling his first disciples, says Jesus, as Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew, they were casting a net into the lake for they were fishermen. Come follow me, Jesus said, and I will send you out to fish for people. So what’s the command in this passage? If I were to ask you this, and it weren’t up on the screen for you right now, you would go fish for people. Right? That’s the takeaway here, or put your sermon on this, that probably would be the takeaway fish for people that’s not the command, the command is follow me. The command is Jesus, the ministry to others results from our following Jesus, I
think this is important because some of us get so amped up about reaching others that we forget to follow Jesus. And if as you you need to return to your first love, we got to be Christ view before we are Cityview. But others of us, of course, probably the majority of us, if I had to guess, our content to hang with Jesus, and forget that fishing for people is the necessary result. Come follow me. This is what happens. I will make you fishers of people. I will send you out. So I don’t know which camp you’re in. But you know which camp you’re in. And so you know what you need to do, you need to take some time to reflect even now, where you got to go. So let’s talk about this just for a moment here. The burden of this series, especially Week two is that you have been gifted for ministry in the church, the church gathered, right so that was week two, like I said, and so the question is what has God given you have to do to build up others in the church? Ministry fair afterwards, so that you can kind of see here are some ways that this could happen. How are you doing on this? We don’t want to be Here’s the word only want to be doers of the word. Are you plugged in and serving your brothers and sisters in Christ yet? It’s been like six weeks? If the answer is still no, let this be a spiritual cattle prop. We need to do something about it. But today we’re asking a different question. Because now we see that you’ve not only been gifted for ministry in the church, but you’ve been sent out for ministry in the world. That’s the churches scattered right. What has God given you to do? There? Are you a faithful Christian presence? In your vocation? Whatever it is that you do? Are you doing your work in distinctively Christian ways? This is why we’ve got Greg Nulty. teaching the class we’ve got him teaching downstairs and explore our right now. Because this is really important. And most of us haven’t thought that hard about it. So if you’re not sure how to get your what that looks like, pray, start thinking ask some questions go to the class, for sure. And Greg will meet with you personally one on one for as long as it takes he assured me before the service. Now he didn’t, that’s fine. I’m sure he’d be happy to help him. But we’re here to equip you. In fact, one of our dreams is to be able to gather people from different vocations together, she got all the Christian educators in one room going guys, let’s talk about this. What does it look like to do this and distinctively Christian ways? Alright, so are your faithful Christian presence in your vocation? What about this? Are you proclaiming the gospel compellingly in word and deed? is we’re not doing lifeboat evangelism here. People are drowning, spiritually just need to get them in the boat. And that’s all that matters. No, we’re talking about the restoration of all things because that is God’s vision for this world. That’s the book of Revelation. There are lots of ways to do this. Lots of informal and formal networks, local and global all sorts of ways to get involved plenty of opportunities to do this with our partner Ministries as well. And clothes closet that we run directly here, get to know them. Get to know them, look at how you could serve maybe that’s not it and With none of these six or seven organizations, we’ve got it something else entirely. That’s fine. But if you’re scrambling about going, I don’t know, where do I do this start there, at least, you know, we’re actually launching a new ministry here. And it’s a scatter ministry, which is kind of cool. And so because we’re launching it, though, we’ve got some ground floor opportunities for you. Let me ask the question, I’ll just, I’ll end where I started. What does the church do? Does a church as a church call credit card companies to help people deal with a debt crisis? No, I just want to be really clear about that. You know, one thing the organic Church, the scattered church does, calls credit card companies to help people deal with debt crises. And so as both illustration and application of what I’ve been talking about this morning, I’m gonna invite Simon Wilson buddies, Betsy strong up here to share a little bit about the cat debt cap debt help center that we are going to run. So Simon, as he makes his way up here is the executive director of CAP America. Some of you have met him or heard him speak at the banquet and whatnot, he’d become a good friend in these past few years. He’s from the UK, that’s gonna become blindingly obvious early on from Bradford, in fact, so if you ever listen to like an audio recording of the secret garden, you’ll know all about the broad Yorkshire accent, which is one of my favorites. So with that charming accent Simon, will you tell us about cap?
Thank you. Yeah, well, I’ve worked hard to try and soften it so that you guys can send me understand me, and what I’m talking about. So yeah, it’s great to be with you guys. This morning. I’ve just got a short five minute announcement to talk about church mobilized. And that really is our DNA as an organization were called Christians against poverty in our DNA. The thing that drives us is that we’re here to equip churches. That’s what we talk about. We don’t do anything. Apart from churches, if you hear me ever speak, I always say, no church, no cap that cap for short for Christians against poverty, because we believe you’ve been planted here for such a time as this, to do what we believe to serve people in need to serve your community. But just as pastor Brandon talks about this morning, to do it loud and proud as Christians against poverty, yes, we want to help people in church. Yes, we want to help people that do know Jesus, but we have a passion for the loss. And we want to meet felt needs first, which as pastor Brandon said, gives you permission then to share the gospel and say, We’re doing this because Jesus loves you. And I just want you to take a moment to imagine because we help families that are in financial crisis, that’s what we’re here to do. And I want you to take a moment to imagine what it what it is like to be like that. Imagine a guy. Imagine a guy who’s living paycheck to paycheck. He’s all of a sudden watching the price of his bills go up on a almost weekly basis. He’s not sure how he’s going to manage, and then catastrophe. He has a medical crisis and a stroke, losing his job, he starts to see the bills pile up, he turns to credit for short term relief to try and get through to keep on going. But it spirals and spirals and spirals out of control. He’s got nowhere to turn. He’s got no family in the area. He doesn’t know what to do. He starts to skip meals to try and pay creditors who are hounding him on the phone. He even starts to think about ending it all. But what he doesn’t know is just down the road. This is a church that didn’t just read about the word didn’t just hear scripture, they said, We’re going to go and we’re going to do something. And this church full of faith, believing in the Word of God does lots of great things, lots of great ministries, but right now they’re preparing to open a cap debt Help Center. And this debt help center goes and visits families and individuals in the local community and says we’ve got a hope and a solution. We’ve got an answer we can help you in this crisis. We can look at your situation professional help, and we want to share Jesus while we’re doing it. And that is exactly what you’re doing with your debt Help Center. We’ve got Betsy I just wanted to stand up so we can see because Betsy is pretty new to your church. Betsy is heading up the debt Help Center here in the church and we’re going to be out at the back with our little stand, encouraging you to get involved in this ministry. So that’s what we’re doing where, first of all, let me know your community that this church now offers this amazing ministry to help families in crisis. And then we’re going to go start visiting people in their homes. It’s absolutely fantastic. This is for people that may be never would come to church on a Sunday morning. But we’re going to be church mobilized, we’re going to go to them, we’re going to meet these needs, we’re going to help them with their crisis. And then we’re going to introduce them to Jesus, and hopefully see a few of them join you as family here on a Sunday morning as church gathered. So we’ve got a really proper launch on January 23, we’ve got our founder, coming out from the UK, this guy’s amazing, amazing testimony speaks to churches, gatherings of 1000s of people, an amazing launch, that will be our official launch. But we need you now. And I’m asking you to get involved in three different ways. The first thing is, we need you to volunteer. So this is where I think that sermon really hits the road this morning, we’ve got an actual opportunity for you to get involved. So yes, I introduced Betsy, but this is not her ministry. It’s a church ministry. And you know what, we often are guilty of preaching and saying, you need to do stuff. And you’re sat there going, Yeah, but how what what do I do? Well, this is it. We want to ask you can you sit in a visit in a home for a couple of hours, maybe three times as we visit a family? I can tell you, we’re all qualified right now. Because you’re all already sat down. So you meet 90% of the requirements. We need a few of those people to be available in the day, maybe you’re retired or you work part time we desperately need you. Can you take someone a cake? Or maybe take someone out for a coffee? Can you pray for people, we need a prayer team? And maybe you even want to help get the word out? Can you help in those ways. So what we want you to come and see us, we want you to sign up and say we want to do something this morning, by the way is you sign up to volunteer, you’re not committing your life, you just committed to find out more, we’ve got another meeting coming up where Betsy will talk in much more detail about all those things. All we’re asking you this morning is would you say yes, I’m interested, I want to take a step towards doing something in my community. So that’s the first thing I want you to do. The second thing is we want you to get the word out. If you look in your bulletin this morning, you’ve all got one of our little cards, this is what we put around your community. So that is so many struggling, they know about us, and they can phone up and get help from a local church that loves them, and someone that wants to tell them about Jesus. So we’ve given you each one of these cards, we want you to keep it until you need it, or give it out to someone that you already know needs help. Maybe you’ve got a neighbor, maybe it’s a family member, we want you to pass these out. Because you are the hands and feet, you are the ones that are helping us get the word out, or maybe you know, a local community group or an opportunity for us to tell people that this amazing service is now in your community. So come and speak to us if you’ve got some opportunities to let people know more about this. And the final group I want to talk to here is there may be a couple of people in the church, that just actually when you told that story earlier about what it’s like, That’s actually me. And you know what we want to help you? Yes, we want to go and help people in the community. But we as a church gathered, have a heart that no one in this local church is struggling when we’ve got an answer. And we want to support you. So I want you to know that as you furnish this number, it’s completely confidential. We won’t be telling pastor Brandon about anything here, we already know that. And he says he wants nothing to do with it. Because all we want to do is make sure we’re helping you. So if you’re here, my encouragement this morning is that God loves you. It’s not your fault, and he wants to help you. So call this number and we’ll help you first and then we’ll go out and mobilize. Go help a bunch of people in your local community, because we’re called Cityview. And we’re a city on a hill that’s meant to be shining that light into that community. And this is just one amazing way that we can do it. So come and visit the standard, the end, signup. If you’re interested, we’ll help you mobilize and get in touch with people and start serving your local community. So I think I’m gonna pray for us. We just want to say thank you to pastor Brandon for and your leadership for partnering, partnering with us as an organization. We look for churches like you, we look for churches like you that same we want to make that difference. And we select people that we partner with because we want to see that beating heart for the local community and a beating heart for Jesus. And that’s where we go yes, that says that’s what we want to get involved in. So let me We pray for you. And then we’ll release you into the rest of your Sunday. And you can come and speak to us. So yes, as we finish this service, we thank You for Your Word. Father God, we thank You for Your scripture. We thank you, that you saved us. And as you saved as you saved us in to a mission for you to reach this her in world Law, God. And we just pray those Christians against poverty with our debt center, Cityview church and all the other amazing things that they’re doing, that we can be your hands and feet on this Earth Lord Jesus that you can mobilize errs and use little olders to make a difference and see the kingdom of God. Come here on earth as it is in heaven. So we lift you up Jesus bless this church and bless our time together we pray in Jesus name, amen.