Welcome! Jo Ann’s dad… This is another inside talk today! So if you’re here for the first time and think we’ve got some secrets, well you came the right weekend cause I’m going to share them all! I’m actually going kind of chat with you, and share about why greater influence is all about serving and not merely just showing up! That’s why today is more for those who’ve been around GCC for a while and not those of who’ve been here for just a short time or for the first time. Again, this is “inside” stuff!
Our leadership has been reading a book lately called, “Deep and Wide”, in which, Andy Stanley says, “The church in America is undergoing a transformation… Leaders and churches are determining that they need to become churches that unchurched people would love to attend. And for this to happen, everyone in the church needs to be fully engaged!”
So IF we’re serious about GCC being a transformational church like this in our city, in our nation, and we want to change the world, be a church and people of greater influence, then we just can’t merely “show up!” We need everyone to participate on some level.
Mark Tyler (I don’t want to embarrass him) came up to me a few weeks ago after a service- they are a new family to GCC, Mark is in my men’s group, and asked this amazing question. He said, WHAT CAN I DO?”
Wow! We normally ask, “What are we going to do?” Or “What are you going to do for me!” It’s awesome when people come up and ask, “What can I do?” “I don’t just want to show up!” I love that question! So out loud everyone say, “Hey Terry, what can WE do?” Thanks for asking! So let me tell you…
Well first there’s three things we need to do as a church.
First, there are simply things we have to do as a church just so we have a church to come to and be able to enjoy it: have facilities, have services, etc.
Secondly, there’s some stuff we need to do to be and continue to be a church unchurched people would love to come to. Someone recently remarked as a compliment- “This is the most unchurched church we’ve ever attended!”
But the third thing is this: we have a responsibility to be a greater influence for others, maybe plant churches, or multi-site, and be a greater, positive influence to other churches, etc. because of opportunities God has given us- CMN/XAN!
Whether we like it or not, people no longer see traditional church, or the way the church as been, as appealing. There are now 125 million unchurched Americans and it’s growing. That would be the 10th largest country in the world! So, we have to get this right. We can no longer just show up if we are to have greater influence!
Denver is a very unchurched city– 1.2 million unchurched people within a 30 mi radius of our building!! We sit in the Tech Center, an area filled with “twenty-somethings!”. But, 59 percent of people who were 18 to 29 who were churched as a teenager said they had dropped out after attending some time regularly. What’s so fascinating is 57 percent said that they’re less active in church, but only 29 percent said they’re less spiritual.
So it’s interesting because they’re less churched. They’re rejecting institutional forms of church, but they’re not necessarily rejecting spirituality. They reject the prosperity gospel, superficiality, don’t believe church answers any real questions, and don’t see the church genuinely concerned about social justice, which is deeply meaningful to them!
In the next teaching series I’ll unpack more of what this looks like- to be a church unchurched people would love to attend! So, there’s those three things as a church we need to do! GCC being that kind of church!
And here’s something else I need you to know: You make a difference! Every part matters to create irresistible environments from the parking lot- the sermon really begins there, to the front door, to the foyer, to the children’s areas, to the cafe, to worship, etc. It matters! And it takes all of us and even though you get tired, etc. maybe even complain once in a while, it matters what you do!
So, what can WE do? Well, don’t just show up- SUPPORT! I need you to support!
Some of you are extremely supportive, some are mildly supportive, and some of you don’t support at all! Show up, sit, come for the show, and go home. I’m not being mean, nor do I want to offend, but I’m very transparently and honestly telling you that I need you to support our vision and mission, to get involved.
FOUR THINGS “WE CAN ALL DO!”
CONNECT! Life Groups (launched a few weekends ago- its how we live out John 13:34- “love one another…”).
John 13:34-35 “So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”
How we treat each other is how people will know we love God, follow Jesus! Again, to gain credibility with the culture we need to be better at this! This is a huge purpose for Life Groups- get involved and support a group; love and serve one another!
The church will always survive, the building burns down, the staff is gone, no insurance… the church will still exist because its about one another- life groups!
Get connected to a Life Group and stay connected! It’s how Jesus said we’re supposed to do it, how we love one another and how we show the world we love the Lord!
GIVE! I know, this was last weekends teaching. So I won’t spend a lot of time on this. But give a percentage, be a preventative giver!
Like me I hope you can say, “I love this church, I love the environments, I love the mission, I love the people, and I’m going to give to yes, pay the bills, the staff, have facilities, etc., because we are preventing the bad stuff from happening”.
And even though we can’t measure that and it’s not emotional- and we’ll do the intervention giving from time to time, I need you to support the vision and mission and give a percentage consistently because its preventative!
INVITE! In 2013, every weekend is a “Friend Day” Weekend!
If you were to ask me what my biggest concern is, it’s not the money or those kinds of things. It’s this: That we settle into a nice groove that’s convenient and comfortable for us and we become inward focused!
Stanley states: The gravitational pull of every church is toward KEEPING people rather than REACHING people!
This is my greatest concern! We exist to reach people, people that are far from God… Our focus is not just the people that are already here, but the people who aren’t here yet! So I need you to invite people! It’s not so we can see how big we can get… I need you to be an inviter is because when you sit in one of our services with a person that has never attended church or it’s been a long time since they did, you experience our service and our environment in a way you would never have experienced it otherwise!
Sometimes I get the email or comment card that says “At my old church we sang 4 songs at the beginning and not just 2 songs!” Then that same person shows up one Sunday with a neighbor or friend that’s doesn’t go to church anywhere and about halfway through the second song they’re thinking “Gee this is kind of going long…” Cause they’re looking at their friend and the friend is looking around because they don’t know the songs and suddenly they’re thinking, “This is good, 2 songs is good!”
Why? Because you have experienced the service through the eyes of your unchurched friend! I want you to have that experience because you will help hold us accountable to the mission and we can hold you accountable because this church, GCC, is for people who need it most?
We all have a network of friends who don’t know God, who used to go to church, who need God in their life, who don’t get to have the peace or encouragement that you do. And I know you’re grateful from your family, for your life being changed and blessed, and you have friends and they need the environment you have that’s transformed your life and family! You don’t have to be afraid to invite them because one day they’ll thank you for doing it!
Consider: One day, early in Jesus’ ministry, he sees Phillip and Jesus asks Phillip to follow him and Phillip says, “Can I invite a friend?” “Well…. let me pray about it!” NO, “Sure you can!” Jesus says!
Look at this: John 1:45, 46 Philip went to look for Nathanael and told him, “We have found the very person Moses and the prophets wrote about! His name is Jesus, the son of Joseph from Nazareth.” “Nazareth!” exclaimed Nathanael. “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” “Come and see for yourself,” Philip replied.
Nathaniel is all down on the church!! You know, like that person you tried to invite once and now you’ve never invited another person! “Church… Blah blah blah… Grace, blah, blah…” And you’re like geez I wish I wouldn’t have asked! I’m sorry! But Phillip says, “Just come and see for yourself!” Just check it out…
Just come and see for yourself! Maybe you were there at one time and you came and saw? The church is as close to Jesus as we get right now and people need to come and see! Once they come and see, who knows…. A life may be changed…. What will be prevented??
Be bold in your invitations! Last one- what can you do? Don’t just show up- but support and serve!
SERVE– Serve on a team- support by volunteering in a particular area- not four or five areas, but those 1 or 2 areas that you could serve in!
There are always some things that are mission critical! That’s true for business, everything. And it’s true for GCC. Our weekend gatherings are mission critical and those teams consist of:
First Impressions/Guest Services (Greeters, Ushers, Parking Lot, TOG, etc.)
Creative Arts/Production (Media, Worship, Prayer etc.)
KidVenture (Birth-4) and KidConnect (K-3rd grade)
Zone 45 (4-5th grade) and Zone 68 (6-8th grade)- I’d like to add this to our weekend experience!
Other Areas: Vive, Missions, Care, etc.
If we get these environments right, then we can fix everything else! These environments are mission critical. The weekend dynamic is the main thing– these environments are why people come and will keep coming and if they are visiting, will want to come back. It’s not my preaching- that’s 5-6 on the list! It’s the help in the parking lot, the friendly smile and warm handshake at the door, the conversation at the cafe, the security parents feel when they check in their child, the causal, yet, life applicable worship, teaching…
This is where I need more of you to step up and step into support one of of these teams– they’re represented around the auditorium today. You can go online. But I need you to get involved.
I know what some of you are thinking, “I don’t want to babysit or make a latte…” Listen, we are not going to ask you to do anything you’re not good at! AND here’s why- you’re no good at it!! We don’t want you in a children’s class and its boring, boring, boring and all they learn is church is boring!
We want you on a team you are good at!
So maybe you’ve taken a break lately and thats cool. But some of you have been taking a break for 5 years! I need you to step in, to support GCC by serving on one of these teams! Maybe you’re here and got stuck in the middle of the row and you’re saying I’m not gonna connect or give or invite or serve… Don’t just use up space…
I’m not asking or encouraging you to leave, BUT to please get involved! You’re sitting in a building other people are paying for, etc. Don’t just show up, sit back, and soak in all up; but support- we need you to get involved- especially as we continue to grow!
I’m asking you, I need your support, I need you to engage, to connect, to give a percentage, to invite, and to serve! I’m not asking you to do 100 things or even 10 things, but to consider doing your part in 4 mission-critical areas: