GREATNESS COMES FROM SERVING
Morning. My name is David Sorn, and I’m the Lead Pastor here at Renovation Church.
Good morning to you!
I know many of you are anxious to hear me talk about our timeline for opening up our building…
But before I do so, I want to start by pointing us to God’s Word.
Would you open up with me to Mark Chapter 10?
For context, Jesus has just been asked by two of his disciples if they can sit on his left and right in His Kingdom.
They want the most prominent places… the left and right of his throne.
And Jesus begins to explain to them that they don’t really understand what it means to be great.
They’re thinking greatness is when everyone is looking at you, serving you, and doing what you want.
In Mark 10, Jesus says that they think greatness is what the Gentiles (the non-Jews) around them are doing….
Their leaders lord their authority over their servants and boss them around…and therefore, apparently, prove and demonstrate their greatness that way.
But now watch what Jesus says to his disciples…verses 43-45
(Mark 10:43-45) – NIV
43 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Look at verse 43:
Not so with you.
4 great words.
The people of this world are obsessed with fame and power…
Not so with you.
The people of this world define greatness by the number people who listen and serve them
Not so with you.
You, follower of Jesus, if you want to become great…you must be a servant.
Your life must be about others, not about you.
Is that you?
Do you look like Jesus here?
Would people call you a servant?
Church, we as a body of Christ, we need to live this out right now,
We must live, not to please ourselves, or to live comfortably ourselves, but to live to serve others.
We are coming to a very important and critical juncture of our church’s story
As you know, we’ve been doing online services since December 6th due to the combined factors of not being able to meet at Northpoint Elementary anymore and our building not being finished.
I want to update you today on where we are in that process.
Our Worship Center in the building is not quite finished, however, our children’s wing and office wing are done, and the City of Blaine has given us occupancy for those two areas.
So, our staff has been allowed to move into our offices, which is amazing!
AND, we are now filming this service from the Children’s Wing of our building.
Even though there are lots of beautiful spots in here, I decided to have us just film up against a plain wall.
I know that so many of you have sacrificed so much over the last 6 years to get us here, that I want you to be able to walk in and experience this place in person…not by seeing it first during an online service.
They are finishing up a few final things in the Worship Center…
There are a few Audio/Visual things left, they need to finish the trim of the stage, and some final cleaning to be done.
Although construction on our Building will basically be done in the next week or two, and our building will be ready, WE are not ready as a church body.
Honestly, if we opened up in a week or two, we’d probably have to turn almost 100 people away over the next few weeks because, quite simply, we have a massive volunteer shortage due to people temporarily stepping off of our volunteer rosters this Fall.
It’s totally understandable given what we’ve all faced over this past year, and I believe it’s fixable, but we’re going to need a little time to fix it.
And, here’s why: We know that if we open up this beautiful building…people are absolutely going to come.
A lot of people.
And that, combined with the need to have 3 services at first due to social distancing…means that we’re going to need many of you (I daresay even the vast majority of you) to come back and serve with us…if we’re going to pull this off.
And so our plan is to officially open up with a special “Building Dedication Sunday” on February 7th.
That means, that after today, we’ll have 3 more weeks of online services, and then we’ll be meeting in person again, in our building!
I believe that 3 more Sundays of meeting online will give our leaders enough time to re-gather the volunteers we need, schedule them, and get our systems ready…
…and also allow us to finish construction, clean, and prepare the building…and LAUNCH!
Also, just a quick note, because I know many of you will ask this:
If we do NOT get enough volunteers coming back in the next 10 days or so, we’ll most likely push back the opening until we’ll ready.
I’ll tell you right now, I am not going to turn people away at that door…
We have to be ready.
OBEDIENCE OVER GLAMOUR
There is a lot you can do to help in the coming weeks before we open up
I’ll be sending out an email in the coming week or so as we need a TON of help unwrapping our 500 chairs (as each is wrapped in plastic) and then moving them into the Worship Center
We need to assemble a ton of kids chairs and tables, and more.
But the biggest thing you can do is re-sign up to serve on Sunday mornings.
When you come back, yes, we will, of course, still be social distancing, wearing masks, and all that.
We’re going to create a safe environment in a building with state-of-the-art ventilation…
However, I understand that there is a percentage of you listening that are not yet comfortable with coming back to an in-person service yet and will continue to watch online until you are vaccinated, etc.
You are a valuable part of a church still…and we know we will see you SOON.
But I also know, based on what I’m hearing, that the vast majority of you are absolutely planning to come when we open up
And if you’re coming (if you’re going to be there), we’re asking you to join a serving team, or in most of your cases, re-join your serving team.
Let’s look again to verse 44 in our passage:
(Mark 10:44) – NIV
44 and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all.
This is an intense verse? Is it not?
It’s one that many might skip over because Jesus uses such a strong word by saying “SLAVE” of all
God is our master.
And in serving Him, we are to be a slave of all.
He’s saying that our lives, our whole lives should be about living out our Master’s will.
This kind of Biblical teaching stands in stark contrast to the consumeristic Christianity you see in many American churches today.
Where people want to attend church solely for their own benefit, and so they seek churches that will most benefit them.
Following Jesus isn’t about figuring out how Jesus can make your life great.
That’s the exact opposite of this passage.
Following Jesus is about service.
The longer you follow Jesus, you’ll probably find that most of your spiritual growth will come when you’re serving, leading, or teaching others…not when you’re consuming.
And so I’m asking you, from God’s Word, to serve the people of this church.
And not just the people of this church…but the many, many, many people who are going to walk through our doors in search of Jesus in the coming months.
We need you.
We need you more than ever.
30,000 cars drive by that building every day…
People are talking about it…
They’re asking EVERY DAY, “When’s it going to open? When’s it going to open?
THEY’RE GOING TO COME!
We need you.
For the many of you that have served with us in the past, this week your Ministry Leader will be reaching out to you to ask you if you’re coming back to serve once we open up the building.
If you’ve never served before, I encourage you to sign-up right now.
You can either go the serve page of our website.
Or to the connect tab of our app.
I encourage you to even pause this video sometime and do it as you’re thinking about it right now
Again, if you’re not comfortable with attending in-person services yet, I want you to know I completely respect you and your decision, and that’s okay.
But if you’re coming, if you’re going to be here, serve with us.
It’s what we do as followers of Jesus. As his disciples.
We are the anti-consumerism church.
We’re in the position we’re in (to open this great building) because of the servant and sacrificial hearts of the people of this church.
We dare not transform now into consumers.
This place is getting bigger, but don’t you dare think we’re turning into a cruise ship, this is a row boat.
Pick up an oar
We know a lot of people are going to come, and by doing a lot of services, we have to fill a lot of slots.
And by a lot, I mean…A LOT
We need 15 more (or returning) Greeters
33 more people on our Cleaning Team for between and after our services
In fact, all of our teams need people!
And, most significantly, the number of people volunteering in our Kids Ministry has literally been cut in half since COVID started…half.
We simply cannot open up all of our kids classrooms, for 3 services, missing 50% of our volunteers
It’s not possible.
If we thought you all were still going to stay at home with virus concerns, I would never come to you and ask, but I don’t think the case…I’m pretty sure most of you are coming.
So if you’re coming, serve with us
In fact, I want you to look at what we’re doing over the next few months…as almost like a church plant.
You know when we send 20 or so of our people to our church plants, those people go all-in for the next 9 months or so to help the new church get off the ground.
When a church plant begins, there aren’t a lot of committed Christians, so many of those launch team members will serve every single week…sometimes even for 9 months.
So, Your leaders are going to reach out to you and ask you, not only if you’re willing to come back and serve, but how often you’re willing to serve these next two months.
And I’m asking if some of you will consider replying to your Ministry Leader’s email that you will serve double for the next few months
If you normally serve once a month, tell them you’ll serve twice a month
If you normally serve twice a month, tell them you’ll serve every week for this short bit to get us open, off the ground, and running again.
With social distancing (6 feet between rows AND families), we can only fit 145 adults in that Worship Center, even though it seats close to 500 normally!
And so we’re going to be running 3 services for a little while here.
Others of you can serve us in different ways…
We’ve talked a lot over the last few months about our Harvest Building Fund, which will end in just about 6 or 7 weeks
I do want to let you know that we are currently $33,000 short of where the Bank would like us to be.
If you’re able to help us close that critical gap, would you please get in touch with me this week?
I know some of you have the capacity to make a significant difference here.
That would be such a critical blessing as we seek to wrap up this project in balance.
If you don’t have the means to help with that gap, you have the voice to pray.
Would you pray with us this week that the Lord provides and helps us make up the $33,000 we’re behind and owe the bank?
JESUS IS OUR EXAMPLE
Would you look with me at verse 45 again?
(Mark 10:45) – NIV
45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Think about this.
Even Jesus didn’t come to be served.
And if anyone, EVER on earth, deserved to be served, and had the right to say, “Please serve me,” it was Jesus.
But He lived to serve.
There are so many American Christians who claim to imitate Jesus and want to live just like Him.
But can you imagine Jesus walking into weekend worship and saying, “I’m just kind of here for me this year. I’ve got some stuff I need to work on and grow in”
His whole life was about service.
His DEATH was about service.
The main purpose of His life, He says, was to give his life as a ransom.
You were deserving of death, of hell, for your sins.
But he offered Himself, His perfect and holy life, as a ransom…as payment for YOUR sins.
He had his blood poured out, so you could live and be forgiven.
And church, if we’re going to reflect Him…
If we’re going to make incredible inroads into this community and proclaim the awesome power and love of Jesus…
We have to look like Him.
Our lives have to be poured out.
I was driving through my neighborhood on Friday morning, on my way to the church, and it once again hit me, 3 out of every 4 houses in this city isn’t saved.
They don’t know Christ.
They’re on a path to an eternity of suffering without Him.
And we can be a part of letting them know.
And God is about to let A LOT of them know over this next year, through this church.
Be a part of it.
Come and serve with us.
Come, and change the world with us.
Let me pray.
Copyright: David Sorn
Renovation Church in Blaine, MN
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JANUARY 10, 2021