DNA – The Core of the Local Church – Part 2
(Isaiah 54:2 NKJV) “Enlarge the place of your tent, And let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings; Do not spare; Lengthen your cords, And strengthen your stakes.
The stakes are what holds up the tent by providing the tension on the tent material to keep it strong and erect.
DNA – the fundamental and distinctive characteristics or qualities of someone or something, especially when regarded as unchangeable.
In the church world and especially at SpringHill Church, it is the fundamental and distinctive characteristics that are unchangeable that make us who we are.
SpringHill Church exists to reach everyday people with God’s grace, His unconditional love, and the life-changing power of His Word.
At SpringHill Church, we organize ourselves around these four guiding principles to fulfill our purpose.
We lead people to:
- Know Jesus – (Salvation)
- Encounter God – (Worship and Prayer)
- Experience Life-Change – (Discipleship)
- Make A Difference – (Service)
- We lead people to Know Jesus.
In Luke 15, there is the story of the one lost sheep, the lost coin, and the lost son.
(Luke 15:1-7 NLT) Tax collectors and other notorious sinners often came to listen to Jesus teach. (2) This made the Pharisees and teachers of religious law complain that He was associating with such sinful people–even eating with them! (3) So Jesus told them this story: (4) “If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it? (5) And when he has found it, he will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders. (6) When he arrives, he will call together his friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’ (7) In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away!
(Luke 15:8-10 NLT) “Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Won’t she light a lamp and sweep the entire house and search carefully until she finds it? (9) And when she finds it, she will call in her friends and neighbors and say, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost coin.’ (10) In the same way, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels when even one sinner repents.”
(Luke 15:11 NLT) To illustrate the point further, Jesus told them this story: “A man had two sons.
(Luke 15:20 NLT) “So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him.
(Luke 15:20 MSG) He got right up and went home to his father. “When he was still a long way off, his father saw him. His heart pounding, he ran out, embraced him, and kissed him.
- In these parables, Jesus tells us that God is greatly focused and distracted by the lost child.
- We should also be focused on and distracted by whatever God is focused on and what distracts Him.
How to win people to Christ:
One of our primary purposes is to reach people for Jesus. Every one of us can do our part by following these four principles:
- Accept the personal responsibility.
(2 Corinthians 5:17-20 NLT) (17) This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! (18) And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to Himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to Him. (19) For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And He gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. (20) So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making His appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!”
(God does not have a plan B)
- Build a personal relationship.
(Colossians 4:5-6 NLT) Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity. (6) Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.
(Colossians 4:6 MSG) Be gracious in your speech. The goal is to bring out the best in others in a conversation, not put them down, not cut them out.
When you need help or have a problem that you want to get off your chest, where do you go to unload? Do you call your mechanic; the person that rang you up at Target yesterday; the person you saw pumping gas two rows over at the gas station?
How would you feel if a stranger came up to you and began to talk to you about personal matters?
How do you feel when the doorbell rings and it is a pair of well-meaning people that have come to talk to you about a religion that you are not a part of nor know much about?
- Share your personal story.
Never underestimate the power of your story of what Jesus has done in your life.
(Acts 2:32 NKJV) This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses.
Peter did not share what he had heard happened to Jesus, he shared what he had personally experienced.
- Give a personal invitation.
You can invite them to make a decision in that moment.
Be led by the Holy Spirit because you may be a seed planter, a waterer, or a harvester.
(1 Corinthians 3:6-7 NLT) (6) I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow. (7) It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow.
At the very least, you can invite them to church where they can experience God and His people.
If they are ready, lead them in a simple prayer:
“Lord Jesus, I repent of my sins. Wash me clean in Your blood. I make you my Lord and Savior. Amen.”
Remember the simple prayer of the thief on the cross, “Jesus, remember me when you get to your Kingdom.”