Envision: A Church After God's Heart (4 of 4) by James Merritt

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Envision: A Church After God's Heart (4 of 4)
James Merritt
Matthew 22:36-37; 20:26-28; 28:18-20

Introduction

[music] it doesn’t happen very often. When it does happen it is so different from everything else that can happen that you realize that it has “this is a god thing” written all over it. At least, for me, on very rare occasions, an opportunity comes along that you realize only god could have put before you.

You know it because only god could have engineered all of the circumstances that were necessary to coalesce and come together for this “god thing” to happen. It works like this: god begins to stir your heart and puts restlessness in your soul that you are to make a change in your life, because you want to make an even greater difference with your life. It is almost like a god-baked fortune cookie that you break open in your mind and the message is, “brace yourself. Iam about to do something unbelievable in your life.”

For me, it was a phone call and then a meeting over lunch and then a drive onto this property where we are right now. Iknew immediately, in my heart, that this was from the hand of god.

Seventy-one acres, of some of the most prime property in this county, three hundred and sixty thousand square feet of buildings begging to be retrofitted and renovated for the glory of god andIsaw immediately three things:

-opportunity
-challenge
-stewardship

I saw a great opportunity to do a fresh work for god. Ialso saw a challenge of basically starting from scratch to do it, butIalso saw our stewardship. This property was put into our hands, to be maximized, to reach people for Christ.

When we came here, we said from the beginning, we were going to be intentional about reaching the next generation while also being a multi-generational church. The reason for that is simple. Either a church will continue to reach the next generation or it will die.

For the past four years we have experienced many growing pains and even though we have come a long way starting out in a school with roughly four-hundred people, we also realize we still have a long way to go.

That raises the big question - “where do we want to go? Just who is cross pointe church? What is it we believe sets our church apart and makes us different? What is the church that we want you to envision?”

The first thing that must happen in order for you to see the vision that god has laid upon my heart (and want to emphasize this is my vision and my passion) is this: you must see the church that is beyond the church. What I mean by that is - you are the church. In a real sense, you don’t go to church. You bring the church with you. When you leave the church you take the church with you.

In other words, we’ve got to move from doing church to being the church. Envision a church that goes from doing church one day a week to being the church seven days a week. A church that understands that is it everyone, everywhere, everyday being ...


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