by Tony Nester

This content is part of a series.

The Church that Jesus Envisioned, Part 1 of 3
Pastor Tony R. Nester
Trintiy United Methodist Church, Waverly, Iowa
Matthew 16:13-20

I've decided to begin my preaching ministry with you
by exploring Jesus' vision for his church. I want to
spend today and our next two Sundays together focusing
on Matthew 16:13-20. You'll find a Scripture insert
page in your worship folder - please take it our so we
can have this Scripture before us. We're going to let
this Scripture help us catch sight of the church as
Jesus envisioned it.

Not too long ago the Minneapolis Star Tribune ran an
article about the way children say things about God
that make us stop and think. Margaret Hernlem of Red
Wing, Minnesota sent in this story. It was lunchtime .
. .The eight little chairs were filled with children
as they waited with folded hands. The prayer began,
"Come Lord Jesus and be our guest. . . ." Bright eyed
2½-year-old Andrew suddenly stopped praying, looked up
and asked, "Where's he going to sit?"(1).

It's easy to ask Jesus to be with us without really
expecting anything to change. Little Andrew realized
instinctively that if Jesus really did come and sit
with them they would have to make room for him.

This is one of my struggles as a pastor. I know that
sounds odd. But it's the truth. It's not easy for me
to make room for Jesus in my ministry. All too often I
get busy with the business of running the church. I
get caught up in my own opinions. I get immersed in
other people's expectations. What kind of worship
should we have? What kind of music should we sing?
What kind of programs should we have? And in all that
busyness and conversation it's easy to forget about
Jesus. And so I have to stop and go back and read my
Bible, pray, meditate, and try to let Jesus tell me
more about the church that he envisioned. I have to
keep working at making room for him in my ministry.

That's why I'm startin ...

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