Preacher: Josh White
At the Western I want to give you an update on what is happening with our relocation project and before I say anything else I just want to say and I’ve mentioned this to some of you before that I have never been a part of something so so big and so complex as a possible relocation project and have done so little work to make this happen so this is kind of I guess more confirming I think for me and I think the board and the second thing I want to say before I give you some of these details is the best thing about this so far over these last four months about four months is how well the board has worked together and the unity that the board has had throughout this entire process as we’ve talked and as we discuss things and and look at all the options we have had an incredible amount of unity and every time the board decides something it is completely unanimous and as we move forward it’s been just been really great to see and so here’s sort of a recap of what has happened so far so in the summer what we did is we had a group of people that were we met together and we were going to talk to our neighbor who is right over there I got it right this time he’s over there or next door neighbor and we sat down with him I think it was going to Thursday night we said hey we don’t want to consider possibly buying your property and renovating it and building something over there well the next day Bennett sends me a link to a church that’s for sale in the area and as we look at this we realize you know what this this is probably a better option it’s cheaper faster and ultimately a nicer facility than anything that we can do and sold the board said you know we need to we need to actually see if this is a possibility and as the board met every time that we talked about this we felt that the best approach would be to say we will only pursue this if.
Not We’re going to make this happen we’re only going to pursue this if certain things happen and so the first thing is we made an offer to the other church and that offer was contingent upon our current visually approving it and then also we would have to sell our building first we didn’t want to be in a situation where we had two mortgages and so the. Cept our offer and then when we had our vote I remember the we only needed sixty six percent for it to pass and we were thinking well you know how do you know what percentage do we really want I think we’re talking we want to the least eighty percent for us to move forward and we got ninety three percent and so we were very encouraged by that and then we took the pledges at the same time the monthly pledges came in very strong and we obviously the budget is going to increase and moving into a larger facility the Monthly was very strong the down payment wasn’t what we were hoping for and the main reason why we wanted a large down payment and we still want a large down payment will do this in the next several weeks is because in five years from now we’re going to have to go from seller financing to a commercial loan and so we were hoping that if this were to happen we would want to already be in this comfort zone so in five years from now we wouldn’t have to worry about anything like that so we saw some work to do on the down payment but as far as right now the monthly is very strong so we’re definitely able to to meet those needs so as our board was discussing this we felt that OK if someone makes an offer on our church how are we going to decide if we’re going to accept it or not and the board felt and we unanimously decided if we get a full price offer full price offer we feel like God is saying take the next step and so we made that decision and then two months went by and we heard crickets nothing was going on nothing was happening some churches were coming in taking a look at the property I remember the realtor called me about two weeks ago and he said Hey I just want you to know couple churches are really interested in you might be getting some offers Well two Fridays ago we got an offer from a church Our building is listed at eight hundred ninety five thousand which is over what the estimated value is and the church offered us eight hundred thousand and they wanted to move in and three weeks and so when we heard that you know without really maybe we’re going to move maybe this isn’t going to have and so we thought well you know we have to answer them ironically we had our board meeting our monthly board meeting was Monday night which was last Monday and so we were thing. And we’re going to be prepared to maybe make a counteroffer and see what happens well Monday came and another church made an offer it was a full price offer and they said that we could move out in mid January on Tuesday a third offer came in for eight hundred twenty five thousand and I can remember the movie dates and so what we did is the board knew that the first offer was the best offer because it was all cash no appraisal needed no survey needed so we went back to the first people and we said we will gladly sell your church the syllabi if you raise it to full asking price and you let us move when we are ready to move not in three weeks in mid January and they said OK and so on Wednesday we opened escrow and so here’s here’s where things are at so these are some of the key dates this is what’s going on next we are now in a twenty day inspection period they’ve put I think it’s twenty five or twenty thousand dollars down on our property one of those two and after the twenty days if they back out for any reason it’s revokable we could keep the money so basically we have about fifteen days to know if they are serious and they’re going to move forward and so if that happens if they’re serious at the inspection period goes and the offer is still there then what we’re going to do is make sure that we go over to the new facility on twelfth Street we’ll do our own inspection we’ll make sure that we so want to move forward and so if all of these things continue to move forward here are the key dates we will close on this church property Friday January twelfth and we have about four or five days to move out they’ll take possession after that and so our last service here as of right now would be Sunday January fourteenth that’s an eight weeks from right now and so that’s after the holidays all right after the holidays and our first service over there will be January twenty first and so we’re going have about five days to move everything from here to the new new church and the greatest thing is it’s not in July it’s going to be in January and it’s actually you are Martin Luther King weekend so people are. Have Monday off and so the timing literally could not be any more perfect if this goes forward another thing about this is when we start taking the pledges we stole due we didn’t want to start taking the pledges either the down payment or the monthly pledges and tell this is going to actually happen and so if this continues to move forward well ask everybody to bring in the pledges on Sunday January seventh that’s when we want people to start doing that also and you’ll be hearing updates probably every Sunday from now on out but because in January if we do move to the new location we will only be in one service and so starting in January we’ll go back to one service so our schedule will be nine o’clock were shirt a Sunday school for everyone and ten thirty one worship service for all of us and so the last two Sundays that we have together all of us will be together OK so that’s something that we’re kind of we’re looking forward to and we’re planning and finally you know again this is this is not a done deal but we are definitely one huge step closer and I have never been a part of something so significant and have done virtually nothing to make this happen and so the board feels that God is continuing the open the doors and so as he continues to open the doors we’re just going to continue to walk by faith and do this and finally my last thought on this is from a ministry perspective than a ministry standpoint I think our church is really at a place where we’re we are ready for something like this and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that right now we are going through the series on the four chairs because in a way I’ve been thinking about this especially this last week this move of relocating is something similar to us as a church moving from a chair three type ministry to a chair for type ministry and I’m going to talk about that a little bit today but before we do that I want to just take a moment and let’s pray let’s pray about the social whole situation.
We just come before you and we’re we’re excited and more humbled but your involvement in our church and I know our church is about forty years old and we’ve been in this facility this location for the last twenty years but Lord you have done some wonderful things through the ministry of Grace Bible Church of Phoenix and we believe that the future is bright and so we just continue to ask and pray that you will make it very clear to us and give us wisdom and unity in the face about the direction that we’re supposed to go and father we want to continue what Jesus started or that we mean that we want to share the good news of your salvation for us through the death and resurrection of your son and we want people to grow in their faith and we want people to serve you and we want to invest in people who are going to repeat that process and so Father as we study this message that you believe your son and he showed us how to make disciples I pray that we will take it to heart and see where we’re at both as individuals and as a church and we will commit ourselves to this method of ministry of making followers of Jesus Christ and it’s in Christ name we pray Amen. Well this is our last Sunday on this series of our mission and our values as a church and so hopefully by now you know our mission is you’ve probably heard me say it so many times you can repeat this but we exist to develop committed followers of Jesus Christ through the teaching and encouragement of God’s word and so those are the last couple months we’ve talked about all of our values our values our Bible teaching preaching our values our healthy relationships and by that we want to see people have developed their intimacy with God their community with people inside the church and their influence with people outside the church we want to be see people be involved in faithful service and we want to see discipleship take place and so the last four weeks what I’ve been doing is I’ve been using this book by Dan Spader as a great illustration or a great example of what it means to disciple So for. Them to become a follower of Jesus Christ and for those of you who have any here in these last three weeks I hope that you see how this is this illustration of these four chairs it’s how it’s biblical it’s very practical it actually mimics normal human life of development and growth but it’s really just helpful for us to kind of analyze and evaluate we’re at where each of us are out as a follower of Jesus Christ ourselves and I all I honestly think that in some ways churches go through these steps in stages as well I going to church first for itself when it is a brand new church plant they are really good at reaching out to people and share one and seeing people come to faith and there’s that church grows and matures itself it moves through these stages and steps but what I want to do is I want to recap what each of these four chairs mean the first chair is for those who do not believe they do not have a relationship with Jesus Christ and so the issue that Jesus gave to the people was come and see and so cheer on is that issue or that challenge given to the world to come and see who I am and so that’s chair one chair two is for the new believer and the new believer has some very specific needs they need to learn a lot of identity issues in who they are in Christ they need to learn how to walk the Christian walk how to talk how to feed themselves how to clean themselves how to do all those things and so the issue that Jesus gave out in the challenge he gave out to the followers was follow me and so the issue or the challenge and chair two is to follow me. And for chair three and this is what we talked about last week Cheers three is probably the most difficult because chair three is all about the worker and this is when Jesus should the challenge come follow me and I will make you fishers of men I will put you out into a harvest field because there’s a lot of work to do and the worker. There are some challenges for the worker there is costs involved there suffering if you’re a follower of Christ and you want to serve him there’s going to be suffering very many different types of suffering there’s also pruning but there’s also great benefits there is joy when you focus on Jesus Christ just like Jesus he focused on the joy of.
Sitting at the right hand of the father after he was done and when a worker has been in chair three for a while it’s not God’s desire for them to say you know what I’ve put in my time I’ve done my job now I get to go back to chair to and relax and let somebody else feed me that’s not what Jesus wants us to do what God wants us to do is for us to want to cheer for so chairs three their focus is people and share one church to their to look at the people and share one and try to get them to understand the relationship with Jesus Christ and then look at Chair two and if eed them and let them understand these identity issues cheer for their focus is to move people in chair one inch or two into chairs three each so that they can focus on chair one in church too and so chair four is all about multiplication and the word Jesus says to his disciples I want you to bear much fruit Let me read that passage for you. This is in John Chapter fifteen and this is the last week of Jesus’ life on earth and he’s talking to those that are very close to him his disciples and he says in John fifteen verse five.
I am the vine in your the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him he it is that bears much fruit for apart from me you can do nothing. And then in verse eight it says By this my father is glorified that you bear much fruit and so proved to be my disciples Well what does that mean to bear much fruit what does Jesus talking about what kind of analogy is using here here. What he’s talking about bearing much fruit fruit is people and so would Jesus saying I want to see you make an impact in a difference in the life of people to see them go from chair one chair to Jesus didn’t actually say chair one chair two Chair three but you that’s kind of an illustration that we can understand I want you to turn over to Luke Chapter six I want you to see a couple things here.
Luke Chapter six
beginning in verse forty and we’re saying that this is Jesus’ message and so we’re going to actually see Jesus at work.
Some of the things that Jesus said and did to his disciples speaking of getting people into church three and even in the church for Luke Chapter six beginning in verse forty.
Jesus says this
Luke six forty Jesus says a disciple is not above his teacher but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher the word for fully trained his car to read so it can also mean he quipped And so Jesus goal is saying this I am training you and I want you to be fully trained fully equipped and when you’re fully equipped you’re not going to be my my student you’re going to be like me the teacher and so Jesus saying My goal for you is for you not to stand here three but to move on the chair for we’re look at several examples of this chair for type behavior but first I want you to go from Luke Chapter six go to Luke Chapter ten.
Luke Chapter ten and this is a this is a great one because here we see Jesus taking some of his disciples and in this chapter he’s moving them from chair to in the chair three he’s having them be not just people who are learning about him but now he actually puts them to work he sends them out into the harvest field so this is Luke Chapter ten verses one and two.
Says after this the Lord appointed seventy two others and sent them on ahead of them two by two into every town in place where he himself was about to go and he said to them the harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into the harvest go on your way Behold I am sending you out as lambs into the midst of wolves and so Jesus saying you’re going to be a worker I’m sending you out into the harvest and when they came back it’s interesting what happened basically they came back and said Jesus you can’t believe what album we were out there working for you out of the harvest field even demons submitted to your name they were all excited about this what happened when they’re out there working for Jesus and this is out Jesus responded look at verse twenty one.
This is the response of Jesus after the workers came back after experiencing life and cheer three twenty one it says in that same hour he read joist in the Holy Spirit and said I think you Father Lord of heaven and earth that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding it revealed them to little children yes father for such was your gracious will you know the interesting thing about this passage is this is the only place in all of the Gospels where it says that Jesus was full of joy or he rejoiced this is it this is the only place and think about the context Jesus was full of joy when the workers came back and celebrated that they had done his work Jesus is now in cheer for excited about moving people into chairs three and you know what that’s when we as a church should also read Joyce and that should be the goal of every church every believer to get to the place or we are helping others become those fishers of men right now what I want to do is just a huge introduction I actually want to get into the sermon notes and this is not going to be another half hour don’t worry about that but now. When we talk about chair for we can say that a chair for a person is someone who develops others into disciples developes others or excuse me to make disciples chair for is about developing others to make disciples and so what must a person do to move in did share for well I’m going to give you three things that someone cheer for they must commit to all right the first is this someone who wants to be in chair for in other words they want to help other people be make disciples someone cheer for must commit to being themselves a living example they must commit to their life modeling to others what it means to be a fully committed fully developed follower of Jesus Christ turn your Bibles over to first US alone in chapter two
in the first one in Chapter two what we do is we see Paul talking about his role and I’m going to use this illustration Paul is basically saying when I was with you people in Thessalonica I was acting from chair for that’s what Paul is saying I intentionally made my life a living example for you so first Isolani in Chapter Two beginning in verse six so this is Paul showing us that he is using this message as well first of all means to six Paul says nor did we see glory from people whether from you or from others though we could have made demands as apostles of crisis but while we were gentle we were gentle among you like a nursing mother taking care of her own children so being affectionately desirous of you we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves because you had become very dear to us and so Paul a saying I gave you not only instruction but I gave you my own life and no studies using the language of a parent to a child that’s the greatest way for us to understand what chair for is like you showing you model behavior like a parent does to the child person.
For you remember brothers are labor in toil we works night in day that we might not be a burden to any of you while we proclaimed you the gospel of God You are witnesses and God also how holy and righteous and blameless was our conduct towards you believers for you know how like a father to his children we exhorted each of you and encouraged you and charged you to walk in a manner worthy of God who calls you into his own kingdom in glory so Paul was committed to these people of being a living example he lived with them and he showed them exactly how to walk now let’s look at the results of Paul’s work among those in the. Nika turn back to chapter one.
In chapter one Paul is encouraging them because they they took Paul’s example and they use it themselves versus alone in chapter one beginning in verse two.
Paul Reiser them and he says we have thanks to God always for all of you constantly mentioning you in our prayers remembering before God and Father your work of face and labor of love and steadfastness of hope and our Lord Jesus Christ for we know brothers loved by God that he has chosen you because our gospel came to you not only in word but also in power in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction you know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake and you became imitators of us and of the Lord for you received the word in much of flexion with the joy of the Holy Spirit so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and K.-I for not only as the word of the Lord sounded forth from you in Macedonia and they carry K.-I but your facing God has gone forth everywhere so that we need not see anything for they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you and how you turn to God from idols to serve the living in true God and to wait for a Son from heaven whom we raise from the dead Jesus who delivered us from the rest to come in so this power of a godly consistent example it’s going to bear fruit we saw that with Paul and his example to the Festool and I can see and then how they modeled Paul’s behavior to other people in one of the things I’m most grateful about our church is all the little kids running around in the hallways at our church in need like NEED had sometimes you going to you know you’re going to bump into you they have this church a whole bunch of adults who I believe are committed to modeling to them consistently over the years what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ that’s what they need and that’s what we need to do as a church. So I want you to all understand that your example and not only to them not going to look at but to everyone here your example is powerful but it needs to be consistent and it needs to happen over years and years and years for a long time and so this is one of the things that a person must commit to if they’re going to be in chair for and out as a living example the next thing they must commit to is point number two they must commit to have an intentional investment intentional investment in other words they need to be able to say this is the person or this is the group that I’m going off to and be very specific about it a turnover in your Bible so Titus Chapter two
Titus chapter two.
And in this passage we see Titus or Paul telling Titus which groups are supposed to teach which groups what now the words the saying I want you to make an intentional investment in certain people’s lives. So tired Chapter Two beginning in verse one.
Paul says but as for you teach what accords with sound doctrine older men are to be sober minded dignified self controlled sound in face in love and instead fastness older women like wiser to be reverent in behavior not slanderers are slaves to much wine and here’s what he says they are to teach what is good and so train the young women to love their husbands and children to be self controlled pure working at home kind in submissive to their own husbands that the Word of God may not be reviled you see how specific Those instructions are very intentional and see how practical those instructions are and so they teach through example let’s keep going for six.
Likewise urge the younger men to be self-control show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works and in your teaching show integrity dignity and sound speech that cannot be condemned so that an opponent may be put to shame having nothing evil to say about us and so what we see here is a genuine concern by believers towards developing other believers you don’t find a Paul saying again after you’ve served in chairs three for this time go back to chair to he’s just saying what you need to do is don’t find someone that you can invest in find a specific person find specific groups of people that you can do that and so Paul is encouraging Titus to pick out those people and give them the vision for multiplication. I hope you see this in the Word of God I hope that I mean this is kind of clear it’s not rocket science but more importantly. Has anyone ever done something like this to you. Again older person in the face and whether they’re actually chronologically older than you or maybe that doesn’t really matter but someone who came along side you took a genuine specific interest in you and just kind of walked you through what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ if someone has done that to you that probably made a huge difference in your life and here’s the other question for those of you who consider yourself maybe at least a chair three or chair four Have you ever done that to someone else. RE said you know what I see so much potential in this person I’m just going to come alongside them in needs to be an intentional investment and we don’t have to worry ourselves by thinking we need to reach every single human being on the face of the earth if everyone were to say I’m going to invest in this person or these couple people see what a difference that would make within the church and also in the life of those people.
So that’s the second thing that a person needs to commit to intentional investment and finally there must also be a commitment to this vision for multiplication specifically moving people into chairs three so chairs three people what they do is they work after going towards people and share one in share to ensure one they tell them about their needs their spiritual needs a period person sure through a look at the person in church to and they tell them about their identity and who they are in Christ a person chair for what they did was try to move more people into chairs three they try to find more people and move them into that position where they’re going after cheer to ensure one people I want you to go over to chapter two of the second or second term of the Chapter two verses one in general.
And this is the a very specific instructions that Paul gave to Timothy. Second Timothy Chapter two.
So I can give the Chapter two verses one into.
Making sure I have the right reference or yes I do so you. Timothy Chapter two verses one and two Paul says it’s him of the you then my child be strengthened by the grace that is in Jesus Christ Jesus and what you have heard from mean in the presence of many witnesses in trust to face full man who will be able to teach others. You see what Paul is saying you’ve seen this in me and so I want you to entrust this in other people who are going to intrust it to the people coming up after them and so Paul is saying this is the model for ministry Timothy I want you to do this and so Timothy basically poll saying Timothy I want you to go make more fishers of men I want you to go after people make fishers of men and so this is the message that we see that Jesus used in making his disciples we see this is the method that Paul uses he went on his missionary journeys and this is the instruction I think that we as believers have that should be the message that we adopt as a church for making disciples that’s how life works and this is how Ministry should work as well our goal as a church should not be to get as many people in chair to and to get them to know as much about the Bible so they can answer all the questions the right way all right that’s not the purpose of church that’s what purpose is for chair to only begins there we want them to move on so that they serve and they also invest in others well where do we do this in church where do we do this whole process of discipleship you know sometimes it just happens naturally over the years but we have had a few ministries that are very specific about doing this in fact one of the ministries It’s called apples of gold it’s based on Titus chapter two or it says older women train the younger women so we’ve done that we’ve also done some discipleship with some of the younger men in the church I’m also man months what I’ve done Man Month had some guys learn how to preach and teach I’ve kind of done some of that but you know I think the best thing our church is ever had for Seen this disciple discipleship process continue to develop is a youth camp.
For those of you or a camp you’re like oh yeah I can see that because in camp what you do is you have all the kids the kids are in chair one chair to write and then eventually what you want to have a some of those campers they grow up and they say OK now it’s my turn I want to be a counselor and when they become a counselor they’re moving from chair two to cheer three and we have so many of the young people in our church and the kids in our church who have gone through a West Coast Grace youth camp and a lot of the young adults and adults in our church here today serving went through camp and so it’s been one of the greatest things that we’ve had for our churches made an impact on our church one ministry that we are going to grow and develop in the coming months and years is Homebase small groups I think that you’ve heard me talk about this but here is our plan for small groups in January and February what we’re going to do is run have an initial group we’re going to train leaders how to manage and run a small group and then in March April and May kind of coming up towards a Memorial Day we’re going to ask everybody in the church to try a small group and it will probably be for about eight weeks or nine weeks or ten weeks and then we’ll take the summer off so all go hide into our air conditioned homes and we won’t come out until the fall and then in the fall we want to do is we want to launch home based small groups for the entire church and I want to try to emphasize something about small groups I want to tell you about the power of small groups in small groups Homebase small groups you have a stronger sense of community you know when people come to the church right now we’re hoping that they can get connected to other people but when you get involved in a smaller group of people you’re truly going to get to know them and it’s going to be an incredible encouragement for people also if people are in small groups it’s the best first line of congregational care a lot of times people can just fall through the cracks you mean you don’t know what’s going on in people’s lives but if someone is involved in a home a small group those ten or twelve people that they see on a weekly basis they’re going to be there to support them and encourage them and also. In small groups I think it is easier to help people move up in chairs in that type of ministry mainly because it is so personal and it is so consistent in fact I think developing small group leaders to reach new people might be the best form of discipleship that any church can ever have a small group ministries home a small group ministries are doing their they’re doing phenomenal things in different parts of the world here in America people just need to make a commitment to carving out time in their schedules and so we want to do that as a church and as as I’m thinking about a home a small groups who kind of thing about this for a while and that’s possibly relocating I kind of see God’s timing in all of this is kind of exciting for me as a as I look at this I think God has brought our church to this point on purpose and I feel like we’re a church a kind of constantly hovers between chairs three and share four and we don’t have enough ministries right now for everyone to move in the chair three inch or four and so I see us moving possibly relocating from this building to the next building it’s going to give us more opportunities to move people from chair to the chair three and these home base small groups from chair three to chair four and I just see how God’s been working in the life of the church over all these years and and I think it’s pretty exciting so this relocation project is not only about us getting a bigger facility or a nicer facility and it’s going to be a lot nicer but it’s going to provide more opportunities for this discipleship process to take take place and that has to be our mindset that has to be the reason why we’re doing this otherwise we shouldn’t do it that’s got to be why we’re doing this well you know kind of wrap this up I think this move thinking about relocating I’m I’m excited I’m also scared if you’re not scared than you’re not thinking correctly I think there’s some scary things about it but you know as I’ve seen this unfold I just have this peace that God is he’s been opening these doors for us and more importantly my excitement for what this will mean is for. As our ministries are the most exciting thing for me well I hope you have learned something and using this illustration a series of the four chairs and if you haven’t necessarily learned anything new I hope that you have been inspired like I have been inspired just to seeing how important it is for us to commit to making disciples and for those for as Jesus did and for those who followed after him Well I’m excited for the future of our church and the Maison main reason for that is because I’m excited about the people in our church and I think we have a tremendous future no matter where we are but as we grow we must turn around and invest in those who follow after us both the kids and the people God brings into our path and so let’s close in prayer and commit ourselves to this model of ministry let’s pray
Dear Lord I thank you so much for the consistent ministry that you had here Grace problem church of Phoenix over these last forty years and I don’t think that you make any mistakes father I think we are exactly where we should be in terms of time location the people that are in this church and Father we see so many people in this church that have wonderful gifts and abilities and you want them to use and develop them and so no matter what happens Father I pray that you’ll help us as the leaders of this church to be creative and create opportunities for more Ministry more disciple making a place Father we just we just leave this in your hands this relocation project it’s been neat and wonderful to see you open these doors and Lord them if you continue to open them help us all to have faith. That you are providing for us and things will be OK and that we can move forward and also Lord more importantly than that help us to know who we are as a church we exist to develop committed followers of Jesus Christ to help us Lord be committed to that we love you Lord Jesus we praise Christ.