Sunday, July 26 was a great day. I was excited to see all of those who showed up to eat, connect, and have the desire to serve this fall. It is going to be an exciting year and I can’t wait to see what God is going to do in our church and through our church.
There was a problem though. I was distracted. I had so much I wanted to say but a number of things kept me off balance and I didn’t communicate some of the most important things I wanted to express.
So, with that, here is what I wanted to say…
FIRST OF ALL… THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! The volunteers at Paragon are awesome! I am so grateful for each and every person that takes time to serve the people of Paragon and the people of Rio Rancho.
Whether it be cleaning or teaching or making coffee or greeting or… you are making a bigger difference than you may ever know. You really are changing lives.
And that is why we do what we do… to change lives… to change the world.
We exist as a church to be an agent of change. To see lives change and ultimately see our world change.
Our vision at Paragon is help people grow closer in their relationship to Jesus Christ.
Whether a person has no knowledge of Jesus or a person has been “walking” with Him for years, we want to be catalysts in seeing people deepen their connection with Him daily.
Simply put, we want you to Come as you are. Be Changed. Go change the world.
It is why we do what we do. To see God change us and to see God change others.
Why is that important to know? Because we must know that weekend services, connection groups, Bible studies, and any other gathering is more than just an event, it is our vision in action.
We have a tendency to miss that in the church and in our lives. Everything we do is pointing towards our end goal, our vision.
Like Andy Stanley says, “You’re going to end up somewhere. It might as well be on purpose.”
The concept of vision is all throughout the Scriptures. Abraham carried within himself the vision of land and a multitude of descendants. Moses led the Children of God with the vision of the Promise Land in mind. Joshua advanced his army with a vision in mind. Jonah had a vision that turned him the other way. The magi traveled a great distance over a great period of time with the vision of meeting the newly born King. Jesus had a vision in mind to save you, me, and the rest of the world.
For the church (our church), our end goal is to see lives and our world change.
Not only is the vision important to know, it is also critically important to keep fresh and up front. Why?
Vision creates unity. It unites people around God’s leadership.
Vision creates energy. It moves us from stagnancy to mission.
Vision provides purpose. It helps us realize we are a part of something significant.
Vision fosters risk-taking. To fulfill a God sized vision, you have to get out of your comfort zone.
Vision enhances leadership. It keeps leadership on task.
Vision promotes excellence. It does not permit laziness or sloppiness.
Vision sustains ministry. It keeps us focused and moving forward (even when you might want to throw in the towel).
Here is another question to ponder… What drives our vision?
Our Core Values… that which oozes from us… which is communicated from us at all times… it is what flows from the heart (you show what value by what you do)
Here are the ones I have written down (though we need to work on them oozing from us)
#1 - GOSPEL CENTERED (and every other one hinges on this fact)
#2 - WORSHIP (both corporate and individual)
- through being and doing
#3 - PRAYER (both corporate and individual)
#4 - DISCIPLESHIP (be a disciple - make a disciple)
- Saved people serve people - Growing People change
#5 - EVANGELISM (reaching people - reaching a community)
- Found people Find people
- In the book of Acts, the church was growing. It says in 2:47 that the church was “adding daily those who were being saved.”
- How do we add daily those who are being saved?
#6 - CONNECTION (with God, with each other, with community)
- realize you can’t do life alone
These six things will be the driving force behind our vision to reach our community for Christ and see life change take place.
You may say, that is a BIG TASK - how can we accomplish that? The answer is “just like eating an elephant… one bite at a time.”
One bite at a time.
Do you realize that when Moses was called to get God’s people out, it was a big task? Every step along the way he followed God. Even as he was taking the Israelites out of Egypt that he stopped at the edge of the Red Sea and waited for God to show up. He didn’t try to figure it out on his own… he waited, he listened, and he followed.
We wait for God to show up.
We follow God’s leading and direction.
Today I would like you to PRAY for God to show up and direct you on where to go… where to serve… who to disciple… who to be discipled by… where to plug in… who to share the love of Christ with.