Sermon

Three Takeaways from this Pastoral Transition

NOTE: This blog contains my notes for my Sunday message preached at Big Life Church in Rapid City, SD on January 31, 2021 and is especially dedicated to the amazing Big Life congregation that Sonja and I have grown to truly love, respect, and cherish, especially through this pastoral transition.


Sermon Title: Three Takeaways from this Pastoral Transition

No photo description available.

Introduction

Illustration of how the word “intentional” became one of the most important words in my life.

You have done well as a church; I want to help you process why.  (Intentionality)

__________

FIRST: This Building and Property Matter.

  • Holy Places Matter.

Scripture: Genesis 28:17-22 (NKJV)

17 And he was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven!”

18 Then Jacob rose early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put at his head, set it up as a pillar, and poured oil on top of it.

19 And he called the name of that place Bethel; but the name of that city had been Luz previously. 

20 Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me, and keep me in this way that I am going, and give me bread to eat and clothing to put on, 21 so that I come back to my father’s house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God. 

22 And this stone which I have set as a pillar shall be God’s house, and of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You.”

  • Illustration: From The Lost History of Christianity
  • Application: Going forward, keep your loyalty and commitment to your church about maintaining and cherishing the holy place.   Your commitment is a reflection of your love and reverence to the God who makes it holy and a statement and witness to your city and the world. 

SECOND: Your Fellow Believers Matter.

Scripture: John 13:34-35 (NKJV)

34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 

35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

  • Illustration: My admonishment to the grieving… (left-handed)
  • One of the most consistent illustrations used in the N.T. to illustrate a local congregation is comparing them to a human body.

Romans 12:3-6 (NKJV)

For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. 

For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. 

Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them:

  • Application: Going forward, keep your loyalty and commitment to your church about loving, serving, and cherishing the body of Christ—your dearly loved brothers and sisters who meet in this holy place.

THIRD: The Gifts of Jesus Christ Matter.

Scripture: Ephesians 4:7-8 (NKJV)

But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore He says: “When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive,
and gave gifts to men.”

Ephesians 4:11-16 (NKJV)

11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 

12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

  • Illustration: Big Life has three living pastors (James + Norwood-Cooper + Bowman) and each of them has had a particular and important purpose in Jesus’ plans for this church and city.

I Corinthians 3 –

  • Ministers are farmers – Jesus gives the increase.
  • Ministers are builders, building on the foundation of Jesus Christ.
  • Application: Going forward, honor and cherish the Gifts Jesus has given you while making room to love, honor and support the new Gift (Bowmans) Jesus has now given you.  Remember, when your pastor wins, you win.

Hebrews 13:17 (NKJV)

Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.

Review

FIRST: This Building and Property Matter. (Holy Places Matter.)

  • Application: Going forward, keep your loyalty and commitment to your church about maintaining and cherishing the holy place.   Your commitment is a reflection of your love and reverence to the God who makes it holy and a statement and witness to your city and the world. 

SECOND: Your Fellow Believers Matter.

  • Application: Going forward, keep your loyalty and commitment to your church about loving, serving, and cherishing the body of Christ—your dearly loved brothers and sisters who meet in this holy place.

THIRD: The Gifts of Jesus Christ Matter.

  • Application: Going forward, honor and cherish the Gifts Jesus has given you while making room to love, honor and support the new Gift (Bowmans) Jesus has now given you.  Remember, when your pastor wins, you win.

*****

Conclusion

A personal testimony: My rookie boldness + Gene Forrest’s investment in me made for a winning combination.

One thought on “Three Takeaways from this Pastoral Transition

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