On Being a Diligent Servant from Stephen Sizer on Vimeo.
Christ Church Anniversary 2009
Hands up if you ever have dreams. What do you like to dream about? Have you ever seen a vision of the future? What kind of future do you long for? In the Bible, God gives us a vision of the future.
“And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” …Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children.” (Revelation 21:3-7)
The Bible says a lot about dreams and visions. God says we should expect them. He promises to give them to us.
‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.” (Acts 2:17)
God says he will give us dreams, visions and prophecies. We should expect them because we have God’s Holy Spirit living in us. It is normal to have dreams. It is biblical to have visions. And God expects us to prophesy as well – That means to tell others about what God is doing in our lives and what God is going to do in the future. As we trust what God has said in the Bible, he uses dreams, visions and prophesy to encourage us to be faithful and bring others to know him through Jesus. They also help motivate us to be diligent servants until the day King Jesus returns.
We believe God has given the leaders of Christ Church a vision of our future as a church. A vision born of prayer and the Holy Spirit. You received a copy today.
It is probably the most important document we have produced in many years. Please take care of it. Keep it with your Bible. Use it in your prayers. There are six parts. Each answers a simple question: Why? When? Where? What? How? Who?
Why? Why are we here? This is answered in our Mission Statement.
“To know Jesus and make Jesus known.” That is why we are here. That is why we exist as a church. That’s the why?
When? When will we achieve our vision and goals? It is called ‘2020’ because we long for 20-20 perfect vision.
We feel it is prudent, with all the changes going on in our world, to seek a vision of where God would have us be as a church in ten years time.
Where? Where are we going? Where does God want us to be in ten years? These are the ‘imagine’ statements.
They help us imagine, by God’s grace, what Christ Church will be like in ten years. They encapsulate what the Bible says God wants his Church to become.
What? What goals do we need to become the Church God intends?
These are specific, attainable, measurable over the next five years. Prepared by the various ministry teams. They build on what has been accomplished in the last five years.
How? How are we going to achieve our goals? How will we realize our vision?
Our Distinctive Values on the back of our 2020 vision explain our core biblical values. (read some) Why? Where? When? What? How? Finally,
To the glory of God and the future of Virginia Water, involving everyone of us in Christ Church family. As we read in Luke’s Gospel, Jesus says we all have a part to play in his vision for Christ Church. He gives us three reasons.
Jesus is Royalty: We are His Subjects
“A man of noble birth went to a distant country to have himself appointed king and then to return.” (Luke 19:12)
Jesus is talking about himself. He calls us to be his loyal subjects.
“Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth.” (Philippians 2:9-10)
Jesus is Reigning: We are His Servants
“But his subjects hated him and sent a delegation after him to say, ‘We don’t want this man to be our king.’ “He was made king, however, and returned home. Then he sent for the servants to whom he had given the money, in order to find out what they had gained with it.” (Luke 19:14-15)
All people are his subjects, whether they recognize Jesus as King or not. It is our privilege to be his obedient servants using the talents he has entrusted to us.
Jesus is Returning: We are Stewards
“Well done, my good servant!’ … ‘Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities… ‘I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away.’ (Luke 19:17, 26)
Jesus wants to see a return on his investment in you and me. God has a plan for your life. A purpose behind the person he has made you.
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10)
As we learn to serve Jesus on earth, so he is preparing us to serve him in heaven. As we are faithful in small things, we show ourselves trustworthy with greater things.
What is our motive behind the 2020 Vision? Do we expect Christ Church to grow as a result? How big do we want Christ Church to be? Wrong question.
The right question is this: Is there anyone in Virginia Water who has not heard about the love of God found in Jesus Christ?
“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)
Our new 2020 Vision and Five Year Plan encapsulate the priorities we believe God has given us as a church for the next few years. We invite you to help turn this vision into reality as his loyal subjects, as his obedient servants, and his wise stewards.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for giving us a clear vision of our future. Thank you for helping us set goals that will enable us fulfil our mission as a church. We want to know Jesus and make Jesus known. As your faithful servants, please help us to discern how each one of us can fulfil our part in your mission and help turn our vision into a reality. We ask this in Jesus name and in the power of your Holy Spirit. Amen.