Sermon:  Transformation Transition

(8 of 8 in "Rubber Meets the Road" which is a follow up of "Your Kingdom Come Series")

Summary:  Since transformation into the image of Christ in order to carry out his mission 
is an ongoing process, transition is a part of life.  To reject transition is to reject 
transformation leading to things such as stagnant faith, legalism, and comfortable religion.  
We need to not be fearful of what the Lord has in store for us in engaging an ever changing 
world with the Gospel.

Know:  Ministry methods are more fluid than the ministry message.  Incarnational mission 
means being willing to engage in ministry in the most effective way

Feel:  The freedom to explore dynamic ministry methods

Do:  Explore ways to minister in effective and innovative ways that are purposeful and 
faithful to God's mission

Text:  2 Cor 3:18 - 4:7

Scripture Reading:  Phil 3:13

1.  How many places have you lived?  Stacey and I counted up the number - 13 houses in 9 
different cities! - That was life for me growing up.
2.  Transition is a scary word - It means change
	a.  Like going to a new school, new town, new job
	b.  Sometimes it is uncomfortable - voice changes, growing pains. etc.
	c.  But transition can be a move to something better than before
	d.  Transition is necessary to get from one place to another
3.  This morning we'll look at some principles of transition - 2 Cor 3

I.  Transition is a part of spiritual growth 
	A.  What happens when you become a Christian?
		1.  We use words such as, "repent, change, convert…"
		2.  We are not the same as we were before
	B.  (2 Cor 3:18) When you come to know God, you don't stay the same
		1.  It says you are "being" transformed into his image
			a.  It doesn't say it is an end product
			b.  Transformation is an ongoing process
		2.  You are not the same as you were last year, and will not be the 
		     same next year
			a.  As you grow, the way you react, think, serve changes
			b.  As you walk with God, your attitude changes
			c.  As you grow in understanding, even some of your beliefs 
		3.  Bible calls us, "children" of God, not "adults" of God - 1 Jn 3:1
			a.  Implies that we are always growing and learning
			b.  Do children's beliefs change?  Yes
	C.  ILL:  Like the little boy who worried about Jesus 
		1.  "I don't want Jesus to be in my heart!"
			a.  Why?  Don't you love Jesus?
			b.  Yes, that is why I don't want him there
				- What if he gets lonely there?
				- What does he do when he gets hungry?
				- What about when he needs to go to the bathroom?
		2.  Children's beliefs change
			a.  Babys do not come from the stork
			b.  Jack Frost does not live in the fridge
			c.  and the list goes on and on
		3.  ILL:  Several years ago, a brother criticized someone for his 
		     beliefs "changing"
			a.  I never trust someone changes in their beliefs!  I have 
			     NEVER changed at all!
			b.  I doubt that is true.  If it were, it would be a sign of 
			     stagnation or death
	D.  Jer 18 - God is the potter, we are the clay
		1.  He is constantly working and molding us
		2.  In a sense, we are in a state of transition to glory
		3.  Our job is to be yielding, we may not look the same tomorrow
			a.  Our actions, attitudes, words, traditions, beliefs are to be 
			     molded by God
			b.  ***He wants to shape us for his mission…

II.  Transition as a part of mission
	A.  God molds us and forms us for his mission
	B.  (2 Cor 4:1,4-7) - Several descriptions
		1.  Being transformed means we have received a ministry
			a.  God doesn't mold us to store us in a closet
			b.  God molds us to use us for mission
		2.  That is why we are Bond-servants
			a.  We are bond-servants of others for mission
			b.  2 Cor 12:25 this is why Paul said he would gladly expend 
			     and be expended for their souls
			c.  If I am your bond-servant, I will expend myself for you
			d.  This means getting off of the couch, off of the pew
				- Getting my hands dirty to serve others
				- If get my hands dirty serving, heart is right
				- "Dirty hands means a clean heart"
		3.  As ministers we are Clay vessels
	C.  ILL:  Like this lump of clay
		1.  What is the purpose of this clay?  To be molded and useful
		2.  God molds us to be his vessels
		3.  Some of us are plates, some cups, some vases
			a.  We carry the Gospel of the Kingdom
			b.  We reach out to hurting people, and feed them with the 
			     kindness of God
			c.  We touch those who are broken and bring healing 
			     wholeness of the Gospel
	D.  Am I still a lump of dry clay, or am I being transformed?
		1.  I think we are being transformed
		2.  This process has been going on for some time 

III.  Transition in here in Leavenworth
	A.  You may not realize it, but we have been in a period of positive 
	     transition here in Leavenworth
		a.  Some new things:  Life Groups, LTC, We Care
		b.  Greater involvement for many of us
		c.  There has been an air of excitement and expectation
		d.  God has been doing some significant things, preparing us
	B.  Look at what has been happening
		1.  Life Groups have been a catalyst for this
			a.  Some great and wonderful things happen in Life Groups
			b.  There has been spiritual growth & closer relationships
			c.  Leaders have come out of the woodwork
			d.  More focused ministry
		2.  Then we asked ourselves - If someone were to ask what is the 
		     Leavenworth Church of Christ all about?
			a.  We discussed this for several weeks
			b.  Boiled down to - We are a Christ centered family, 
			     learning, caring, and sharing
		3.  Then went into a sermon series - Your Kingdom Come
			a.  What does it mean to live under the Reign of God
				- Evaluated forces that shaped our attitudes and 
				- We are a kingdom of priests to be a light to the 
				- Alternate reality socially, economically, politically, 
				  and religiously
			b.  Jesus began assault on evil, oppression, sickness
				- Not by revolution of the sword, but the heart
				- Ministry of compassion & sharing the Gospel
			c.  Participate in Kingdom, Reign with him
				- Sermon on the mount is central teaching on reign
				- God sent the son who sent the spirit who empowers 
				  us for mission and ministry
				- The church does not send, we are a "sent" people
		4.  Then we went into the summer series:  Rubber Meets the Road  - to brainstorm 
		      how all of this would look like in our ministries
			a.  Integrated all of our meeting times into this
				- Demonstrated our commitment to mission
				- Demonstrated our willingness for God to mold us
				- Demonstrated a heart more intent on God's desire 
				  than our own comfort
			b.  Learning was much more deep than before
				- Some have said this is the first time they remember 
				   a topic or lesson from three weeks prior
			c.  Looked at all we do under several headings
				- Facilities, Fellowship, Worship, Education, 
				  Evangelism, Benevolence, and Participation
			d.  Realized we were more similar in ideas that we thought
				- Stems from our commitment to God's mission
				- We have demonstrated we are beginning to have a 
				   shared vision for ministry
				- Exciting, the Spirit is moving us
	C.  Air of expectation What next? 
		1.  We have noted that we have limited resources
		2.  What should we do?  -- Mt 9:36-37
			a.  Harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few (familiar?)
				- Didn't say, "harvest plentiful, but dollars are few"
				- Missing ingredient is not funds, property, programs
				- What is missing was "workers" - the most important
			b.  Get on your knees and ask God to send them
		3.  Example of where they often come from
			a.  Mt 9:9 - Jesus called Matthew, a tax collector
			b.  Mt 9:36-37 - Has Matthew praying for workers
			c.  Mt 10:1 - Jesus empowers Matthew for Ministry
				- In one chapter, he goes from tax collector to minister
			d.  Workers come from the harvest!!
				- Jesus never thought he was too new, too raw, etc.
				- Nothing greater than the passion of a new believer
	D.  What next?  PRAY and be willing to be molded and used
		1.  You will not stay the same
		2.  This congregation will not stay the same
		3.  God is moving us to truly being a lighthouse in this community

1.  Like Matthew, God is calling you (invitation)
2.  Are you willing to be clay in his hands and be molded for mission?  Yes!
	a.  As we form New Life Groups, we will be better equipped for mission
	b.  Because of that, as a congregation, we will be better equipped for 
	     mission - Christ centered, learning, caring, and sharing
	c.  This is just the starting pad - There is so much good ahead of us
3.  Discussion tonight won't focus on this sermon, but on everything we have discussed thus far, 
     prioritizing, and raising hands to say, "I can do that!"


Process Guidelines

During the summer season, beginning Sunday evening June 10th, the congregation 
will assemble at the building.  During this gathering we will outline our plan for the Summer.  
This first meeting is an introductory overview.

For the remaining eight weeks we will follow a pattern that works as follows:

Sunday Morning Sermon:  Introduce the topic for the week.

Sunday Evening:  Life Groups meet at the building but in separate rooms: 			
Discuss the topic for the evening
Develop ideas, recommendations and proposals
Tie them to scripture and align them with our goals and objectives.
Guidelines for Life Group discussion as it relates to the Topic 
	1.  What’s the purpose of…(Topic of the week)?
	2.  How should we accomplish this purpose?
	3.  What should we…
		a.  Keep doing?
		b.  Start doing that’s different?
		c.  Stop doing? 

Wednesday Evening:  Congregation meets to:
Hear each Life Group present the ideas, recommendations and proposals they developed 
the previous Sunday evening.
Thoughts will be organized and presented in the form of these questions:
	1.  What did we learn?
	2.  What surprised us?
	3.  What is Important?
	4.  What should we do?

Sunday Morning Bible Study Hour:  Congregation Meets to…
	Process the Topic for the previous week 
	Discussion Centered on three questions:
	1.  What happened?
	2.  What does it mean?
	3.  What will we do with it?