The DNA of ABC

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If you want to just jump to a couple passages of scripture, I want to let you know a couple of places we’re going to be today. Philippians Chapter three, first or Second Corinthians, Chapter nine. Those are a couple spots we’re going to be. We’re going to come to second Corinthians nine a little bit later. The reason we’re going to these two texts is because of what we’re going to encounter today as we discuss God’s word together. We’re going to be talking about the DNA of ABC, which you just saw on the screen. Every year we take some time, right? When school starts, when everyone gets back from their vacations and get back into the routine of things. I hope you’re in a routine, right? Kids are back at school. I know. I know what you did. If you sent your kids to school, you got the party hats out and you started blowing whatever you’ve got for your your parties to celebrate As they’re leaving, the poppers went off, confetti went in the air. And you enjoyed your free day. I’m happy the summertime we had a great amount of ministry take place. And for Alpine Bible Church from summer to into the fall is a transition time for us. We stop a lot of our regular ministries that we do throughout the school year to do more outreach and particular ministries to the summer. And then once the school year starts back up, our regular Bible studies and various ministries began.

And so this is a transition period for us. And it’s a good point for us as a church family to talk about why we exist and why we do the things we do, the philosophy of our ministry, and then talk about how to get involved, especially if you’re new to the church and you want to know how we operate and where we’re going. What’s the projection for us as a church family and the future as we think about Alpine Bible Church and what God has for us? But all of that begins with the simplistic question of why. Why do you have a church? Why do we gather on Sunday? I mean, some of us culturally in America, Sundays, just the time maybe you you’re used to just going to church. So you open your spiritual ears on Sunday and and you just kind of show up on Sunday because that’s the thing you do on Sunday. And if you’re here for that reason, I’m glad you’re here, but I want to I want to say as a church family, the reason we come on Sunday is not just to have church on Sunday, because that’s what you do. We want to be intentional about everything that we do as a church family because we desire for our church to make an impact and to be significant in what God has called us to in this world. So why do we exist? I want to approach that question from Philippians chapter three, because for me, this is a this is a very important scripture.

I feel like I say this every week, but this is one of my favorite passages of the Bible. And Philippians Chapter three is, is an explanation of where Paul has been, the apostle Paul and where he is going. And this story is kind of a mimicking of the piggyback of what every Christians thought should be towards their understanding of who Christ is and their relationship to him. 2000 years ago, the apostle Paul experienced a radical transformation in his life, and he in Philippians chapter three and verse 12, he really explains his pursuit in these moments. This way, he says, Not that I have already obtained it or what he’s pursuing after, not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which Christ has also laid hold of me by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet. But one thing I do, forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead. So what Paul is saying here is there was there was this this approach to life that is behind me and now there is this approach to life that is now before me because of Christ. And what Paul is beginning to outline is this this concept that we or this term we use regularly here at our church, and that is relationship A lot of us when we think about God in terms of religion, which was what Paul’s past was, we tend to approach God this way.

God, have I done enough? Do you love me? I’m here on Sunday to give you what I feel like I need to give you so that I can be acceptable to you or that you would would care about me, God, or have any love or concern over me. This is a religious way of of thinking. And in fact, this is what Paul says his past was. In Philippians chapter three as he begins to explain, we just looked at in verse 12 what he’s pursuing in life. He begins really in the beginning of this chapter, talking about what he had been pursuing in his life and why it left him in a place of bankruptcy. And I want to say in our lives, all of us have particular vices and all of us, if we give any thought towards God, try to figure out ways to overcome our sin or our vices. I listen to a guy yesterday say this. You know, I decided that I wanted to live my life for God. So I tried. I tried not to sin. I mean, how many of you tried that? Tried not to sin, right? You will fail. And so then he came up with the idea he’s going to sin a little less and just try.

Try to do a little bit better. And so so he rather than just eradicate complete sin, which he found himself to be a failure at, he decided, let’s let’s just chip at this a piece that let’s get rid of a little bit of sin and then let’s just try to be a little bit better and then maybe God will find me acceptable. The problem with that is when you approach it from a scriptural perspective, Jesus says to all of us, all of us are unacceptable. And that’s the entire point of Jesus. For the wages of sin is death. The Bible tells us your sins have made a barrier between you and your God. Your sins are your righteous deeds are even filthy rags before God. Isaiah 59, verse two, Isaiah 64, verse six. And so what you find is when you live that particular lifestyle as it leaves you in bankruptcy, it really leads you, leads you to pride or despair, pride, thinking that you’re self righteous and you deserve or despair, thinking you can never earn God’s love. Paul would probably describe himself more in the latter that he was he was just one of pride. And he said in Philippians chapter three, verse four, If what life was about is living these religious laws to demonstrate your worthiness, I am the guy that deserves to brag over this. And he says in verse four, If anyone else has a mind to put confidence in the flesh, I far more circumcised the eighth day, which is exactly what the Jews were supposed to do.

He he didn’t have any control over that, but he was circumcised. The eighth day of the nation of Israel, the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews. As to the law, a Pharisee as to zeal, a persecutor of the church as to righteousness, which is in the law, found blameless. If you want a demonstration of perfection related to religious law, Paul was your man. His vice was religion. And then Paul found Jesus. And so he says this, the very next word. But whatever things were getting to me. Those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be lost on view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ. Jesus, my Lord. For whom I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish so that I may gain Christ. What Paul let go of in verse 12 towards what Paul is pursuing today. It’s Jesus. In our lives in a cultural setting, we may ask the question of somebody, What do you think the purpose of life is? And their answer is going to be to just do good. We’re going to see God one day, and I want to do more good than bad. And so that’s what they make their goal. And Paul is now writing out his story to say that system is bankrupt.

Religion’s bankrupt. If anyone had a position to brag in that position, it was me. Verses 4 to 6, Paul says. Everything that the Jewish people were supposed to live. I lived. And then I can tell you there’s something greater. It’s not religion. Its relationship. See in a religious mentality, we may say, I’m going to try to do more good and stop doing the bad things so that God finds me more acceptable. But in relationship, what we find is Jesus has extended his love towards us. To the expense that he’s given his own life. So that we could experience him. Try to think of a good illustration of the way that God has loved us. And I want you to know this morning, if you’re here and you feel like you’ve been fighting that battle of just trying to find acceptance, trying to find someone that cares, loves you unconditionally, that wants and desires a relationship with you not only today, but for all of eternity. That is Christ. Recently I was reading an article about a mother who her child was about to. Pass away. Kid was sick. The mother wouldn’t leave the child’s bedside. She wanted to be there even to the final moments of this child’s life. And and as the story revealing the mother’s heart, it’s saying that the the mother was sees the child as God’s gift to her.

It’s her it’s her desire to love this child every moment that God has given them to be there, to provide, even in the moments of weakness, when she knows the child’s life is about to slip before her. And in those moments of seeing the fragileness of life and during the duration of this child being sick, her prayer back to God was God. If it’s even possible, can can you just take my life? To spare a child. No doubt if you were ever in such a position, may even be or have been your prayer. God, whatever it would take. For this person to live. Take my life in their place. Maybe as a mother, you could even conceive in that picture of that moment where your heart beat for your own child and in praying for for their life, your heart, your love for them. You would see even in that story, the extent of a mother’s love, sacrificially caring for a child. That’s Jesus. Father. The wages of sin is death. Upon you rest death. And death in the Bible means more than physically dying. It means separation from God for eternity. That is death. That is the extent of the punishment of sin, because God is holy. And without a rescue, there is no way to overcome the sin that is on you. No amount of good you do can ever overcome the bad because the sin that you bring against the Holy God lasts for eternity.

Because he is an eternal God. Jesus in that moment. Father. My life for theirs. Paul And finally, understanding what Jesus has done for us realizes the bankruptcy of religion. In his weakness, in his sin, in his death, in his struggle, Jesus giving his life to the extent that God’s love being poured out for him. God didn’t create you primarily because of what you can do. When we say this regularly, but there is nothing that you can do that God can’t do himself and do it better. But what God created you for being made in his image. As for relationship. And so that you could have life and enjoy that relationship. Jesus carried out the great exchange and giving his life for you so that you could enjoy him for all of eternity. Which is why the Bible tells us for by grace, are you saved through faith or for whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved? And so Paul, in his story, shares whatever things were gained to me. Those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Because never in my life have I been loved this way. And so if you ask the question this morning, why? Why does this church exist? We exist to experience the transformational relationship for which Christ has created us. Our desire is for everyone that comes through our door to experience a life transformational relationship in Jesus. In fact in Matthew, which is theme verses.

Let me just give you some theme verses of our church verses that I hope if you attend, if you attend ABC for any amount of time, eventually you’re like, Hey, I’ve heard this verse so much, I’m tired of hearing this, this verse that’s been so regular to me. I don’t have any control. So click for me and Matthew. Chapter 12. Jesus has asked the question by a young lawyer teaching the law. He’s asked God, What’s the greatest commandment? And and in Jesus’s society, thinking religiously, you ask God, God, what is the greatest rule that I could obey? You’re going to be thinking in your mind. God’s going to give me a list of rules back that are going to be these these systems that I can live first to please him, the most religious thinking. But Jesus answers this way. Which commandment is the foremost of all. And Jesus answered, The foremost is hear o Israel. The Lord. Our God is one Lord. And you shall love the Lord, your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. And the second is this You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these. Jesus is answer. Wasn’t religious oriented. It was relationally oriented. Well, God is pursuing this morning. Isn’t your religion. But your heart. And what God desires from you this morning is for you to connect to him.

And in fact, he builds off of that in the next commandment, which is love. Love your neighbor as yourself. He’s saying, when God transforms your life and you experience that relationship for which you were created in him, you glorify him in the way that you live in this world. And the way you magnify that is through your relationship with others. And so as a church, if we just built on that theme, we would say this Our desire is for everyone to experience a transforming relationship in Christ that transforms their relationship with others. Paul, If I if I went back and just played on a verse for him, he says this in second Corinthians three, but we with unveiled faces beholding as in a mirror, the glory of the Lord are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as the Lord, the Spirit, Justice from the Lord, the Spirit. Well, Paul is saying is as you gaze upon Christ for that, for that which you were created, God transforms you not from the outside, but from the inside out. God is the one who does the work in you. And as a church, we would say this because of that. We’re not interested in where you’ve been. Rather want to encourage you and where you’re going. Now we care about your whole story. But we just want to take aim, as Paul said. I press on letting go of what was behind and straining forward to what is ahead.

We’re not interested in where you’ve been, but where you’re going. And our church, when we began ABC, we actually started it eight years ago in a living room, and we didn’t even have enough money to rub two pennies together. It’s been an uphill battle for us as far as some of the resources for us as a church family to get where we are today. But we had a I like to say, two characteristics I think are really important when you start doing ministry for the Lord. A lot of hope and a lot of stubbornness. You didn’t know, but stubbornness is a godly gift, right? If it’s used the right way. But we had we had a lot of hope and a lot of promises of just what God could do. And over the years, we’ve moved six times. We’ve we’ve had several building projects going on. We’ve seen hundreds of people baptized dozens or over 100 people baptized is to say dozens of people come to know the Lord and our church is growing by at least 10% every year. We know God’s desire for us. It’s not just to show up on Sundays. If we owe something to God or we we want to make him indebted to us. But rather the pursuit is him. To enjoy him, to know him as he has made himself known to us as a church family.

And there’s not just understanding of of what God wants, but the way we want to approach the world in doing that. And so we don’t just share this with just ourselves and hold on to it, but because of what God’s done in the extent of his love that he’s demonstrated towards everyone, we want everyone to understand the grace for which Christ has pursued them, what He has given. And so we approach the world around us. We have what we call a philosophy of ministry. And if I just gave two verses that define it for us, I would say the Ephesians chapter four and verse 15. In First Corinthians chapter nine, verse 22, actually it starts in verse 19, in first Corinthians, Paul’s explanation of these verses. When we think about two themes that carry out what our pursuit is in ministry as a church family, it says this in Ephesians chapter four, verse 15, Speak the truth in love. And we are to grow up into him in all aspects. Who is the head? Even Christ. First Corinthians nine tells us, I have become all things to all people. This is Paul and his ministry so that I may by all means save some. What these two verses talk about is, is being biblically sound and culturally relevant. Being biblically, sound and culturally relevant. And if and if you lean too heavy into one direction or the other, this is what tends to happen if a church emphasizes biblical soundness without cultural relevance, it runs the risk of being diving into the area of legalism.

Religious thinking. Not always, but it can be the case. And so but if a church goes the other way and it runs into the idea of being culturally relevant without truth. It runs the risk of liberalism. But for us as a church family, speaking the truth in love, into a culture in the way that it needs to hear and understand and feel accepted, but yet honest. If I talked about just these two thoughts for a moment, what it means for us being biblically sound, speaking the truth in love. We as a church, we want to share the truth of God’s love. We want to speak the truth in love. In order to do that, we want to provide a safe place for people just to question and grow. In studying religion. Growing up around a religious environment. I got to be honest and tell you, when I heard the word faith, I always assumed it meant blind ignorance. Like you just kind of take your best guess on which which group you think is going to be right and you kind of hold on and hope in the end. You get it. You get it right. Right. But having studied faith now truth. Finding out there is a foundation and how important that foundation is. There is a testable place. In fact, the apostle Paul encouraged Christians in first Thessalonians five prove all things hold on to that which is good or true or right.

That the idea that that that faith isn’t just this gasp, but God created us, gave us a mind so that we could actually critically think. And it doesn’t just apply to the academic world, it applies to the religious world. In fact, it’s from the idea of truth that the academic world even has its existence. It’s from God that the academic world even comes into existence. And so the idea of even divorcing your mind from from thinking and biblical truth or thinking in terms of faith is foreign to the way God has created us. And so we need to provide a place when it comes to speaking the truth and love, we need to provide a safe place for people to question and grow. This is why, as a church family, you’ll hear me say, if you’ve got questions, please ask. You can email me Alpine Bible at And we put things on on Internet short videos, answering questions all the time. In fact, I think this past year the the most common question I was asked was, will my dog go to heaven? Right. But I get questions all the time. And it’s just important to understand that if you’ve got concerns, you’ve got questions. Abc wants to be a place for you to have a safe area just to question and grow wherever you are in your walk with God.

Being biblically true, speaking truth in love. We also want to be culturally relevant. Becoming all things to all people. What Paul says in First Corinthians nine, verses 19 to 22. He goes through this list and he says to the religious he became he became religious too. To those without the law. He became those without the law. Those who were weak, he became as one who was weak so that he could communicate the gospel to everyone. How are we culturally relevant? Let’s give you a few ways for us as a church recognizing American culture, Utah culture, where we live, Sunday is a big deal for us. It’s like it or not, for whatever reason, on Sundays, that’s the day people open their spiritual ears to ask questions. And so Sundays, we we want our Sundays to go well and our and our worship and we want our Sundays to be such that anybody that walks through our door is served well. Every heart is important to us. In addition to that, we live in the youngest state in all of the United States. And when you study the younger generations, the more you study them, you find that social media is a big thing. Authenticity in relationships is important. Transparency in relationships is important. Leveraging technology is important. Because authentic relationships are important to generations, younger generations. Today, I think it’s important to all generations, but it’s something that characterizes younger generations that as a church family, one of the things that we want to be, and I think this is very godly, is to be heart driven, not task driven.

We don’t show up just to accomplish tasks. But everything we do, the motivation behind it is to reach hearts. Because that’s what Jesus was after. In addition to that, we want to serve our kids well. Our church is. 40% of our church is 12 years old and younger. If you’re here, you’ve got a kid in one of the classrooms today. I just want you to know, in our classrooms, we teach the same lesson through all of our rooms. So your kids, if you’ve got multiple kids in multiple rooms, they’re learning the same lesson throughout the church and they all get takeaways or something to take home that relates to the lesson. So you as a parent, if you want to go further and encouraging them in their walk with God, you have something in understanding what lesson they’ve learned together and how to communicate with your kids about it. Because hearts are important. Because people are important. Because God created us for a relationship. What we do as a church family. We want to strive to do it well. Because we understand the significance for which God has created us. And as Paul shared in Philippians chapter three, what his pursuit was in life, he went on beyond that, and he continued to echo that pursuit into the world.

That wasn’t something that was just an experience for him, a life transforming experience for him, that it was something intended for everyone through Christ. So as a church family. Knowing what our philosophy of ministry is. Knowing why we exist. How do you get involved? How do you get involved in the things that we’re doing as a as a church? Well, this morning, if you grabbed a bulletin, good. If you didn’t, I want to encourage you to do so, because in that today, there are a few pieces of information that are that are important. First thing I want to encourage you to do is think about ways you can connect, how you can be an encouragement to the body of Christ, actually, as our church continues to grow. One of the things that we want to do as we get bigger is to think smaller and to be in groups that encourage one another in faith in the Lord. And one of the ways that we do that is something called connections through something called connection groups. These are groups that meet throughout the valley and northern Utah County and Holmes. All of them are I believe all of them are kid friendly, right? Yes. All of them are kid friendly. In fact, they’re the parents are far outnumbered in some of these homes. So so if you want to if you’ve got kids and you want to connect in some some of these groups, I encourage you to sign up today to do that.

We’ll start these on September 11th. In addition to that, we also have one here that meets at the church, which this year we’re going to be doing a little bit different. We’re just going to dub it Alpine University every four weeks. We’re going to do an in-depth study on the Bible. And this the first session in September is going to be on how to how to read and study and understand Scripture. And so if you’re interested in that, that’ll start September 11th as well. But to connect is important for us as a church family. One of the things that we have always had a pressure point on that I don’t like. I wish I had something to change this, but it puts us in a different way of thinking as a church. Family space has always been a limitation for us. It seems like every time we move into a new building, we grow to the size of that building within like a day, and then we’re looking for the next step for us. And so for our church, we know we have pressure points when when you come into experience that don’t always provide the best places to interact with people and to maybe stick around a little bit longer to be encouraged. If you want to do that, you just got to stay in here and chat for a while because we don’t have any other offset rooms that give us the freedom to do that very well.

And so that’s something that we want to remedy, but something in order to overcome it, we’ve got to encourage other places for us as a church family to connect, to learn about each other, to encourage one another. And connection groups offer that great place for us to do that. In addition to that connection, groups are a very big point of emphasis. But there’s other ministries our church has going on as well. If you’d like to learn more about those, there’s a sheet on the outside, on the information table when you come in that says Ministries of Alpine Bible. One side is all adults, the other side is all kids, kids in youth. And so if you’re interested in learning more about the ministries that we have, that’s the place to check out as a church family. The other thing that we like to encourage you to do is join a team, and we’re talking about a ministry team. We do not have membership as a church family, but you can become a team member. One of the reasons to this point in our history we’ve avoided membership is because that is an abused word in our culture today. And so sometimes culturally here, just to encourage people to belong to the church but still be a part and contribute rather than become a church member, we want you to just think about being a team member and how you can be involved in what we’re doing as a church family.

One of the reasons that we like to encourage people towards membership one is because God wants to glorify himself through through you and your relationship to the Lord. He likes to demonstrate that in the world, the best way for you to show your love for God is the way that you love people. The best way to show what God is doing in your heart and life is through your love for people. People are important. Jesus cares about people. Jesus died for people. And just as Jesus served people, those who belong to Jesus want to serve people. And we encourage you to join a team. One of the ways that we point people in the immediate future is towards just Sunday. We want Sunday to go well. We have other ministries too, but we first point to Sunday how you can get involved. One of the reasons we like to do that as a church family is because in order to run our Sunday ministry, just to maintain it, we need at least 33 volunteers every Sunday to do that. If you study the attendance of our church, you would see that on Sunday. That is 25% of the adults serving every Sunday here at ABC. We want to add another classroom to better teach our kids. We can’t add another classroom right now because we don’t have enough volunteers to accommodate the future classroom, which means we need 37 volunteers to be able to do that.

We use the slogan a ten one serve one. You can come to a service and then serve in the next service. If you can’t do that every Sunday, then maybe think about it every other Sunday. If you’re serving every other Sunday, that means 50% of those who attend on Sunday are serving within our church. So we have a high volunteer capacity to do what we do and want to do it well. And so if you want to be involved, join a connection group, join a ministry team, and then as a church family, we always want to be thinking outwardly. The Southern Baptist Church is an organization that does pretty good on statistics as far as what’s happening around the world. In fact, they have individuals that just study that because they want to send people out to be effective in different places of the world. But I was recently reading a study that they had done on America and they dubbed the Greater Salt Lake City area the most unreached place in all of North America, meaning biblical Christianity. The smallest percentage of biblical Christianity exists in this area than any other anywhere else. In fact, they wanted to say the entire Western hemisphere of the world. This is the lowest percentage of biblical Christianity in the world. And so as Jesus loved the world, we want to reach out to the world.

And so we do. In the summertime, we do outreach and different community events. And that continues on not just in the summer, but we have a few things that we also do around Halloween and Christmas. And so there’s ways to get involved. We put up sign up sheets usually to do outreach in the community. We we go out and we do practical things that love the community around us that just want to share what Paul shares in Philippians chapter three with people and love on people and let let them know Christ cares about them. In addition to that, as our church gets bigger, we’re getting involved more in foreign missions, too. We’ve got somewhere between 15 to 20 people in October going to India and on Christmas, around a few days before Christmas, we’ll go down to Colorado City again to do ministry in Colorado City among the FLDS. And we bring Christmas down there. They don’t celebrate Christmas. They’ve never been around Christmas. And the people down there are in tremendous need. And so we love on them through through biblical truth and share things for them that they have need for spring break. This year, we’re trying to set up to take a trip to Yuma, Mexico. I know there’s a Yuma, Arizona, but on the other side of Arizona border, there’s also Yuma, Mexico, that stretches over. And we’re trying to set up a trip now in April to go down there to help build homes and various things for people in need.

So there’s all kinds of ways to get involved. I want you to think about those ways. Connection groups joining a ministry team outreach. However, the Lord would lead you. In addition to all that. I just want to share how is it going for us as a church family? You’re new. You’re wondering what ABC is about. You’re wondering if you want to be a part of this, what the trajectory is for a church. How are things going? How are we doing as a church family? There’s a couple ways that I just want to talk about this with us. I think people. Want to be involved in something. Going somewhere. By nature, we’re attracted to life. For us as a church family. If I just talked about this numerically in attendance for us every year, we just take one time a year. We don’t spend a whole lot of time on this. But just so you know, our finances are not kept in secret. We don’t we don’t like to keep secrets as a church. We don’t disclose what individuals give, but we just let you see what we do with the budget. Because when you use it to honor the Lord and we want accountability to do that. And so in terms of what’s happened over the years, you see how much that we’ve we’ve acquired every year in tithes and offerings and then how much we used of that tithes and offerings to glorify God and the things that we do as a church family, if you want to see this isn’t a very this isn’t an extremely detailed budget, but this just gives you an idea of where we spend our money.

If you just want to see where it goes as a church family, these are on the information table. When you leave, you can pick one up and take it home and to be able to look it over. In fact, at the end of the service, I’ll just introduce a couple people to us that you can talk to about it. But this is what we do as a church family. We propose our budget to you every year just so you can see what we’re expecting to bring in for the year or what we’re expecting for 2017 is 157,000. And what our budgeted to spend this year is 146,000. It’s built off the budget of last year. There’s not really much more changes from last year’s budget except for those numbers went up a little bit in in different categories. So that’s what our projections are for for the year and for next year. I don’t I don’t care to ever do this. Just so you know, as a church family, one of the questions I get, usually I get this when people start to feel comfortable with me, like, do you get paid as a pastor? Yes, I do.

Okay. I do get paid for for our church. We’ve existed for eight years. I’ve done ministry in Utah for ten years. I don’t think it was until a couple of years ago that our ABC started to give me a little bit of an income. And the reason was, is because I had to quit my job to do a build out project here at the church. And the church grew so big, so fast that I couldn’t we couldn’t keep up with it. And so to be able to do that, to manage the church, we got a paycheck. Now, let me just tell you this about Utah in general. Utah, if I were here for the money, I would not have ever picked the state of Utah. Utah is the poorest, poorest state of all the churches in America. So I’m not here to make money. I’m here to serve Jesus and to let Jesus be made known in my life. And I have I have given my life for that. And I have put blood, sweat and tears into that. And so I’m not here for the money. In fact, most pastors I know here in Utah are well, most pastors say all pastors I’ve encountered here in Utah, they are not here for the money. In fact, most of them work secondary jobs just to be able to be here to serve. So if you see a pastor here in Utah, they’re not here to get rich, nor has a pastor in Utah ever gotten rich.

So it’s about their love and service for for the Lord. And so, just so you know, if you want to know what ABC pays me, I think it’s 1750 every two weeks. Okay. There you go. It’s out. Out. And you know, now you know all the secrets that have as a pastor. For the first eight years I served here, I think seven of those, I didn’t make over $30,000 in a year. So try to live on that. Right. I don’t I don’t know how I did or had kids and a wife and did that. And I think about on the back end of that as a pastor, just being honest with you here, I think about in all of that, the sacrifice to all of that like comes on my wife’s behalf. Like you think about this, you want to get married and you’re telling your wife, I want to move to Utah. Yeah. And I’m going to take care of you for less than $30,000 a year. I’ll sign me up. Like, what kind of woman does that take? She’s got to really love Jesus, too. And so maybe all of that is to just honor. Honor what the Lord’s done in my wife’s heart and her life as well. But if you want to look at the budget, you can. And I want to tell you this. If you have any suggestions, if you have any complaints, if you have any praises, any of that stuff, at the end of the service, I’ll bring up a couple individuals that you can talk to about that.

The budget isn’t approved until the end of this month, and so that gives you a chance this over the next few days to vet over what you want or just look over what you think about the budget. And if you want to give any input, I’ll show you who to talk to at the end of the service. Okay. So that’s that’s where we’re going as a church family. I know that’s maybe boring to most of you. And attendance here it is our increase in attendance. I don’t care about attendance. The only reason we keep attendance, I’ll tell you the only reason we keep attendance. I do not keep attendance to look at and be like, Wow, look at us. We’re growing. The only reason we keep attendance is because we want to serve people well. And the bigger we get, the more we know that we need to better accommodate the space that we have so that we can continue to serve people well. That is the only reason we keep attendance. So as a church family, we’ve we’ve grown every year. This last year we grew by by 10% and quite. A little bit surprised. We grew because we don’t have much more places that we can put people. This room has the most space out of every room in our building, all the other places.

They’re sticking your kids in cabinets right now. I’m sorry to tell you, but that’s the nature of what we’ve got going on. It’s one of the reasons we want to add an extra classroom to better accommodate because we don’t have much more time before we’re outgrowing this place. In fact, when we did this this same series last year, I put this chart up and I didn’t do it this year because I felt like a fool when I did it. But I showed last year if we grew by 10% every year for the next two years what the attendance would be. And then that Sunday we already topped what I said we would be in two years if we grew by 10%. And it was just like it was just ridiculous to show you. So I didn’t want to do that this year. I just want to say, Hey, we’re running out of space. Which brings me to the problem of saying, where are we going as a church family? Because if we truly believe that Jesus transforms lives, when we truly believe that people deserve to be loved and have a place where they can they can ask questions, be safe, have their answers, have their questions answered, learn and grow, and God be served well. To be able to be transparent and engage in community, have a place to engage in community.

Our church is going to have to. Grow. We’re going to have to expand, which means we have another building project in front of us. And now we’re to the point where we’re so big that we can’t just do it in like a month or two or a year. This one took a year, but we’re probably thinking more in 2 to 3 year terms. And so one of the things that we found out is, well, let me tell you this. We had a guy come to our church who saw what was happening here. And loves the Lord and happened to have a little extra money. And he just gave to us $12,000 so that we could get a plan built to show us how we could expand our church facility. Because he loves what’s happening here in this area and the way ABC is serving the Lord. And what we found out when we started to get these plans. Was that we didn’t have enough space or property to expand our building. And so one of the first things that we had to do was immediately put the brake on getting those plans because we can’t build in our current location until we acquire more land. And over the last few months, one of the things that we’ve been pursuing is how we could get some land in order to expand our facility. And so there’s a couple of properties. You could probably see the unfinished property on this end of our lot.

That’s just gravel. Some of you probably assumed for years that we own that we don’t. It’s not ours. That’s why the pavement ends there. And that’s one piece of property that we’ve had. We’ve also looked at property surrounding our area to just to see what else that we or we could go to in order to build a bigger facility to double the square footage at least of our place in order to expand to at least 300 people that we could accommodate and accommodate. Well, and so we need at least another half acre of land if we wanted to use this this current place that we’re in. Or move that one hurts more to say, but the location that we are on State Street is a wonderful location. And so this is what we’re looking at as a church family. If we want we want to serve people well. We want to we want to proclaim the glory of Christ. We want to have a facility to be able to accommodate and do that well and to be involved in each other’s lives and encourage each other in the Lord. And so to do that, if ABC continues to grow by another 10%, I don’t know. I don’t know that we can grow by another 10% this year. We’re going to have to expand. And so this is going to be likely about a three year project and for us to do that.

But let me just give you some some ways of thinking as we go through this together of how we would want to expand as a church family. This could be what the future location of our church looks like. If we could acquire the land beside of us, it’ll look a little different if we have to acquire a land surrounding a street. But we want to take a little bit of money since we know this building project is going to take a few years to to to get up and going complete, we’re going to go ahead and try to fix up the outside of our facility. We’ve been putting the the weight on that because we if we added on to our building sooner than later than we thought, what have we we do the outside of the building. Now, it might be a waste because we’ll have to change the way it looks if we add on to their building. So we’re going to fix up the outside of our building as inexpensive as possible because we know that we could we could add into the facility in future and it will require changes. So we don’t want to dump a whole lot of money into it. We want it to just improve. We want to add a sign. I kind of got tired this year of telling people, pulling in our parking lot ask me a question, and they’re like, Oh, this is a church.

Like, Yeah, this is a church. Oh, I didn’t know because there’s no way of telling. This is a church building, right? So, so we want to add some more signage to let people know that this is a church building. We’re going to go ahead and knock down this house behind us, the scary haunted house where we send all of our bad spirits before the service starts. We go ahead and take care of that so we can get ready to work on that land as needed. And then we’re going to look to buy land so that we can get the plans to acquire our facility in order to to do that. It requires giving financially. Which brings me to the second Corinthians nine. We don’t talk about money a lot. In fact, I get razzed a little bit because I don’t really talk about money a lot. Mostly a lot. Because as a pastor, people always want to ask me how much I get paid. So so when they feel comfortable at least. Anyway, so let me just share this. In first Corinthians nine. Second Corinthians nine. This is what Paul says He talks about giving. I’m not interested in giving to guilt people into giving just so they give. What I am interested in doing is using our ability to serve so that God is glorified in the way that we just honor Him. And this is what Paul says in first or second Corinthians nine, verse 6 to 7.

Now this. I say He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly. He who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must do so, do justice. He has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion. For God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you. So that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed as it is written. He scattered abroad. He gave to the poor. His righteousness endures forever. This is a quote of the Old Testament. Let me just give you an outline of how people typically work this and explain why I don’t like it. Verse 6 to 7, they say this Give to God cheerfully. There’s an attitude God wants you to give. God loves a cheerful giver. It says in verse seven, verse eight, Get good things from God and it says, God will supply. I’m not saying saying God will supply monetarily, but I think the way God’s spirit works love, joy, peace, patience. You’re finding joy in serving Jesus. God supplies for your life. He, he, He satisfies you in him. And in verse nine, what it’s saying to us is giving is a way that we imitate God. That’s usually, I say, cheerful giver and you’re imitating God and you get good things from God. Therefore, give to the church budget. That’s the that’s that’s the way typically people will turn to this passage and say, I think that’s a gross overstatement of what Paul is saying here.

Paul is not saying give. So the church budgets needs are met. If you look at the context of Second Corinthians leading into this passage, he’s talking about individuals in need. He’s talking about the Macedonian church. He’s talking about church plants around the world. He’s talking about famines for churches in first Corinthians 16. He’s talking about himself in poverty, trying to have enough food to survive and serving the Lord. What Paul’s talking about here. Is the mission of the church. So he’s not just saying in this passage, you know what, just give to the church because the church budget has need. What Paul is saying in this passage. Is that when God’s people recognize need. They give. When God’s people consider the effect of what they do in the way they serve. They give not just monetarily, they give. God’s people relate to weakness. Because in Christ, those things become strong. Well, Paul’s expression in here is missional giving. You look at the world, you see the need and you give. You give in service by joining a team? You give. You give by encouragement in the body of Christ. You give monetarily because you love Jesus and you look at what God can do. And so you just give out of a heart of joy in weakness as Jesus came to us in our weakness.

That’s what God’s people do. They give in weakness. They give. The most unreached. Area. North America. The Western Hemisphere. God’s people give. I’m going to close with this illustration. This Saturday. Yesterday. I was at a funeral for an 87 year old man who moved to Utah when he was 27, who planted churches throughout Utah for 60 years. And he suddenly, unexpectedly, he passed away. And during this funeral, his best friend. Came up and shared. Who’s also 87. And he has done ministry with this man for decades in Utah. I think over 50 years they were together, both planning churches throughout the state. And I was so happy just to be able to be a part of what this these men have represented and being able there to rejoice over a life that was served well. And a man who’s now sharing 87 years old, he’s in a wheelchair, but he went forward and shared. And when he got up front, he just said this, this because this isn’t right. He said Five years ago my wife died and I’m not in very good health. And the man that’s passed today, he was in far better health than me. So I went ahead and made arrangements for him to do my funeral to. And here I am doing his today. And it’s not right. But he said, you know, I’m close to death and I’m going to see Jesus soon, so I’m going to clear that up with him when I see him.

But he went up and he. He started sharing, he said, you know, my wife is gone. This is the only time during a funeral of his best friend, he cries. He said, My wife’s been gone and now my best friend is gone. And now heaven looks so much more beautiful to me than this earth. And I can’t wait to see him. And then I started to think about our church. And these two men that have given their lives in Utah for Christ. I started thinking, you know, we’re a young church. 40% of our congregation is under the age of 12. But here is an old man later in life that can’t wait to get to heaven because he has devoted his life for Jesus. And sometimes when you’re in your younger years, you just kind of think that that’s so far off. But but as you pour your heart into Christ and you pour your heart into living His life for Him, how much richer it must be to know that one day you will see him face to face rejoicing. And when Paul approaches this text in first and second Corinthians chapter nine, he’s saying to us, he’s saying to us as a church family, God’s people give in weakness because they know in that weakness through Christ, things are made strong. And you as a church family live in a place where the glory of God, the light of the gospel, needs to go forth.

And you are in a place of weakness. And you can relate to that weakness in sharing the goodness of God to taste the savoring sweetness of heaven, to look and long for Jesus as you have given your life for him. How sweet it would be. To realize at the end of life that you have just poured everything. Everything into a God who has loved you and given his life for you. And you in exchange, have loved him and given his life in return. That’s what Paul is saying in this passage. God’s people give. Because it reflects the heart of a God who gave. I want to encourage you this morning in any way that the Lord leads. Just consider how you can serve. To give towards what God has called us to as a church family. There’s no way we’re going to be able to do music today, guys. Sorry. Sorry. As a church family. Well, just consider this. When it comes to. When it comes to what God leads us to do. In our giving. Jesus says this. Where your treasure is. There your heart will be. Where your treasure is. There your heart will be. Well, God’s created us for relationship. Their hope is not just not just in attending, but the way that you live your life. It’s one that gives to Christ.

Baptism Sunday 2016