Casting a vision for the church

By Lance Olimb

This Sunday you’ll get an update on church life. I can’t wait to describe the ways that God has moved and is leading us into the future. For a majority of the update, you are going to hear the what of our successes and failures, present and future: "here is what happened the last year;" "here is what we are praying for in the coming year;" "here is what it looks like for you to be involved." It is necessary to align ourselves in relationship to what is taking place around us.

The question behind it all, however, is why? Why?

I wanted to take a moment and remind you of the why. There are at least 3 reasons WHY we do all these things as a church (and you could likely think of many more!). One fantastic reason we do what we do is each other. We gather and pray and teach and admonish one another because in so doing we can bear one another’s burdens. We can encourage. We can disciple. We, together, become more like Christ as a church rather than as individuals. Why should you care about what happens in our church? Because you need us and we need you.

Another reason we scheme and dream and pray relates to the world. The world needs healthy churches. In fact, you might say that what the world needs most is healthy churches, because healthy churches care for the poor and serve their cities and, most of all, preach the gospel faithfully. Why do we gather and give? Because the world desperately needs to be made right with God through Jesus Christ. Tallahassee and Tunisia and everywhere in between need Jesus, and we are asking God to help us proclaim Him.

Finally, we are a church because God is worthy. When we stand in unison and belt out verse after verse with hearty voices and earnest souls, God is pleased. He is pleased to dwell with His people because His people delight Him and glorify Him. God is glorified when hundreds and hundreds of people scour His Word together to get all we can of Him. He is exalted in every confession of allegiance to His Son. For real, He is glorified in every smile and handshake and baby held. Ultimately, our church matters because the worship of the triune God is pursued in us.

I’m a part of Four Oaks because I love you.

Because I love the gospel.

Because I love the glory of God in voices, prayers and minds of his people.

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church (!) and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21.

Here’s to the glory of God in us, in 2015, and beyond.