We live in the Postmodern Era. It’s an age of technology. Many think this era will be the greatest move of God of all time. What do you think God is using and will be using during this time? Answer: The screen.
It’s Great To Be Alive With Technology
By Pastor Delbert Young
It’s Great To Be Alive With Technology
Scriptures: Matthew 7:21-23, Matthew 4:23, Jeremiah 29:11, Romans 12:6-11, 1 Corinthians 12:8-10, Matthew 28:19, Matthew 6:21, Hebrews 6:1, Ephesians 4:13, Matthew 28:19-20
Can you believe it’s a new year? Every year on this Sunday, I project to us the overall vision of Life Gate and the vision for what we want to accomplish during the year. You have already heard what some of those with a prophetic gifting have to say about the year.
Let’s begin with the Mission Statement. You should have it memorized by now. Let’s say it together and please humor me by saying it loudly. “LIFE GATE CHURCH, REACHING PEOPLE AND MAKING THEM DEVOTED FOLLOWERS OF JESUS CHRIST.” (Once more please.) What that means is that everything we do is to REACH people and MAKE them devoted followers of Jesus Christ. That statement sums up what we are about. We are learning to first concentrate on out-REACH as we REACH people. The second part is disciple people and MAKE them devoted followers of Jesus Christ. The ultimate goal is to make as many people as possible devoted followers of Jesus Christ.
Matthew 7:21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
Matthew 7:22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’
Matthew 7:23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
It would be a horrible thing to think I was saved, but find out I had only deceived myself. How can we make certain that we avoid that? How can we REACH people and MAKE them devoted followers of Jesus Christ? We will do it with our 5-fold purpose that we call 5-G’s.
- GOOD NEWS–
Matthew 4:23 Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the GOOD NEWS OF THE KINGDOM, and healing every disease and sickness among the people.
The GOOD NEWS OF THE KINGDOM was the exact message that Jesus preached. Every week you will hear GOOD NEWS. You will hear that God not only loves you, but also has many GOOD things planned for you.
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the PLANS I have for you,” declares the LORD, “PLANS to prosper you and not to harm you, PLANS to give you hope and a future.
To help us understand that, we will do the Temperament Study on Wednesday nights in April and May. The message we want you to go out with is the GOOD NEWS OF THE KINGDOM. If you are going to be a devoted follower of Jesus Christ, then it is critical that you are taught and that you tell people the GOOD NEWS.
You are full of GIFTS and talents. Gifts come in two basic types.
(1) GRACE GIFTS:
Romans 12:6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given us…
I love the way the NLT says it.
Romans 12:6 God has given each of us the ability to do certain things well…
What do you do well? You should use it for the kingdom.
Romans 12:7 If your gift is that of serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, do a good job of teaching.
Romans 12:8 If your gift is to encourage others, do it! If you have money, share it generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly…
Romans 12:11 Never be lazy in your work, but serve the Lord enthusiastically.
We will do all we can to get you involved doing something and using the abilities that God has given you to REACH PEOPLE and MAKE THEM DEVOTED FOLLOWERS OF JESUS CHRIST.
(2) SPIRITUAL GIFTS:
1 Corinthians 12:8 To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit,
1 Corinthians 12:9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit,
1 Corinthians 12:10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues.
It is critical that you know and use your GRACE gifts and your SPIRITUAL gifts if you are to become a devoted follower of Jesus Christ. We can’t be unless we do. To help you with this, we have a GIFT SERVICE the first Wednesday night of every month. Also this year in October and November, I will teach my book on …AND HE GAVE GIFTS. Also, Robert Gay will be here Pentecost Sunday, May 15-17.
You should have a personal impact list of people that you are attempting to GATHER. We tend to forget what the church is really about. We think the church is here for “me.” What the church truly here to do is to “GO” and change the world.
Matthew 28:19 Therefore GO AND MAKE DISCIPLES of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit
ANYONE IS WELCOME HERE at Life Gate with their doubts, fears, different doctrine, all sorts of sin, etc. You are welcome here to explore God at your own pace and we will love you right where you are. As you come, God will do the healing and transforming.
If you are a Christ follower, then you are supposed to be GOING and GATHERING people. We will constantly be providing things for you to use as resources to GATHER. In July and August, I will be teaching on Wednesday nights from my book on personal evangelism.
We have some great financial givers at Life Gate Church. If you are a Christ follower then Christ expects you to help financially.
Matthew 6:21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
In other words, your giving is a picture of the heart. You give to what you treasure. There was only one thing that Jesus talked about more than he talked about money and that was the kingdom. If you treasure the kingdom and reaching people and this is your church, then you should help support financially. The tithe is the standard, but if you can’t give a tithe, then give something until you can give a tithe. When we began giving, we didn’t do a tithe; but we always gave something until we could give at least a tithe. Now we give beyond the tithe. Get one of those envelopes, fill it out, and put a dollar in it. Do something financially that will help us reach this region. You are in a facility today and blessed by a ministry today that people have given and sacrificed so that you and your family could be reached. Now it’s your turn to help. To be a devoted follower of Jesus Christ it is critical that you give financially.
Every Christ follower is expected to mature. God does not want you to be at the same growth level next year as you are this year any more than you would want your baby or child or grandchild to be at the same growth level next year as he or she is this year. We would consider stunted growth a serious problem. It’s that way with the Lord, too.
Hebrews 6:1 Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity…
Ephesians 4:13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
If you are at the same maturation level this year as you were last year, then there is a problem. We will not leave you alone in that condition. We will strive to get you into a Life Group where you will grow in relationships and learn to minister. We will strive to make certain that you hear and do the GOOD NEWS, operate in the GIFTS that God has given you, challenge you toGATHER people for the kingdom, and GIVE financially. It is critical that you grow in every one of those areas if you are to be a devoted follower of Jesus Christ.
I want to talk to you a few minutes about Life Gate.
Matthew 28:19 Therefore GO and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit
Matthew 28:20 and teaching them TO OBEY EVERYTHING I HAVE COMMANDED YOU. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
Notice that when Jesus said to GO he didn’t tell us how to GO and communicate what they were to say. There are no specifics, i.e. write letters, shout it from corners, etc. It is simply GO. But, the content of what we are to say is specific, i.e. OBEY EVERYTHING I HAVE COMMANDED. What I am trying to say is the way of communicating God’s word has always changed. Another way to say this is that God creates and uses the latest technology.
What we call “The Word of God” actually began as oral tradition, meaning people told the stories of God from generation to generation. Then, came the technology of communicating via writing. God wanted to keep his word accurate plus make it more available, so people began writing the stories on scrolls and amazingly a move of God took place because more people were able to access the word. But, did you know that some people resisted writing the word of God? They said the word of God should be only passed on by oral tradition. How many are glad that it was written? My point is that God used the newest technology. The long scrolls were great, but very difficult to use. Again, God wanted his word more available, so God gave someone the idea of cutting the scrolls into smaller page-like sections called codex. It was much easier to use and read, but do you know that the people resisted the new technology? Even though the codex was much better, they said the word should not be cut and for many years there was a resistance. But, was it a good thing to make the word of God easier to read? Again, God used the latest technology and there was another move of God. Codex worked for centuries. Then, in the 15th century, God gave a man named Johannes Gutenberg the ability to invent the printing press and some radical guy said, ‘Let’s print and mass produce the word of God into a smaller book form so that we can get it into the hands of everyone. We will call it the Bible.’ People said, “You can’t do that. The average person is not worthy to handle God’s word.” For a century the book that we call the Bible was the most controversial thing in the church. However, God took that technology and there was the greatest move of God up to that time. There was a time when the word of God was only translated into Latin. But, God was ready for another move so he used technology to translate his word into different languages. Do you know what people said? That’s right. They complained and resisted, but again God used that technology and a great move of God took place on the planet. The trusted King James Version Bible was written in the English language in 1611 and translated from many other versions. However, God was ready for another move. So, new translations began coming out. Most of you have heard some of the controversy about using a translation other than the KJV. It doesn’t matter because God used that technology to share the Good News of his kingdom.
What I wanted you to see in all of that is that God uses technology to create the next new move on the planet. Just to amplify this and make certain that you see it, how many have ever heard something on the radio about Jesus that blessed you? There was a day when that was the newest technology. How about TV? See, that was only about 70 years ago, but look what God has done with it. How about a movie like the Passion of the Christ? How about an audiotape? Let me give you a technology that God is using that is much more recent – the Internet. We have a web site that gets thousands of hits every month. Following is a statistics report from last month of our web site.
|Server Activity Totals for Period:|
|Total sessions served :||4143|
|Total hits made on server :||11821|
|Total page view hits :||198260|
|Total non page view hits :||257423|
|Total time spent by all sessions :||357821||seconds|
|Total bandwidth :||31.31|
What that is saying is we had 4,143 visits to our web site last month. How many of you went to the web site? Not that many, which means that people that do not go to church here are going to the web site. There they made 11,821 hits (page views and non-page, i.e. video, audio, e-cards, pictures). The most visited page is the sermon page where there are 257 sermons and several video and audio teachings. People spent nearly 100 hours on our web site last month. God is using technology in a big way.
We now live in what is being called the “Postmodern Era.” Many think this era will be the greatest move of God of all time. What do you think that God is using and will be using during this time? To make it simple, let’s say the screen. Television comes through the screen. Movies come through the screen. The Internet comes through the screen. You have sat here today and enjoyed the word of God through a screen. Few of you even brought your Bibles because you knew you could read it on the screen. And even if you brought your Bible, you probably didn’t read from it. Why? The screen.
We are living in the largest move of God ever recorded in the history of this planet. In the late 70′ and early 80′ when I came into the kingdom, a church of 5,000 was considered a mega church and there were only a handful of them. Today, in the USA there are hundreds of churches that are over 10,000 people. Lakewood Church in Houston, TX is running over 25,000. What has made this massive move of God possible? TECHNOLOGY.
I said all of that for a few reasons. One reason is to let us see how God uses technology. Another reason is to tell and show you how the Lord is using Life Gate. We love technology around here. This year we want to add two side screens and use the center screen for a screen and a backdrop. We also are trying to incorporate more screens into our Outreach activities. Here is my point. The screen is what God is doing today. If we want to reach people and make them devoted followers of Jesus Christ, we can’t think “scroll,” or “codex,” or “book,” or even “audio tape.” We will use other media, but we must think screen and technology. Embrace it with us, and use it to reach your loved ones and make them devoted followers of Jesus Christ.
You have a calendar with what we intend to do in a spiritual way to reach people and make them devoted followers of Jesus Christ. You will see where we intend to have guest ministry and outreach events. Let me tell you some physical priorities for this year. I have 6 physical things that I want to accomplish.
Priorities for Life Gate:
- CHILDREN AND STUDENT MINISTRIESwill take priority. Through children, people can be reached that nothing else will reach. Children rule today. Parents will go to church where their children want to go. So, we will have the best children’s and student ministry. The student building will be remodeled. We are working on it now. We will make the children’s church area much more inviting for children with banners, etc. while keeping it functional for everything else that goes on there.
- STEEPLE:we thought we had the new steeple figured out, but it didn’t work out. We will either figure a way to build it or else we will buy what we want.
- ROOF:I have put off and put off repairing the roof, but I can’t put it off any longer. It’s a big job and requires removing some roof, repairing and rebuilding.
- GRADING AND ASPHALT: We will grade and asphalt the north side which will fix several situations and provide more parking.
- PROJECTORS:We will add two more side screens and projectors. We will also use projectors and screens in our outreach events.
- CHAIRS:Our chairs are over 15 years old. They have served well, but are outdated and need replacing.
So, we have big plans this year both in the spiritual dimension and in the natural. Note that everything, both spiritual and natural is to REACH PEOPLE AND MAKE THEM DEVOTED FOLLOWERS OF JESUS CHRIST.
How many are ready and believe this year can be the best year ever both for your life and for Life Gate Church? I do! Give the Lord and shout and handclap. Amen.
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