Last month we looked at the importance of having a Vision and what it should be. But how do we execute this Vision practically?
First, Getting Connected with God
I believe one of my primary roles as your Pastor is to help you the people discover and connect with God, and implement the vision that God has given each one of you for your lives. Just as we are told in Ephesians 4:12, the job of the pastor is “…to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.” Now that’s a passage that is neither obscure nor taken out of context. Thus, part of the vision of “Getting Connected” for Koinonia Fellowship includes inspiring each other to get more connected to God in order to get a vision for each one of our own lives and ministries. Then each one of our visions and plans runs parallel to and in conjunction with the vision for the church, and not against it.
Great leaders don’t just ask others to only support their vision, but they also ask, “How can I help others reach their vision?” When people get connected with God and they start listening to Him through His word, they start seeing His vision for their lives. I want us to be a community of believers who are so closely connected to God that we allow individual visions to thrive in the church. Then we will see God melt these visions together under the one, big vision for the church, and we will witness an “only-God-can-do-this” occurrence. I desperately want us to be getting connected as a community of believers: connecting to God in worship, in our hearts and as a church; connecting to each other in fellowship together; and connecting to those in the community.
Second, Getting Connected with Each Other
John 13:34,35: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another.” Why is that important? Why focus on being connected through fellowship, attaining unity and a relational connection? Well, the main reason is that, as we read in our text, Jesus has commanded it.
He has commanded us to love one another. He has commanded us to get along, even with people we don’t agree with on certain things. Jesus wants us to have strong connections with each other as Christians. He wants us to become friends who stick closer than a brother, because we need to see God’s love and His goodness and the importance of getting connected as Christians.
In His last prayer before the cross Jesus talked about the “why” behind fellowship. He prayed to the Father, “…that they may be one as We are one. …that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that You sent Me and have loved them even as You have loved Me.” (John 17:22,23, NIV) Our connections with each other either help or hinder our connections with the community. Our love for each other draws lost people to the love of God, and our lack of it pushes them away from God. Here’s something else about connecting with each other. Like every Lego made in the past five decades, we were made to connect. From the very beginning of time God has envisioned this for us. It was not good for us to be alone way back then (Genesis 2:18) and it’s still not good.
We need fellowship. We need friends. God made us with a connection requirement instilled in us. There is a scientific study which shows that good relational connections are good for us physically. I know this is going to sound weird, but this study showed that it’s healthier to eat cookies with a friend than broccoli alone. Now that’s my kind of study, and that’s how powerful connections are! This connection requirement is reflected in our culture because the number one problem in our culture today is not a financial crisis. It’s not North Korea with its missile tests. It’s not the government’s latest scandal. No, the biggest problem in our society is that our kids don’t have the right connections at home.
Many kids are left alone in this world with a tablet, a cell phone, or video games to entertain them or to babysit them. They feel lost, they feel alone, and they feel disconnected, and they are desperately looking for help, for a place to connect, to fit in, and to feel loved! Why can’t Koinonia Fellowship be the place where these kids discover what they are passionate about? Why can’t Koinonia Fellowship be the place where these kids come to know Christ and become passionate about Him? What if they become passionate about Christ, and He leads them to be pastors, youth pastors, music leaders, teachers, deacons, or missionaries? Now that’s a vision worth writing down & running with!
Third, Getting Connected with Others in the Community
The main reason we do this is because our Lord has commanded it. What did Jesus tell us in Matthew 28? “All authority in Heaven and on Earth has been given to Me. 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 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”
Connecting with people outside of the four walls of this church who don’t know Jesus is a command that we need to obey, and it is the main reason God leaves us here on Earth instead of taking us home to Heaven. We can worship and fellowship in Heaven all day, every day when we get there, but missions can only be done here. That is why we are here, and the WHY behind EVERYTHING we do. Today the majority of the people of East Rochester, the City of Rochester, New York State, and our great nation, don’t know Jesus. I pray that we would EACH get a burning in our hearts to lead friends and neighbors to Jesus. Nothing we do is more important. It is our God-given task to reach people in this community, and to do that we must build connections; that is, real-life relationships with those in the community around us. I have some ideas on how to go about doing this, and I welcome yours.
I look forward to 2019 with great expectation and anticipation of the move of God over Koinonia Fellowship – and that means YOU!