2011 Annual Ministry Meeting Sermon
Ascension Day: Jesus is with the Father, interceding for us at the Father’s right hand.
Jesus has sent the Holy Spirit to indwell us, direct us, empower us, and keep us as His own.
Jesus through His Spirit ensures that we will do His work here.
Jesus will return in the same manner as He left.
Matthew 28:18–20 NASB
“And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.””
“And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fulness of Christ. As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by that which every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.”
As a local expression of the Body of Christ, our God-given purpose is to make disciples of Jesus Christ who exalt God, edify one another, and extend God’s love to all people.
The Mission of our congregation is the way we fulfill that Purpose…
2. Our Unique Mission:
Philpott Church is a community of grace, rooted together in the gospel, that exists to glorify God by making more and better disciples of Jesus Christ who are committed to the celebration of God, the cultivation of deeper faith, and the restoration of our community, our city, and the nations.
Philpott Church is
A. a community of grace,
a. Just as God embraces us just as He finds us, so we accept all those whose paths cross ours.
i. Why does God love us so powerfully?
ii. “God is love” John’s letter tells us. It’s what He is.
1 John 4:16
“And we have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.”
iii. God loves us because He made us in His likeness, He sees parts of Himself in us, so His delight is in us.
iv. We see this in the Father’s delight in His unique Son, Jesus:
“…a voice out of the heavens, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.”
b. As God loves us too much to leave us as He finds us, so we love one another too much to leave us as we are found.
c. We are embraced and embrace others as infinitely valuable, made in the image of God.
d. We are loved by God into depth and maturity in Christ, just as we long to love one another so powerfully that the Spirit of God is free to work through us to heal, to deepen, to restore each one.
B. rooted together in the gospel, that exists
i. Ephesians 3:17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love,
ii. Col. 2:7 having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.
b. in the Gospel
i. In love
ii. In Him
C. to glorify God
a. God’s glory = God’s beauty, aura, etc.
i. Ex. 29:43 “I will meet there with the sons of Israel, and it shall be consecrated by My glory.
ii. Ex. 33:22 and it will come about, while My glory is passing by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock and cover you with My hand until I have passed by.
iii. Is. 66:18 “For I know their works and their thoughts; the time is coming to gather all nations and tongues. And they shall come and see My glory.
b. God’s glory = Our attribution of majesty, honour, to God
i. Is. 42:8 “I am the LORD, that is My name;
I will not give My glory to another,
Nor My praise to graven images.
ii. Is. 43:7 Everyone who is called by My name,
And whom I have created for My glory,
Whom I have formed, even whom I have made.”
iii. Is. 48:11 “For My own sake, for My own sake, I will act;
For how can My name be profaned?
And My glory I will not give to another.
D. by making more and better disciples of Jesus Christ
a. make disciples of all the nations
b. Disciples—those who learn from and follow Jesus
c. Disciples—those who obey all that Jesus taught
d. Disciples—those who reproduce themselves by making new disciples
E. who are committed to
a. the celebration of God, as in…
Colossians 3:23–24 NASB
“Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men; knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.”
“Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt His name together!” (Psalm 34:3)
We have made great efforts to celebrate God this past year corporately and in our own lives, desiring to express our worship of God authentically in spirit and in truth, wanting to resist all pretence in both our corporate and private worship.
We’ve celebrated together through exalting God and fixing our vision and our hearts on Him during our Sunday morning services and special events this past year. Our hope has been to make God’s glory the ultimate purpose of all we’ve done here, whenever we’ve gathered together on either Sunday mornings, during the week in growth groups, special services during the Christmas and Easter seasons, and through prayer retreats focused on just being with God and letting Him speak to us (setting aside time to make Him our true heart’s affection).
Our week of prayer this past year focused on celebrating God for being the Creator, the God who speaks and is actively involved in our lives, the God who sustains through suffering, and the God who passionately pursues us.
Through this year’s sermon series’, our celebration of God took the form of repenting of the idols that compete for our hearts’ attention and exalting Him as the One True God, greater than anything else the world has to offer. Our celebration of God also focused on acknowledging and celebrating the work of the Holy Spirit through the Word and in our lives.
The 40-Days o worship series highlighted how we celebrate by responding to God with our lives, saying “Here I Am”, and authentically through our various ‘sacred pathways’ or ways we worship. Our study on the book of Mark prepared us to celebrate Christ’s journey to the cross, His death for the sins of the world, and the victory of His resurrection.
We have realized that “Celebration” is a major part of our DNA as a church and community of grace, and also personally as believers in the One True God. We continue trying to incorporate various worship elements into our corporate times of celebration together. We have also tried to emphasize making celebration of God more integrated in our lives apart from Sunday mornings through private worship, in prayer, music, art, our work, our interactions and relationships in our families and communities, and in the attitude and motivation of our hearts.
b. the cultivation of deeper faith, and
i. for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.
ii. MIKE MILESKI & JOE BOYACHEK
c. the restoration of all things
Jeremiah 29:7 NASB
And seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf; for in its welfare you will have welfare.
Ephesians 2:17–18 NASB
And He Came And Preached Peace To You Who Were Far Away, And Peace To Those Who Were Near; for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father.
John 14:12 NASB
Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go to the Father.
i. our city, and
1. Urban Ministries
A couple of years ago I started to mentor a MBA International Student from China and also invited her to ESL class - she attended our Philpott class but my involvement with her was much more than that. We spent at least a couple days of week together just working on her English - especially from a business perspective because that was ultimately her goal - was to get a good job in Canada. This person had a great job in China but left it to study in Canada.
As a result of our friendship, she got a couple of co-op jobs and also landed a full time job in CIBC - and is in a senior position in Corporate Finance. In fact, she won an award at CIBC for being a top performer. These award winners were invited to the annual Christmas banquet and she was chosen to sit at the CFO's table. She was allowed to invite a guest and she invited me. When I said no - she should invite her husband, she said she wanted to share her success with me because I was a part of it. So I humbly accepted and she was introducing me as her English tutor. That was funny because at this point I never thought of being her "english tutor". At this point I felt we were colleagues and just very good friends.
Yes, her life was impacted but mine more so. God has allowed me to be a part of someone's life in a way that my friend needed it the most. She knows exactly why I believe and the faith that drives me to do what I do and always listens and respects what I say. She has since moved to Oakville to be closer to TO, but always calls to just talk.
c. Cooking Class & Crafts Class
A young woman from Belgium with limited English was introduced to the cooking and craft classes almost two years ago. Her partner was here doing research at Mac. She made it known the first night that she hadn't been in a church since she was 13 and did not believe in God. She must have felt the acceptance though as she continued to come and shared the loneliness she felt and the difficulties with language and trying to find work. Last summer
she had a baby and we were able to hook her up with a few motherly Dutch women at Philpott who could guide her through the anxieties a first time mother have. When our classes resumed in September, the baby was there.
Before the baby came, volunteers from our New2Canada class held a baby shower for her, something that is not done back home. She was overwhelmed that she was supported in this way and when she went home that evening, her partner had to play all the "baby games" from earlier in the evening and got to enjoy some great food while watching all the gifts being opened again. We asked a new mum from the church to attend our classes so she could connect with someone her own age and share baby concerns. She has faithfully attended all the classes, trundling the baby out in all this winters weather to spend a few hours with our group. In a few months they will be returning to Belgium, but this last week, she brought the baby’s memory book with her to class, as she wanted her Canadian family to write their thoughts in it. A most tender moment was watching her sitting on the floor in Missionary Hall while one of the ladies wrote her thoughts in Urdu into the book and explained what she was writing. That evening the pages of the baby’s book were covered in blessings written in Mandarin, French, English and Urdu from the friends God brought into her life in a place she was hesitant to enter almost two years ago. Her heart has definitely been softened, the ground tilled, for someone to harvest.
A— is a young Muslim woman who came from Pakistan with her husband and two children almost four years ago. They live in a small, sparsely furnished apartment and her husband drives a cab. He was a judge and she a midwife back home. She has been faithfully coming to our cooking and craft classes for three years and she was one who received a Christmas Hamper from Philpott this past winter when her husband lost his job. When we delivered the gift, an invitation was given for them to attend Christmas dinner at Sonya's home. Her husband jumped at the invitation. In all the time they had been in Canada, they had never been invited to a Canadian home and had no Canadian friends. Oh, it meant adding a few "halal" items to the Christmas menu, but as people shared Christmas traditions in their own families (from several different backgrounds) around the table, they participated with what it was like in Pakistan at Christmas. God has woven others from Philpott into their lives since this time, helping with medical concerns, giving violin lessons, supporting them with ESL as they prepare for citizenship exams and having "play dates" with the children. They have even reciprocated by inviting their Canadian friends for meals. It was not the mosque but the Christian community that reached out to this family, especially as He put her on our hearts, and He has gently revealed Himself to the hearts of this family who were struggling with discouragement, loneliness and isolation in their new country.
d. TrueCity: nurturing vision; collaborating with sister congregations; planting churches in the city
2. Arts Bridge—
a couple who love the arts attended one of our Arts Events while making it clear that they had little and no interest in our faith. Event after event, year after year, their perspectives changed, the faith interest she had had she began to express; the hostility that he had expressed was transformed: on one of our Arts Outings, he asked me whether we had missionaries at work in a particular part of the world he was concerned about; I said YES! He later made a missions-sponsored trip to that continent, making investments in local health issues there.
3. Children’s ministry in the city—Arts Camp this July
ii. the nations.
1. Prim and Bir, two brothers in Nepal, whom we have supported in prayer and financially for almost twenty years: they continue to be effective evangelists among their own people.
2. Save The Mothers in Yemen, now Africa, led by Jean Chamberlain Froese with her husband and children.
3. Stephen & Peggy Foster, who have built a hospital as their ministry base in Angola, enduring the civil war and other mayhem for the healing of the people and the proclamation of Christ.
4. Rick and Sandy Polson, training Latin American believers to support themselves as they make disciples and plant churches.
We have as our base the very Word of God, which narrates for us the beginnings of the story of redemption and restoration. By that story, we are called into life and into participation in God’s work of salvation and restoration of all things. First we are called to LIFE, a personal experience of the power of the resurrection applied by the Spirit of Christ. Second, we are called to LIVE with Christ, taking up the work of Christ in Restoring the world, one heart, one family, one congregation, one city at a time.
Jim Elliot: “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”
Jesus: Mark 8:34–35
“And He summoned the multitude with His disciples, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. “For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s shall save it.”
Close: you will hear this more precisely described and a little more personally in the months to come; in an expanded form in the month of August.
Paintings: CELEBRATE, CULTIVATE, RESTORE