When Miles played with the Chargers, the team would watch films of everything they had done each day – practices and games. If a player made a mistake, he knew that everyone would see it on film later, to his humiliation. One game day, the Chargers’ rookie defensive back was chasing a Raiders tight end and was unable to catch him, even though theoretically, he should have been much faster than his opponent. During the film replay the next day, the coach rolled the chase again and again, asking, “Why can’t you catch this guy? Are you running as fast as you can?”
God asks this same question of us, his church: are we being as aggressive as we can in fulfilling our mission?
In Matthew 16:18, when Peter confirms his belief that Jesus is the Christ, Jesus says, “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.” The truth of Jesus’ deity is the rock of our faith and nothing can stand against it. This verse is often read to mean that we the church stand still and evil forces cannot knock us down, but Pastor Miles urged the opposite. “The gates of Hades shall not prevail” against the truth of Jesus, meaning that the church brings the gospel in power against the works of the devil, and those gates cannot withstand the force of that truth.
Are you doing everything you can to advance the kingdom of God? Last week Pastor Miles taught that God, knowing that the world was hopeless and helpless, had a plan to create a church to bring hope to the world. If God’s church believes in His truth, trusts in Him, and walks by faith, then even the gates of hell can’t stop us!
In the next five weeks, Miles will be sharing what the Rock is doing to run as fast as we can…and we can’t do it without the WE!
Like any business’ mission statement, the Rock’s mission statement tells what our purpose is. We are not simply in the business of having church, but of making disciples. SAVE – EQUIP – SEND
Jesus Himself gave us this mission in Matthew 28:19-20:
Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Just as a mission states our business in the world, a vision is a picture of our preferred future. If you aim to achieve a high level of health and fitness, you may have certain criteria that you would like to achieve; a picture of your preferred future may include a certain pants size or a strength goal. But the Rock’s vision is Pervasive Hope. Jesus wants us to reach out as his witnesses, bringing hope to every corner we can reach, as He tells His disciples in Acts 1:8:
“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Our city has many needs in many areas, and God is calling us to bring hope into that darkness. Today we have three campuses and 786 small groups, but as we “run as fast as we can” toward the mission and vision that God has given us, our goal by 2020 is to have 10 campuses and 2400 small groups. We can only reach this goal if each person is committed to running toward those goals that God has given us as a church body.
You can hide in the church and never really be a part of its community, or you can get involved today and seek out accountability, fellowship, and growth. Be a part of the big picture! Are you in the family business of saving, equipping and sending out disciples? Or are you still sitting on the bench?