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Recipe for an “Essential” Church

Posted by heavensembassy on August 3, 2010

Why an “Essential” Church?

†     The Quadrennium Theme of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church is ” An ‘Essential’ Church: Poised for 21st Century Ministry

Something does not seem essential to our members, because 70% of young adults between the ages of 18-22 dropout of Church.

  • They dropout for reasons ranging from hypocrisy of Church people to not feeling apart of the Church.

The Recipe—In Ephesians, the author writes what I would call the recipe for an “Essential” Church. In the first chapter, in ancient manuscripts, it is addressed “to the saints at” and the city is left blank, so this letter is addressed to any Church that can fill in the blank.

Steps to the Recipe:

Step 1: Get the oven pre-heated. Ephesians 1:4

†  In order for something to be baked properly the oven must be preheated.

  • God is the One who preheats the oven. For God chose us to be a part of this masterpiece (Eph.2:10) before the foundation of the world.
  • God started this recipe before us, and chose to involve us and bless us with all spiritual blessings! (Eph. 1:3) Hence, we should never forget that this is God’s production.

Step 2: Prepare Ingredients. This is an uncommon dish, so it uses uncommon measurements.

†  Add a Dose of Reality. Eph. 2:1-4

  • The author reminds the readers that they were not always saved, But God. This leads to two places to be real…
  1. We must be real and honest about our experiences our failures, shortcomings, sins, trying things, and disobedience. People cannot identify with us when we pretend that we have been saved always, and that we have everything all together. We all struggle!
  2. We must be real about our Church. We shouldn’t make excuses about missing membership, lack of programs, or not reaching out to the community. We should look at ourselves as we really are so that we can improve.

†  Stir a Bowl of Unity. Ephesians 4:1-13

  • Unity can only be stirred with grace. When I was young and would cook pancakes with my Mom, we would have to stir until the lumps came out. Sometimes I’d get tired, but we’d have to keep stirring, so that the pancakes would cook correctly. Similarly, we must stir unity with grace in three ways.
  1. Respect others’ Grace. Eph. 4:2, 8-11

Pray for pastor and officers (Eph. 2:14-21), when we pray for them we will respect them for the grace to fill that office, because none of us are qualified enough to do God’s work and serve in God’s Church. It’s by God’s Grace!

2.  Know your Grace. Eph. 4:7

When we recognize the grace that God has given us, we will be more efficient in God’s service, and will not have time to worry about other folks.

3. Extend the Grace to Others. Eph. 4:12

Reach out to those who have not experienced God’s Amazing Grace!

†  Secret Ingredient—every good recipe has a secret ingredient. Eph. 3:3-6; 4:3-6

  • The Church’s secret ingredient that other religions cannot use is something that was a mystery to even the author of Ephesians.
    • It is the mystery of the Gospel of Jesus Christ! (Eph. 3:6)
    • That the Gentiles (those marginalized and put on the fringes of the Jewish religion) are made joint heirs and members of the same body!
    • When the veil of the temple was rent in two upon Jesus’ crucifixion, Jesus did not only open a relationship with Humans to God, but He broke down the walls of segregation, discrimination, racism, bigotry, sexism, so that Humans could have a relationship with each other!

Step 3: Cooking time. How long to cook? Eph. 4:13

†  Since God is the One that turned the oven on, then God will turn the oven off! So, the recipe will cook “until we all come to the unity of faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity to the measure of the full stature of Christ.”

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