The Upward Look, by Jon Forrest

A man was stumbling through the woods, totally drunk, when he came upon a preacher baptizing people in the river. He proceeded to walk into the water and bumped into the preacher. The preacher turned around and, though almost overcome by the smell of alcohol, asked the drunk,
"Are you ready to find Jesus?"

The Drunk answered, "Yes, I am." So the preacher grabbed the drunk and dunked him in the water. Then he pulled him up and asked him, "Brother have you found Jesus?"

The drunk replied, "No, I haven’t found Jesus." The preacher, shocked at the answer, dunked him into the water again, for a little longer. Then again, he pulled him out and asked, "Have you found Jesus my brother?"

 The drunk again answered, "No, I haven’t found Jesus." By this time the preacher was at his wits end so he submerged the drunk once more, and held him down for about 30 seconds until he began kicking his arms and legs, whereupon he pulled him up. The preacher again asked the drunk, "For the love of God have you found Jesus?"

The drunk wiped his eyes and caught his breath and finally said to the preacher, "Are you sure this is where he fell in?"

Jesus commanded his disciples in Matthew 28:19 & 20 to make disciples of the world. They were to lead people to become followers (disciples), immerse (or baptize) them and teach them what they had learned from Jesus. While baptism isn’t how we disciple people, it is how disciples express their commitment to follow him.

Jesus has put us on a mission. He never intended that we be mere spectators in a pew. The early church was on a mission from God. Why should the church of today see her role any differently. The drunk in our little story was being evangelized incorrectly. You aren’t baptized to find Jesus. You are baptized because Jesus has found you. Dunking someone in water is nothing more than getting wet if we have not already determined that we desire him to be our Lord and Savior for all eternity.

Jesus sent us out to tell people who he is, what he has done for us and for them and how they can receive his presence in his life. The only thing you need to spread this message and accomplish his mission is a personal relationship with Jesus and a passion to introduce others to him.

Over the next few weeks, the First Christian Church family will share in a series of messages titled MISSION POSSIBLE! Over 20 years ago, the elders of FCC and I studied the mission of Christ and his church exhaustively and developed a mission statement to guide the direction of the church and her ministry. We determined that anything we do as a congregation must somehow be connected with this mission. Recently, the elders and I have been examining this statement and re-committing ourselves to its principles.

The Expressed Mission of First Christian Church is to…
         Show God’s Love to the Loveless.
                  Share God’s Son with the Friendless.
                           Shine God’s Light of Truth into the Darkness. 
                                    Shape God’s Church into the Body of Christ.

This Sunday I will share the introductory message to this series with a sermon titled The Great Mission (Commission) based on Acts 1:6-11 & Matthew 28:18-20. It is our hope that when we “Catch the Vision” of Christ’s mission for us there will be an increase in spiritual and numerical growth. We hope that our community will see Jesus through this church family and be drawn to him and, with God’s help, we might see a whole lot more people become disciples and be baptized into Christ for the right reasons.

Joining You on his Mission,

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