September 14, 2007
Good morning. How are you guys today? Pretty good? I want to welcome all of our campuses. Miami, how are you guys doing? Downtown Dallas, downtown Fort Worth, also in Plano and then our 6th campus, this (Grapevine) is our 5th, but our 6th campus would be our television audience. A lot of people don’t realize this, but Fellowship Church is seen all over the world. We get correspondence, e mails, voicemails, letters from Africa, the Middle East, throughout Europe, South America. So it is pretty cool to leverage technology in that domain.
I am talking today about delicious. I’m in a series called “Delicious” and you might think that is kind of a strange title.
We have this desire for the delicious. God has given it to us and it’s interesting to see how much God talks about food in his Word. Now physically speaking, I don’t know about you, but I enjoy eating. We’re made to consume food. We’re also made to drink water. If we go without water or without food for too long we die. And all you have to do is check out the news, go online or watch one of the networks or read any paper and you’ll see that starvation or malnourishment is a major, major problem. There are a lot of people right now who are hungry on planet Earth and that’s a problem that the church must address. It is something that we’re addressing and we’re going to get more intentional about over the next several month.
Also, I would argue that spiritual hunger, spiritual thirst, spiritual malnourishment is a major problem. There are a lot of people who are starving. Now physically you’re well fed, but spiritually you have this desire for something. You want to taste something. You want to experience something. You want to engage in that something.
Well in this series called “Delicious” we’re talking about that something. Because whether you know it or not, you’ve been drawn here by the aroma of God. You have been brought here because you have this soulish hunger. And I truly believe over this series of talks that you will understand what it means to taste and to see that the Lord is good. That’s a Scripture verse that we have been looking at over the last several times.
Psalm 34:8, “Taste and see that the Lord is good.” That means to fully experience God.
“Taste and see.” In other words we’re going to see after we taste that God is what? He’s good. Miami, he’s what? The other campuses? Downtown? Plano? Fort Worth? Everybody, good. God is good. So “Taste and see that the Lord is good.”
Some of you are sitting in some of our comfortable seats right now and you’re just thinking about stepping over the line of faith, you’re thinking about becoming a follower of Christ. Others of you have just stepped over the line of faith. You’re a brand new believer. The Bible would say that you’re a babe in Christ. That’s what you are. And I would call you Zone 1. If you’re in Zone 1 you’re either thinking about becoming a believer or you’ve just stepped other the line, Zone 1.
Zone 2 would be those of us what here who are sitting in these beautiful seats who would be spiritual teenagers. A teenager just pretty much thinks about himself or herself. That’s just what it means to be a teenager. That’s just what we do. It’s part of growing up. It’s all about you and that’s okay; however, you have to move from Zone 2 to Zone 3.
Zone 3 would be those who are mature, the parents. Because once you get married, once you have kids you’re forced to be unselfish. You’re forced to think about other people.
So Zone 1—am I going too fast—Zone 2 and Zone 3. And here is kind of the lynch pin of the deal: A lot of us when it comes to spiritual development or spiritual maturity, we have the ability to either overestimate or underestimate where we are. Some people who think they’re in the wah-wah column, in Zone 1. When in reality, you’re in Zone 3, you’re mature. Others here who think they’re mature are really in the wah-wah Zone 1 column. So during this series over the next several weeks we’re going to look at this progression, because God wants us to feed on his Word and to drink the living water.
Jesus said this in John 6:35, “I am the bread of life.” That’s what Jesus said. He said, “I am the cosmic carbohydrate.” He didn’t say, “I’m a Happy Meal.” He didn’t say, “I’m an appetizer.” He didn’t say, “I’m a dessert.” He said, “I am the bread of life.”
Then he went on in the verse to say if you taste the bread, if you eat the bread you’ll have eternal life and you’ll know me. And then he talks about living water. He talks about the idea that if you have this living water inside of you, as you drink it you will discover what life is all about. That’s John 6:35.
Now another scripture verse we have been looking at is found in John 4:34. If you have your Bibles turn there. So we see this whole food thing taking place. “Taste and see that the Lord is good.” Jesus said, I am the bread of life. You’re not going to go hungry when you come to me and whoever believes in me, you’re not going to go thirsty.
Then in John 4:34, Jesus said, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.”
Say that word “work” with me, ”work”. Turn to your neighbor and say “work, baby, work,” because we’re going to talk about work. We are going to talk about work today. It is all about work.
Now there is a work, obviously, that only Jesus does. There is also a work that only we can do. There is a work that only he can do and a work that only we can do.
Now last time I told you a story, a very interesting story about a strange meeting that I had with an adult film star here at Fellowship Church. A producer in Hollywood set it up. This lady walked through the doors of Fellowship Church and I met her right there and she sat in one of these seats and we talked about life. I talked about what the Bible says regarding sex and sexuality, the fact that God was not shy about creating sex. In fact, the first words ever spoken to all of us were words about our sexuality. “It’s a boy. It’s a girl.”
So the church is the second best pace to talk about sex. The first being the family, the second being the church. So I talked about sex and what the Bible says about it. She talked about sex and why she is a porn star. It was a very fascinating conversation.
And then, as we began talking more and more, I began to ask her some questions about her life and about what she wants to do with her life. And I could tell God begin to convict this young woman. And God began to convict, I believe, her boyfriend/agent/former porn star who was there with her. And then I watched her change the subject. And then I watched her walk out of Fellowship and I heard her turn to her boyfriend and say, “What if he’s right?”
Now, you would never think that I would have an opportunity to share Jesus with a porn star. I mean, come on, that’s crazy! How did that happen? I told this young lady, though, “God has brought our paths together for this beautiful collision for a reason, and that reason was for me to get this message to you.”
The Bible says as people who follow Christ, check this out, we sow seed. That’s what we do; we’re just sowing seed by our life, by our words, and by our deeds.
Also, some of us reap. When you reap, do you know what that means? That means you harvest. That means you collect the fruit. In this passage we’re going to look at today, some sow and others reap. In fact those of us who are in Zone 2 or Zone 3, we should be sowing and reaping. And Jesus said “Both the sower and the reaper rejoice.” So if you’re in Zone 2 or Zone 3 you should be thinking, “Wow! This is unbelievable because I am sowing and I’m reaping. I mean, this is crazy. I’m showing people the bread of life and the living water and whoever eats the bread, of course being Jesus, the cosmic carbohydrate, will never go hungry. He who drinks the water is never going to go thirsty. This is just crazy!”
Well, when I quoted that verse to you last time, John 4:34, “Jesus said, ‘My food is to do the will of God and to finish the work of him who sent me.'” When I quoted that to you, I didn’t think about the context of that verse. I just quoted the verse. I didn’t think about the venue of the verse. The venue in John chapter 4 is Jesus talking to a prostitute. The whore in John 4, you might say. Or the young people would say, ”the ho in John 4.” This prostitute talked to Jesus. And when I heard about it this week, when someone alerted me to that I thought “Wow! Is that crazy? I talked about that when I talked about the opportunity that I had to share Jesus with a porn star.” And it parallels this whole situation Jesus had with this woman from Samaria. John 4:4. The Bible said that Jesus had to go through Samaria. What does that mean? You want to talk about racism? I mean, you want to talk about racism. The Jews and the Samaritans hated each other. Really, the Jews are the ones that hated the Samaritans because the Samaritans, the Jews said, were half breeds. Go back in history. They intermarried, the Jews did with the Assyrians and they began the Samarians. So the Jews hated the Samarians.
So Jesus was going to a place, the Bible said, called Galilee. He had three routes. And devout Jews would never walk through Samaria. They would go the other ways even though the other ways were longer ways. But they wouldn’t walk through Samaria. The Bible said Jesus had to go through Samaria. In other words, it was a beautiful collision orchestrated by his Father for their paths to cross.
And Jesus was tired, the Bible said. He was in Samaria. He and the disciples had been walking and he didn’t want to confront the Pharisees who had been freaking out over his popularity because he had just begun his ministry. He knew that would happen later. So he walked through, he had to go through, the Bible says, Samaria.
And he saw this well, Jacob’s Well, a well a hundred feet deep. And literally in the original language it says that Jesus just sat down, he was tired, on the edge of the well. He was just sitting there. He was tired.
And I think it’s cool that the Bible said that Jesus was tired, because Jesus was fully God and fully man. This shows the humanity of Christ. It shows that we serve a sympathetic Savior. We don’t serve some detached deity, someone way out there. Hello, Jesus is right here. He has been there, tempted and tested on a level that we will never, ever understand. Jesus was tempted in that way and tested, so he understands what we’re going through.
He was sitting there, it was about noon, hot as fire, and I’m sure triple degree heat. Now the women were the ones who would get water. The women would get the water in the morning and the evening. It was high noon now and Jesus was sitting there. No one was at the well. But then all of the sudden, who walks up? The prostitute.
She was walking to the well in the middle of the day. Why? Because she didn’t want to face the other women, because back in biblical times women had this tendency to gossip. They don’t have that tendency now. That was a long time ago. So she wanted to go by herself and collect her water and she saw Jesus.
Now the disciples, they were hungry. They said, “Jesus we’re hungry. We’re going to go to Whataburger. So you just sit there and we’re going to go to Whataburger. And what do you want? We’ll be back. Large? Super size? Okay.”
So they cruise and Jesus is sitting there. The woman comes up and Jesus says, “Can I have a drink of water?”
Just a simple request. And the woman says basically, “What are you doing? A Jew talking to a Samaritan?” Jews didn’t even talk to Samaritans, yet Jesus asked her, a woman, for some water. And then he began to change the conversation.
Let’s pick it up in John 4:10, “The Samaritan woman said to Him, ‘You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?’ Jesus answered her, ‘If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked Him and He would have given you living water.”
Do you see how he changes it, he spins it that quick? So all of the sudden she is starting to feel convicted.
And I had the same situation when I talked to that lady several days ago. After about an hour and a half I could tell that God was convicting her.
What happens when we’re convicted? I will tell you what happens, we change the subject. We go on detours. We throw up smoke screens. We don’t like convictions. Some of you people who are married you get in that argument and you know you’re wrong and your spouse calls it out, what do you do? You just change the subject.
Well Jesus begins to read this woman’s e mail. He says, “You have had five husbands, girl, and the dude you’re shacking up with now, the dude you’re playing house with now is not your husband.” And if you keep reading, she changes the subject. She says, “Well let’s talk about the differences, Jesus, of the Samaritans and the Jews and where we worship and let’s start talking about the history. Some say, you know, the messiah is coming….” She was just changing the subject.
Again, when I talked to the woman who is the adult film star, as we began to talk about her life and what she was going to do with Jesus, what did she say? She said, “Well I’m not sure if I believe the Bible. I read this book that said Jesus was having sex with Mary Magdalene because Mary Magdalene was a prostitute. The Da Vinci Code said that. I don’t know about the Bible. The Bible was written by men. Maybe they changed it and tweaked it over the years and I’m not sure.”
It was all smoke screens, detours. We don’t become followers of Christ without first of all getting under conviction, because conviction leads to a conversion.
So Jesus brought the whole thing back to himself. And you’re talking about classic, look at John 4:25 26.
“The woman said, ‘I know that Messiah’ (called Christ) ‘is coming. When He comes, He will explain everything to us.’ Then Jesus declared, ‘I who speak to you am He.’”
I mean, the first response we have to Jesus is not, “Jesus, you’re going to make my life easier. This is great. It is all about me.” There is so much faux faith out there, a lot of bogus believers out there because we get it so twisted. Too often we say, “Jesus, you join me and my story. You see, you become a part of my parade, of my selfishness, of my greed, of my desires, of my appetites, of what I want to do when I live my delicious life.”
What happens? We become self-centered naval gazers, not biblically functioning followers of Christ. So we don’t say, “Jesus, join my story.” No, God invites us, friends, to become a part of his story. There’s a huge difference, a big difference.
So it’s not like, “Oh, good, a little quick Happy Meal. He is going to make me happy and peppy and bursting with love. God, join my greed, join my materialism, join my appetite, join my deal.”
It is not that. It is, “God, you’re working, and you have invited me to become a part of your redemptive novel.”
That’s a totally different deal. And once we do that, then we see how we can share, we’re biblically functioning followers, and we share. Then we see how we can serve, get outside of ourselves. Then we see how we can sow.
And here is the cool thing about Christianity, about following Jesus: When we share he shares with us. When we serve, he serves us. When we sow he sows into our lives.
So this woman is wrestling with this whole situation and Jesus says, the big reveal, “I’m the Messiah. I’m Christ.”
As I talked to the film star I said to her, “You have a couple of options with Jesus.”
She said, “Yes, I think Jesus was a good guy.”
I said, “Wait, he didn’t leave that option open. He’s either insane or the Son of God. He’s either Lord or he’s a loon. You have to make up your mind. That’s the bottom line.”
So Jesus brought the woman at the well to this decision. And obviously she made the decision, because in John 4:28-29, she left her water jar, left the igloo cooler right there, she cruises into town, a town called Sychar and she tells people about this Jesus. And I love this because she says, “Could this be the Christ?”
She was saying, “This guy told me everything I’ve done. This guy read my e mail. Could this be the Christ? Again, what if he’s right? What if he’s right?”
Do you mind if I have just a preacher moment for a second? Do you mind? You know, I grew up in a preacher’s household and lot of you maybe don’t understand this but you can parallel John chapter 3 with John chapter 4. I don’t have time to go into John chapter 3 but let me do this for all the preachers in the house if you let me.
(Organ music begins playing in the background)
In John 3 Jesus talked to a man named Nicodemus; in John 4 he talked to a whore. In John 3 he talked to a man; in John 4 he talked to a woman. In John 3 he talked to someone who was moral; in John 4 he talked to someone who was immoral. In John 3 he talked to a Jew; in John 4 he talked to a Samaritan. But I have news for you today; both of them became believers. Both of them got born again. Both of them got washed in the blood. Both of them got sanctified. Both of them got justified. I don’t know why you came here today, but I come to praise the Lord!
Wow, thank you Dex. Man, Dex, he can do it all, man. Write songs, sing, play the organ, ride Harleys. He knows more about sports than anybody I know; unbelievable. It was just a preacher moment. Some of you are probably thinking, “What is up with that?” Well this has been a hard week. I mean, we’ve had a tough week here. We need some humor. Where was I?
We’re talking about Jesus talking to this woman. So if we now skip to John 4:32. We don’t have time to go through all these Scriptures. We would be here until the cows come home. John 4:32. And you know what, that is why most churches begin at 11 o’clock. The reason that is a traditional time for church is it gave farmers enough time to milk their cows. That’s a really spiritual reason, isn’t it? I’m giving you some church history here as we move along.
John 4:32, meanwhile his disciples show up. Here they come back from Whataburger and they’re thinking about food. My stomach is growling. I want something to eat and drink. And they urged him of course they saw him talking to this woman, too. And they said, “Rabbi, eat something.” Some people just don’t get it. And the disciples here, they just didn’t get it.
And that’s okay if you don’t get it. One day you’ll get it. And we’re going to talk about when you don’t get it and when you get it during this series. Because there’s a guy I’m going to talk about in a couple of weeks named Simon Peter. The guy didn’t get it. I mean, he just didn’t. And Jesus gave him a nickname. He said, “Simon Peter, you’re the rock.” And you know everybody around him was like, “Ha! Jesus, the rock? This guy is up and down roller coaster. The rock? Wishy washy. He’s hot, he’s not.” But Simon Peter became one of the greatest men of God ever and we’re going to talk about that. So we can all identify with that, can’t we? Sometimes we just don’t get it.
And the disciples didn’t get it. And Jesus said in John 4:32, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.”
“What,” they’re thinking? And then they said this in John 4:33. This is some Hebrew humor here. “Could someone have brought him food?”
They’re thinking, “Did someone bring him a Chick-fil-a sandwich and we didn’t know about it?” Wow.
And then Jesus said in John 4:34, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.”
You see, we’re nourished not by what we take in. We’re nourished not by just what we take in. We’re nourished not by just what we take in, but also what we give out.
That’s what I love about Fellowship Church. Fellowship Church is a diet and exercise church. We sit at the table, we eat the bread of life, we drink the living water but we get off of our blessed assurance—the Baptists laughed at that; if you’re not a Baptist you didn’t get that—and we get out there and do the deal. So it’s diet and exercise.
That’s why Jesus said, “It’s my food,” and it should be our food, “to do the will of God and the work…” Again there’s the word again, work, work it baby, the work, and the work “…of him who sent me.”
Now, Jesus finished the work on Calvary. He said, “It is finished.” He died on the cross and rose again. That is the work that we can never, ever do that was done for us even though we don’t deserve it. The work we can do is witness, is to do what the woman did.
Now think again, put yourself in this woman’s pumps just for a second. Guys, not for too long, but just for a second. She had this checkered past, a hooker, we would call her a ho today, and she’s running around inviting people to Jesus.
Sometimes we want to share Jesus with others or just invite them to sit at Fellowship Church but the enemy says, “Who are you to invite that person? Who are you to share your story? Who are you? Do you realize what you have done? Do you realize your past? Do you realize?”
That’s the enemy and we need to call the enemy what he is, a liar. Just in your mind just say, “Man you’re a liar.” Or if you have to say it out loud, do it. “Stop lying. You’re a liar.” People might think you’re crazy talking to yourself, but sometimes you have to do that. Do you ever do that? Do you talk to yourself? I do all the time. I just talk to myself. I have some good conversations.
Look at John 4:35, Jesus said “Do you not say, ‘Four months more and then the harvest’?” Now Jesus changed gears. We’re going one way and he changes gears. He is talking about food and then all of the sudden the harvest. Again, the disciples did not get it. They could not follow his train. So he’s talking about food then he’s taking about the harvest, which is the source of food.
He says, “I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.”
Now, let me kick back and ask you this question: Why would Jesus say this? Well in this context, we have this venue. We have the venue, we have the menu, the bread of life and the living water, and we have the meal. We either eat the food and the bread and drink the living water or not. So we have the venue and the menu and the meal. The reason Jesus told his disciples, “Look, the fields are ripe unto harvest,” is because the Samaritans were coming. The prostitute had sown seeds, had shared Jesus and now they were coming. And Jesus said, “Let’s get ready to reap.” Because they were getting ready to collect this harvest.
Now the disciples did not work for it; Jesus did. And God worked in this prostitute’s life. The disciples had the easy part. They were just harvesting. They were reaping. Again, the sower and the reaper both rejoice. “Just open your eyes and look at the fields, they’re ripe for harvest.”
Illus: Let me tell a story that I have never told before. When we began our campus in Miami, in fact about four or five months before we began this campus, I flew down to Miami with some of our board members here, some staff members, and we met with a few people there. At the time the church had about 17 people showing up, the church we now have in Miami. It had been declining for decades. And we met with some of the leaders there. And one guy, who was the kind of out spoken alpha male in the group, looked at me and he said, “Ed, when Jesus said ‘the fields are ripe unto harvest,’ he had to be thinking about Miami.”
I thought, “Wow, that is a great insight. Isn’t that awesome? That’s great!”
And here he was telling me this in a church that had 17 people and was falling apart and had been in decline for decades. I said “Yes.”
So we began to talk about the potential of us merging and doing what we do and etc, etc. And at the end of the meeting he looked at me and said, “You know, I’d be happy if we just had 200 people, just about 200. And if we do this deal, if you guys would do music like I want the music done.”
Later I found out again we’re talking Miami this guy said this. Are you ready for this? This is one of the most racist comments I have heard in a long, long time. He said, “You know, I don’t want our church to be overrun by all of the Latin people.” What?! What?! No wonder the church had been declining for decades! No wonder they were not reaching anybody! No wonder the glory of God was not flowing. One of the key leaders, in fact one of the point leaders, was a card carrying racist.
Red, yellow, black and white, we’re all precious in God’s site. Do you know anybody who is a pure breed? I’m not, are you? There’s no such thing. I don’t care if you’re yellow, pink, orange, striped, vertical, horizontal, whatever; we welcome you and we love diversity because God made us all. We have never looked at anyone who Jesus didn’t die for.
And this guy, this racist, left our church, which was awesome. Isn’t that great? We have grown by subtraction over the years. And you know what? You might be thinking, “Well Ed is a little angry about this.” Yes, I am angry about racism. And it’s a good anger; it’s a godly anger. So don’t e mail me. This is good stuff.
This guy cruised, and some other people cruised. See, they did not want to work; they didn’t want to put the chair at the forefront. Everybody wants to reach people until you start reaching people. And then all of the sudden people show up, the poor show up, the rich show up, the Latin show up, the black show up, the white show up, the Asian show up, the mixed breeds show up. And then “Wow, those aren’t my people. They didn’t go to the same school that I did. And they don’t eat the same food that I did.”
Hey, at Fellowship, until I have my last breath here and as I pastor this church, we are always going to open our arms to people from diverse backgrounds, people of color, red, yellow, black and white, we’re all precious in God’s sight. Racism is committing cosmic treason before our holy God. It is a joke.
Illus: Then check it out. The church grew from 17, I’m talking about our church in Miami, to 4 people two years ago. This past weekend, we had 629 people at Fellowship Church Miami. And over 80 percent of the people are from a Latin background. Somebody stand and give it up for God! Let’s give it up for diversity! Let’s give it up for the family of God! Let’s give it up for all of us who are half breeds, because I don’t see anybody who is a pure breed anywhere on planet Earth for that matter.
Please be seated. We’re all God’s children. I had to get that off my chest. I just could not believe that when that guy quoted that to me. And I hope somebody knows him, you can give him this DVD, because he needs to get under conviction for his conversion.
Here is what Jesus said, this is cool. Let me get back. John 4:36, Jesus said, “Even now the reaper draws his wages, even now he harvests the crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together.”
I’ll say this again, if you’re in Zone 2 or Zone 3 you better be rejoicing every time you show up here at the banquet table. Because if you’re following Jesus you’re going to sow and reap, reap and sow.
Now look at John 4:38, Jesus said, “I sent you to reap for what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work.”
Wow. Again friends, it takes work to keep this chair at the forefront. It takes work. It is messy. And this word work in the original language, do you know what it means? Wearied. It is weary to keep this seat at the forefront, because it’s the most important seat. If you don’t have this seat, you’re not going to have Zone 1, you sure aren’t going to have Zone 2 and it’s a pipe dream to think you’re going to have Zone 3. So I ask you, how do you get to Zone 2 and Zone 3 without this seat? You have to have this seat. It’s about the seat. So we have to do the work. And I want to thank you so much for the work, the work that you’re doing at Fellowship Church.
Illus: We had a group to go to our campus in Miami about two weeks ago and this one HomeTeam leader, a small group leader from Fellowship Grapevine, saw a number of people volunteering at Fellowship Church Miami who had only been believers for 3 or 4 weeks. And this guy said, “Man I have had people who have been in our HomeTeam for three years and they have not done jack! And here are people in Miami who have only been believers for three weeks and they’re already serving? Hello, anybody home?”
And check it out here, it talks about work and work. But look at John 4:39, “Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony.”
Because of the woman’s let’s say it together because of the woman’s testimony. What’s a testimony? It is just telling the truth about your life before Christ, how you met him, and what happened after. It is easy. Before, what happened, how you met him and after. That’s what we’re called to do.
And then she said, “He told me everything I ever I did.”
And then in John 4:40-41, “So the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. And because of his words many more became believers.”
That’s why the church is the church. That’s why at Fellowship Church we’re taking hell by the acre. Because we’re inviting people, we have the invitation that’s out there. You know we’re working on the preparation and the people are here for the presentation. People understand the venue and the menu and they’re partaking in the meal and they’re becoming followers of Jesus Christ.
Church, I want to thank you and I want to give you just a word of encouragement and challenge to keep on keeping on, to keep on keeping the chair as the central piece of furniture in the body of Christ. Because when you have intimacy between the bride of Christ, the church, and bride groom, Jesus, what’s the result of intimacy? Reproduction.
So don’t tell me how deep you are with God or how much you like this intense worship. Don’t tell me that unless you see reproduction, because if you’re not seeing reproduction you’re not being a full-court follower of Christ.
Illus: When Fellowship Church was about 3 years old a man who studies church growth all over world came to see us. He talked to a number of us back in day—Owen Goff, Doris Scoggins and Mike Johnson and I. This guy was a nerdy guy, a real brainy type, just unusual. And he was asking us questions and he had a camera filming some of the answers.
And right before he left he said, “Pastor, I would like to share with you a couple of things.”
I said, “okay.”
He said I want to do this in your office. We sat down and he said, “Pastor, I study church development and church growth all over the world, as you very well know. And what’s happening here is not normal. It is just abnormal, the growth, it is unbelievable, praise the Lord.”
I said, “Yes it’s great.”
And he said, “I want tell you to do two things, and you can either take it or leave it. But I have to tell you this, I have to. Number one, whatever you’ve done to get you to where you are today, don’t ever stop.”
I thought, “Wow!” Because basically we’ve kept the chair at the forefront.
Then he said, “Number two, the only people you’ll have to watch out for who will criticize you and try to tear up Fellowship Church are professional Christians. Stay away from them and don’t listen to them.”
You know, professional Christians are UFO’s—unidentified freeloading observers. And you know what, for the most part, by God’s grace and mercy we have done that here at Fellowship Church. And man, it has been just a phenomenal ride.
But just think about the food; think about the delicious food that so many people need to hear around all of our campuses. Think about the bread of life for those who are spiritually malnourished. Think about the living water that is offered and we can be that bread. We can be that water. We can invite them to come to the table and meet Jesus.
(Ed ends in closing prayer and offering.)