August 31, 2014
The church is a table where people come to get fed. It’s where we come to sit and to learn. But we aren’t designed to just sit in one chair for the rest of our lives.
In this message by Pastor Ed Young, we discover what it takes to move from one chair to the next at the table. And as we learn what that process is all about, we see how changing chairs can lead us to a life we never dreamed possible!
We were just sitting at a food court in Canton, Texas eating our chicken sandwiches. We were in the shade watching masses of humanity cruise by as they were shopping, all the women, for jibbily-junk, crapola, and chochkies. We just were sitting there in the shade minding our own business. We’d just bought some sandwiches from a chicken restaurant. Suddenly we looked and a woman from the chicken restaurant was trying to serve us samples of the food we were eating. We said no, thank you. And we watched her stay in the shade and go from table to table trying to serve samples of the chicken sandwiches the people were already eating. Lisa said,
“Ed, all she has to do is get out of the shade, walk into the heat where hunks of humanity are passing by, and serve samples to the people who obviously hadn’t partaken of the food yet.” I said,
“That sounds like a lot of believers I know. It sounds like a lot of churches I know. Content to stay in the shade in their comfort, in my comfort, with the picnic people, serving food to the already full. As opposed to walking out into the heat, into the elements – or you could say Hellements – and serving the Bread of Life to people who obviously have not been fed.”
The church is a table where people come to get fed. This metaphor, table, is used throughout scripture. The psalmist said in Psalm 23, “God, you prepared a table for me in the presence of my enemies.” The major and minor prophets talked about tables. Then we go to the New Testament and we see that the disciples were reclining at the table. One of the major phrases they tagged Jesus with was ‘you eat at the table with sinners.’ You’re a friend of sinners, of prostitutes, of tax collectors, of the downtrodden and depressed and disenfranchised. You’re eating with them at the table. And then we know in the book of Revelation, those of us who are followers of Christ, as we go into the next reality in Heaven we will sit down at the table, the Lamb’s table, and eat forever and ever. So the church is a table where people come to get fed.
The pastor is the leader and the feeder. I’m the dude with the food. I’m the chef. Emeril, Bobby Flay, whoever you want to say, Wolfgang. I serve the food in a creative and compelling way. Hopefully the food is served and it’s the Bible, right, the Word of God, in a nutritious way, a delicious way. And then the calories from the food give us the fuel to push away from the table and do what God wants us to do.
I read several years ago that Dallas has more restaurants per capita than almost any major city. Then I also saw in another magazine that Dallas is one of the most obese cities in America. Could there be a correlation? I’ve got to say Dallas has more spiritual restaurants than any place I’ve ever seen, and we’ve got to have more spiritual obesity than any place I’ve ever seen as well. It’s called the belt buckle of the Bible belt, yet a lot of people are so spiritually overweight that their Bible belts are on their last hole. They’re about to <ping-ping-ping> pop the buttons off. They’re pot-bellies. They’re just sitting there at the table gorging on food.
I’m so glad that Fellowship Church is a diet and exercise church, aren’t you? I’m so glad that not only are we fed but the fuel from the cosmic carb… You know, Jesus said this in John chapter 6, 35 he said, “I am the Bread of Life.” Complex carbs are rich in fiber, minerals, and vitamins. They act as fuel. I’m so glad we have a diet and exercise church.
Think about being in shape physically. It’s not that hard. I mean it’s so easy to explain. Eat clean, do some cardio, some strength work, and you’ll be in good shape. Yet we’ve made it complex. P90X with Insanity and you super-set, and then you do cardio and then you stop and walk for 10 minutes and jump rope for 17 minutes and then… and you’ve got to be on this diet and it’s so complex. You’ve got to eat totally vegan. No, not vegan, all protein and Paleo, along with vegan! And we’ve made the simple, complex. It’s not that hard. Eat clean, do some cardio and do some strength training, and you’ll be in good shape.
And we’ve made spiritual maturity the same. Oh, spiritual maturity is just for a few people. It’s just for these spiritual savants. Just for these people who are brilliant. I could never be spiritually mature, not me. No, I could never be. I could never be a person developing my walk with God. I mean, it’s so complex. You have to know the Hebrew and the Greek and I’ve got to go to cemetery, I mean seminary! And I’ve got to know all these things. And I’ve got to have another Bible study. It’s information, information! <babbling sound effect> No, it’s not that hard. Spiritual maturity is not that hard. You give the chair of your life to Jesus. You get off the chair, you get off the throne, you get out of the driver’s seat. You give him the reins because we’re made for Jesus. You try to run your life relationally, psychologically, sexually, corporately, it’s not going to work. It’ll work for a while, then it’s going to implode. So you give your life to Jesus, give your chair to him. And once he’s in the chair you become chair-aware and you’re like whoa! I get this deal now! So to grow you sit in the chair about 15 minutes a day and you open his Word and you learn how to feed yourself. Then you come to church and you go to this corporate feeding, and then you do three things. The New Testament says you share. That’s right, you share with others what Jesus has done in your life when he gives you opportunity. Then you serve within the context of the body of Christ, the church. You serve, you get outside of yourself. Then you sow. You sow your gifts, abilities, and times, and talents and finances in the only thing Jesus every built. That’s what it means to be spiritually mature. That’s it.
Now, it’s easy to tell you how to be in great shape physically. It’s one thing to give you information. It’s quite another thing for the application. The application part is the tough part, right?
The same is true in the Christian life. We must remember these spiritual disciplines. The church is the table where people come to get fed. The pastor is the dude with the food who serves the food in a creative and compelling way. The calories from this complex carb, the Bread of Life (John 6:35) gives us the fuel to do what God wants us to do.
I did not want to come to Dallas/Fort Worth almost 25 years ago to help start Fellowship Church. I didn’t want to come up here. All these big steeple/few people churches? All these televangelists here, all these preachers here, all these spiritual restaurants on every corner? I didn’t want to come to Dallas/Fort Worth. Are you kidding me? I wanted to go to Toronto or Las Vegas or San Francisco, maybe Fort Lauderdale, where there’s spectacular sinning going on. Not here! Everybody’s a Christian in Dallas/Fort Worth! No, that’s not true. Because Dallas is a place of course that I love, and I know God called us here to help kick off Fellowship Church, but Dallas has a lot of people here, in fact the majority of people in Dallas, are not followers of Christ. We have a lot of people in Dallas who are churched/unchurched. We have been inoculated against catching the real disease. We have just enough of God to be dangerous but hey, Dallas/Fort Worth is not a churched area.
ILLUS: Last Sunday before church I decided to run. I’m running around our neighborhood and I’m thinking about this. Oh, Dallas is supposed to be the belt buckle of the Bible belt. A lot of people are so spiritually fat their Bible belt’s on its last hole. I say it all the time, people laugh, hahahaha. Well, I’m running and I’m looking and no one’s moving. It’s right before church. I mean, I don’t get here very early. I get her and boom – I’m ready to speak. No one’s moving in my neighborhood so I kind of jog across the little freeway thing to another neighborhood. No one’s moving there either. I’m thinking, wow, no one’s up! This is Dallas/Fort Worth. No one goes to church.
And then I’ll meet people. I’ll go hey, and we go back and forth. “What do you do for a living? I do blank.” And invariably, “Hey, what do you do for a living?” I kind of pause. I like to watch the eyes just blink.
“I’m a pastor.” And when I say that they always do the rewind. <rewind sound effect>
“Oh, man, I’m sorry about dropping the F-bomb and the… oh my gosh! You’re not a pastor. You don’t look like a pastor. There’s no way.”
“Yeah, I am, yeah.” Then they say,
“Well, I’m a Christian.”
“Really? That’s great. Where do you go to church?”
“Ummm…. Well…. I’m… uh. I’m a fan of that church, that really big one that has some different locations.”
“You mean Fellowship?”
“Yeah, I’m a fan of Fellowship. I’ll go there. And I also go to this other church here ‘cause I hear the girls are really hot over here. And I’ll sometimes go over there, and here and there, and there and here, and here and there…”
“Now, where are you a member?”
“Well, I just, well I’m not really a member. I just…”
In the Bible church membership is assumed. The church is called the body of Christ. There’s a member, we have members of our bodies, they all work together in concert with one another. Read your New Testament. Letters to the church at Laodicea, letters to the church at Philippi, letters to the church at Corinth. Specific, local churches. There was no church hopping, shopping, or be-bopping back in the day. It’s a orth American thing.
We have opportunities here at Fellowship do to a lot of travel. We do a lot of consulting, a lot of teaching, a lot of round tables, a lot of video conferencing. So many young leaders I talk to, maybe their churches are just starting, maybe they’re a couple of years old, and they’re like, Ed, what do we do? I mean, no one commits, man! No one commits! It’s like they’re dating the church! No one gets married! How do you do it? What do I do? And I try to reassure them. I say it is difficult because we are challenging people who are very noncommittal to commit. We’re challenging people to go against the grain of our culture and to get involved in a community. It is difficult, I say. Some of the most active people at Fellowship Church come every other week. Some once a month, some once every six weeks. Then we have the creasters who come at Christmas and Easter. It’s very challenging. It drives church leaders absolutely bonkers!
Hey, I play in the NFL, did you know that? Did you know I play in the NFL? You probably didn’t. I play now and then for the Cowboys. When the Cowboys meet my needs I play with the Cowboys. Jerry Jones pays me, I’m there. But you know, the Cowboys, I don’t know, Romo blew his back out again and Jason can pull a hammy. And if that happens I’m going to probably go to the Dolphins.
One of my best friends is really good friends with Ryan Tannehill and he could probably put in a good word for me. Tannehill likes to fish, too. He’s from this area. He’d probably give me the ball there with the Dolphins, what do you think? I’ll come in the huddle, “Hey Ryan! Gimme the ball, man!” He’d probably give me the ball.
And then you know, I like Johnny Manziel. I think he’s an amazing athlete. It’d be fun to play with him. If it doesn’t happen in Miami, if the Dolphins are going to mess me around, I’m just going to get upset. Or if someone says something bad or maybe the coach is not going to call me after a game. I’m just going to… ‘cause my friends, my friends are in Cleveland. I’m going to go up there with Johnny Manziel.
Then maybe the playbook there is not deep enough so I’m going to leave Cleveland and I’m going to go somewhere else. You’d be like, Ed, you are stupid! You don’t play in the NFL! That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard in my life!
I met a guy the other day. He attends Fellowship Church. I go, “Wow, that’s great. Tell me about your life.” And he goes,
“Well, I’m kind of married.” I said,
“Whoa-whoa,” his spouse wasn’t there. I said, “You’re kind of married?” He goes,
“Yeah, I’m with her when she meets my needs but if she <blab-blab-blab> starts nagging I just, you know, this girl I used to date in high school, I’m with her. And then the girl in high school, she can kind of get crazy, so sometimes I’ll leave her and go to this other girl. This other girl really understands me. She can meet my needs. And then if she’s freaky I’ll go with someone else. And after I’m with them…”
Right now a lot of you, a lot of the women here are going <hissing sound effect>. Where is he? No, I just made that up. That didn’t happen. But that’s how dumb we are when we say, “Yeah, I’m a Christian.”
If you’re a Christian and you’re not a member of a local church, if you’re not active in a local church, if you’re not sharing and sowing and serving, I’m not God but looking at Scripture I’ve got to put a big question mark by your Christianity.
Some of you are here and you’re testing the water. You’re seeking, and that’s cool. This next series we’re doing should be a giant one. Make sure next weekend you get here very early. Mythbusters. We’re bringing one of the top scientists in the world here, a guy who debates atheists all over the place. And a lot of times people get freaked out. “Oh my gosh! I don’t know if we can talk about science in church!” God and science go hand in hand. God is the environment of science. Are you kidding me? And this guy will take our questions. You can bring all of your friends who have M.D. after their name, ABC, STD, VD, it doesn’t matter! Bring them here. We’re going to have a live Q&A. It’s going to be amazing! What a great time to invite someone to chair 1.
Because chair 1, a third of our church, would be people who are not convinced yet. You’re pre-patrons. Get it? Patrons? Restaurant? Yeah, you got it. Just give me one clap. Together, 1-2-3. It helps when you show me the love here a little bit. So, what an easy invite. And if you are a follower of Christ and you don’t have two to three people here next week, wow. You are missing a great, great opportunity to bring someone to the table. It’ll be really good.
A lot of people have this scientific barrier that keeps them from believing. Well, I think as you begin to study this and research this as we talk and as we get into some stuff next week it’ll be like, whoa.
Also on Mythbusters we’re talking about God and sexuality. Are people born gay? Is there a gay gene? You know, my family, my family is full of adulterers. I guess I just can’t help myself. Is there an adultery gene? We’re going to talk about that in a compassionate and convicting and convincing way. Parents, you need to be here. Again, if you don’t show up for this series there’s no game, there’s no trip, there’s no fun fix that will compare to what we’re going to talk about over the next several weeks.
We’re going to talk about God and government. Whoa. You mean God has something to say about government? I mean, how about the world? How about our government? Our government seems to be the corrupt calling the corrupt, corrupt.
How about what’s happening in the Middle East? How about what’s happening with those who are in the Muslim faith? Those who are radical? How about the rape? How about the murder? How does that square with Christianity? How about Christians? Didn’t Christians kill people back in the day? We’re going to talk about that.
And then finally it’s going to come down to you and me. I’m going to talk about that. Of course, I’ll host all the series but how about God and me? How about God and my selfishness and my pride and my stuff? This series, I’m telling you, pray right now for chair 1 people, those people who are filing by in your life, who are shopping for crapola. Who are shopping for chochkies, for jibbily-junk. Everything the world has to offer is crapola compared to the Bread of Life. And we have the opportunity to do that.
Why are we here? Why are we here? I say this all the time. To sin? No, we’re not here to sin, although we’re natural-born sinners. We’re here to bring as many people as possible to the table. When Jesus started his ministry he said it’s about the table. Right before he ascended to the father he said it’s about the table. The church is a table where people come to get fed. The pastor is the dude with the food, who serves the food in a creative and compelling way. The calories from the food gives us the opportunity to push away from the table and do what God wants us to do.
A healthy church is about chair 1. Chair 1 is the deepest chair. The deepest churches are chair 1 churches. A chair 1 church is those who think about people who are facing the next reality away from God.
So if you come to my house and I’m launching into a conversation I’m thinking about chair 1, the guest. You’re my honored guest, you’re our guess. We’re thinking about the way we serve the food but our family is still getting fed, but we’re thinking about the guest. The guest. So we serve the food in a more thoughtful way. “I am the Bread of Life,” Jesus said. I’m the cosmic carb.
Maybe today you’re here and you’re sitting in this chair and you’ve become chair-aware. Maybe you’re like, you know what? Today’s my day, Ed. Today I need to get off of the chair and put Jesus in the throne of my life. I need to give my life to him. I need to acquiesce and allow him to power wash my soul. If you do that, that’s the greatest thing that you’ll ever do. And if you hang around here very long, I’m telling you, I believe it’ll happen to you. But we have a freedom of choice. Chair 1, those who are far away from God. About a third of our church should be chair 1 people.
Now we go from chair 1 to the next chair, chair 2. And we have a class that we’re going to talk about later to move you from chair 1 to chair 2. Chair 2 are those people who have been born again. The Bible says we’re born again. We’re born again into the family of God. The Bible calls this, we’re adopted.
Why does the Bible use the phrase adoption? In the Biblical history record, those who are biological children could be disowned. Those who were adopted could not be disowned. That’d be a great place to clap. Because so many times we want to let go of the Father’s hand but the Father will not let go of our hand.
Have you ever gotten an Amber Alert? An Amber Alert? Those are great. Wouldn’t it be interesting, though, if we got a spiritual Amber Alert. Because so often when people are born again, what happens? The enemy, he’s not going to sit back and sip an adult beverage in a Jacuzzi. He’s going to come after a baby, after a child. He wants to kidnap you! So what does he do? He’ll send a bogus believer, especially in Dallas/Fort Worth, with a faux faith, who has read some wheels-off book about some 30-something-year-old author who says Jesus said you’ve got to sell everything and move to the mission field. Jesus, of all the people he dealt with, only asked one person to sell everything. Only one. The rich young ruler. And a lot of churches these days who are not chair 1 churches talk about mission trips. Oh they’re mission churches. “I want to go on a mission trip.” Oh you do? How about being a missionary where you are?
“Oh but if I go to Haiti, if I go to Guatemala, if I go to Borneo, all of a sudden I’ll start really sharing my faith then!” So you’re going to fly over one mission field to get to the other one? I mean, I’m all for mission trips but usually mission trips just ease white guilt. Going on a mission trip? Hey, God has put you on the mission field. I’m in the mission field. You’re in the mission field! Do we support missions? You better believe it. We’ve given millions and millions of dollars to it. This is our mission field. And no punk is going to guilt trip me or you into taking some mission trip when they’re not even sharing their faith here in Dallas/Fort Worth.
Because, see churches that are not chair 1 churches, they’ve got to come up with a belief system to keep them away from doing the hard yards.
And there are a lot of churches these days, this is real sexy for the young people, they’re Calvinist churches. Five point Calvinists. Reformed churches. Now I have a lot of friends who are Calvinists, a lot of friends who are reformed, but here’s the scary part of it. A reformed theology can lead to a deformed ecclesiology. What I mean is – boom! What I mean is, they come up with a system that basically says, you know what? If you’re going to get fed, you’ll get fed. You don’t need me. I mean, the Bread will just kind of get out there. We don’t have a real freedom of choice. We can’t resist making the decision to eat the Bread. Some eat the Bread, some don’t.
So see, it’s really cool because it’s this intellectual thing. And then they become navel-gazers and then it’s all about us four and no more, and they’ll flip off their community but they’ll say, “Oh, the sovereignty of God.” Well yeah, God is sovereign. It’s about election. Yeah, I believe in election. But where does election begin and choice end? And where does choice end and election end? All I know is at Fellowship we keep on nominating and God keeps on electing them.
So don’t let some little skinny white boy who drinks decaf coffee, who’s not going to risk it and get out in the Hellements to tell you that our church is not deep, that we’re not reaching people. We baptize, in a year, more people than a lot of those people have show up on a weekend. So don’t tell me about spiritual depth. You just look at our 10 campuses. You look at what we’ve built. We’ve got an amazing church. A mature church.
And some other churches, they just kind of go, oh yeah. And I love them… there’s some great churches here, don’t get me wrong. I’m just saying this will happen to you when you’re born again.
Because babies aren’t that smart, teenagers are stupid. I’m telling you. When I was a teenager, I mean I loved it, but I was so stupid. I was so stupid I didn’t know how stupid I was! They’re the ones that the enemy preys on. That’s p-r-e-y.
But there are some churches out there who say, well, God’s there for me. Sounds cool. No, God’s not there for you or me. “Oh yeah, God wants me to be happy.” I’m still looking for that verse. I’ve studied the Hebrew, studied the Greek, gone to seminary, done doctrinal work. I know some of the best theological minds because of my father, my family, anywhere in the world. Please show me that verse.
Oh yeah, God’s there for me? So if I have enough faith God’s going to give me the promotion. He will make me a multimillionaire, he’ll give me the Bentley. No, he will not.
If this message I’m preaching today is not true in Haiti it’s not true anywhere. Do you get that? You might have to listen to this again to understand that. This is very, very, very important because this is what happens in chair 2. So you’re born again, you’re a baby believer. And babies, and we love babies.
ILLUS: I had something funny happen the other day. Lisa and I went to this… it was last Wednesday. Not this past Wednesday, last Wednesday. We went to this Mexican restaurant. Got there real early. You can tell we’re getting older, we’re eating earlier. We walked in and this place was jammed. One of these new restaurants in Dallas. You know, cool music. It’s Mexican but kind of avant-garde Mexican. <beat box sound effect> And Lisa doesn’t like the restaurant that much, I do. But I don’t know the more I’ve eaten there, it’s all right. So, we sat down at this table and there were a lot of kids and stuff there, loud, you know, people talking. <gibberish sound effect> They’re talking and everything.
So Lisa and I sit at this table. And then there’s another table close to us, a mother, father, little maybe 20-month old little boy, and then the bar. And the bar was lined up mostly with women drinking margaritas. So, the restaurant is loud, man, really loud. And obviously the women are hoping to meet somebody. We’re sitting here, another table there, husband and wife/mother and father with little boy. And the little boy just takes a car in the middle of the restaurant and taps it twice on the table, maybe three times. He was very well behaved, no big deal. All of a sudden one of the single pit vipers sitting at this bar slams her margarita down (single for a reason) turned around and she said,
“This is not going to work. This is not happening here. This place is not for kids.” Wow! Just jumping on this cute family right by us! She’ll never get married but… After she turned around Lisa and I were like, can you believe that?
And then we just said, tried to show the love to the parents, “Hey, you guys are doing a great job. This 20-month-old son, your son is awesome! He’s great! You can tell.” I mean they were good parents.
We never want to be that way at Fellowship. Yelling at babies? No, babies are babies. And babies are going to act like babies, until they become teenagers. And teenagers are going to act like teenagers until they become parents. You’re born again and then you grow. We have two new classes to move from chair 2 to chair 3. You’ve got to move around the chairs.
And we understand babies and teenagers say stuff they don’t mean. How many times have you heard, I mean, I remember when I was a teenager. I thought I knew all this stuff. I didn’t know jack. I was so stupid in my stupidity. That’s what hormones do! They make you dumb, and that’s all right. But it’s part of growing up. We know we have a lot of teenagers here, spiritual teenagers.
We’ve got a lot of spiritual kids here, that’s fine. You say stupid stuff like, “Oh, um, I don’t know. My friends aren’t at Fellowship.” Well, you want to have a friend? Be a friend. But see, in this stage, and we oughta put out an Amber Alert, a spiritual Amber Alert, a lot of people get kidnapped by these whacky books and these ingrown churches that say evangelism is only about taking a mission trip, which is totally bogus. That’s a little bit of it, it’s not the main part of it.
Other teenagers say, “Well, I don’t know. The church is full of hypocrites.” Yeah, it is. Everybody’s a hypocrite. You’re a hypocrite, I’m a hypocrite. If you’re looking for this ultimate church, this perfect church, don’t join it because you’ll screw it up. Stupid. Stupid!
“Well, the church just talks about money.” I mean how stupid was I as a kid? My parents picked up every single check. Drive-thru at McDonalds? Picked it up. Restaurant? Picked it up. Country club? Picked it up. Did you see my Instagram yesterday? I showed our refrigerator. It was packed full of food. You think my kids go, “Hey, mom and dad, thanks for packing up the refrigerator”? No! Sorry.
Yet, I’m tired and a lot of us in chair 3, all the spiritual parents here, we’re tired of picking up the tab for everybody. I mean, for 32 years Lisa and I have given more than 10% to the church and this is our #1 investment, Fellowship. I mean, I love it. You can’t out-give God. It’s not how much you make, it’s how much you give. But some of you managers, you’re just coming in here eating a free meal. And I’m tired of paying for you. And a lot of us in chair 3, we love it but we’re tired of paying for it. You’ve got to step up! Because Jesus said when you go from chair 2 to chair 3, you’ve got to count the cost.
You remember that preschooler Simon Peter? Jesus looked at him and Simon Peter was like, you talk about stupid? This was a stupid statement. Simon Peter said, “Jesus, I’m with you, man! I’ll never turn my back on you! You can count on me! When the going gets tough I’ll be in your corner.” It got a little tough, Simon Peter bolted. Cursed this little servant girl out. “I don’t know blanket-blank, blank-beep-beep-beep!”
Simon Peter, preschooler. Jesus dies, rises again. All of a sudden Simon Peter goes from chair 2 to chair 3. He began to count the cost, Jesus said.
So there’s a relational cost if you want to become spiritually mature. If you’re single, guess what? The Bible says that the people you date and ultimately who become your mates have to be people who are followers of Christ. So that quick, if you obey that, boom! Two-thirds of the potential candidates are off the table. This is not easy.
There’s a financial cost. The first 10% of everything you make? Well I like being a preschooler! I like sitting in my doo-doo in my diaper! I don’t wanna pay! You’ll never grow. You’ll never get up. You’ve got to learn how to feed yourselves!
Parents, wasn’t that a glorious day when our kids learned to feed ourselves? Halleluiah! I mean, I remember it was like, “Ohhh!!!! EJ is feeding himself! Oh my gosh!!!”
Here’s another stupid thing teenagers say, kids say. “I’m not getting fed.” You mean, you can’t feed yourself? You are a baby. If you ever hear someone say that, “I’m not getting fed,” you’re talking to a pimple-popping, hip-hopping, spiritual teenager. Or a playpen-whining, nap timing baby! Can’t feed yourself? Self-feeders, the Bible says, leave those elementary things. So we sit in a chair for 15 minutes a day, open the Scriptures, and we feed on the Bread of Life. Become a self-feeder. And we’re going to teach you that in these classes. Then you feed yourself and then you come together for a corporate feeding.
If you’re not coming together regularly for a corporate feeding you’re disobeying about 30 things in the New Testament. <rewind sound effect> If you don’t come together for corporate feeding you’re disobeying about 30 things in the New Testament. If this is your church, if this is where you’re getting fed, join it. If it’s somewhere else, join it. Make sure it’s a Bible teaching, Bible believing, chair 1 church.
Because when you make this chair THE chair, that is when the whole thing becomes an ecosystem and you become acutely aware of the depth of the church. But you will never understand Fellowship Church. You’ll never understand an Acts 2 prevailing church until you invite someone who is facing Hell to sit in that chair. You never will.
Chair 1, those who are far away from God. Chair 2, those who are born again. We’re born again. We love babies. We’re not going to be like the margarita queen to slam the drink down and yell. We’re not going to do that. I’ll sprinkle some pastor dust on you and think, man that’s stupid but that’s all right.
“Hey, Ed, have you read this book?” Yeah, I’ve read that book. In fact, I’ve known the author for several years. Uh-huh. And there’s a reason why we don’t carry his books in the bookstore. Anyway, what else do you have?
Just stay in the house! What are you doing? What are you doing moving around? I’m talking to everybody, every Christian, every born-again believer in North America here. What are you doing leaving your family? The family where you were born in? What are you doing leaving your house? Where do you learn how to walk? In your house! Where do you learn how to talk? In your house! Where do you learn how to walk with Jesus? In your house! Where do you learn how to talk? In your house, in your house, in your house! Stay in the house!
Because if you don’t stay in the house – thank you, yeah, it’s a standing ovation – if you don’t stay in the house, I said if you don’t stay in the house you will never understand authority, and you will always have authority issues. Please be seated. Because what do kids say? Well, you know, they give more of an allowance there. And they don’t discipline. I’m going to go to that family. They really meet my needs over there and Jerry Jones, yeah, and Ryan Tannehill, yeah. We got to count the cost. We’ve got to move from chair 2 to chair 3.
And chair 3, man, we’ve got so many amazing, unselfish people in chair 3. Give yourselves a round of applause. People who serve and sow and share. I’ll say it again, when we sow God sows into our lives. When we share he shares with us. When we serve he serves us. We get outside of ourselves and do the stuff. We’re spiritual parents. We don’t expect babies to act like adults. They’ve got to go through infancy, through adolescence. To get to it you got to go through it. Through it. And we have these two steps. <boom-boom>
ILLUS: A friend of mine told me a story about digging holes. He was digging this hole in this just ridiculous heat out in West Texas. And after a while he and some friends sat down in the shade to take a break. And this old timer who was kind of running the crew looked at the kids and he goes,
“All right, guys. Off your rear and on your feet. Out of the shade and into the heat. Let’s go!” I believe God is saying that to me. God’s saying that to you.
All right church! Off your rear and on your feet! Get out of the shade and into the heat! Serve the samples of the Savior to people passing by and invite them to God’s table. Let’s bow for prayer.
[Ed leads in closing.]