Golden Pillars Class Study, pastor Dave Goble.
If there are leaders that have a list of core objectives from A – Z, they accomplish all the objectives that are on their map. They get to objective Q and everyone is paddling along with them, like they’re in a canoe going down a river. Then there’s a mountain range in the way and they say, we’ve never been here before. They don’t know how to get across because it’s off the map. What they did up to that time was on the map. Being off the map means we know what direction we want to go but we don’t know how to get there. Beyond the mountain, there’s a river that leads to our destination. The mountain in the way that is a problem because no one has ever been there. If you want to go west, you can see the sun that sets in the west so you keep going west but there are rocks in the way of the canoe. Throughout history the church has found itself off the map at times. That doesn’t mean the church has lost its way or that God is not on his throne or that the gospel has changed. It means people who make up the church have never been here before so they’re trying to find their way through a place that’s off the map. Do you think Peter had a moment that he felt was off the map when he saw a vision of a sheet with all kinds of unclean beasts and God said, “rise and eat”? He’d never been there before.
In our culture, we’re in a moment of time where people are saying men can marry men, women can marry women, and boys can be girls or girls can be boys? We’ve never been here before. There are other cultural transformations that we are figuring out how to navigate through and it’s off the map of any place we’ve ever been. Gender identity is a huge shift in culture that caught some by surprise for how to handle it. Five years ago we didn’t anticipate that cultural change. Our core values are important to going through the times that are off the map of places we’ve been. Our mission and core values never change so they keep us united and going the right direction to follow our mission.
Our Mission at the Church of God is to draw all me to Jesus.
John 12:32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.
If Christ is lifted up in our lives and our witness, people will be drawn to the right place. If we lift up the bride which is the church but not the bridegroom, that’s a problem. If we lift up something else besides Jesus, it will take us in the wrong direction. If we start to confuse the bridegroom with anything else, then we violate the first of the 10 Commandments. “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” If we lift up the bride and say the bride has to look like this or can’t go there or can’t do that, then we spend all our time on the bride and we won’t be lifting up Jesus. If we get the bridegroom right, she will always follow the bridegroom. In times past, some people have gotten it switched so they were fussing over the bride but not the groom. They presumed that they had the bridegroom right so it was like they said we don’t need to talk about the bridegroom. The mission is, If I be lifted up, I’ll draw all men unto me. The great commandment is to go teach all nations what Jesus commanded. There are objectives we use to reach our goal. These are not necessarily in order.
Objective #1 to be a witness is an action step to reach the mission goal.
Matthew 28:19-20 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Objective #2 is to feed the sheep. If we feed the sheep, we’ll lift up Christ.
John 21:16 He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
Objective #3 Be a light to the dark world we live in. We aren’t a light just because we come to church and sit here. We’re a light because we go out and illuminate wherever we live, the market we go to, and our family.
Matthew 5:14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
Objective #4 Jesus said to care for those who are suffering. We can’t just say “have a nice day” and not do anything.
Matthew 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
We could have lots of opinions at church, like whether or not we have church Sunday night. We could have an opinion about whether or not the pews look right. We need to not get sidetracked by opinions about the way we do things. When we focus on the mission, we’ll stay with our core values. Actions and interventions change over time as the world and its problems change. We have to address things that are happening in society, like what’s being taught in schools. Core Values may be learned from childhood or from school or from some other institution. Core values that are learned may also be the product of many generations of learning or beliefs. Core values will help us stay focused on the mission.
Our Core Values:
- Freedom from sin [John 8:11, 5:14; Romans 6:1-2]
Jesus told the woman taken in adultery to go and sin no more. There are many places in the gospel where Jesus teaches this. A core value of the Church of God is: we live a life that is not subject to the penalty of sin and we do not commit sin (I John 3).
John 8:11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.
- Conversion from sin to holiness [Psalm 51:13; Matthew 18:3; Mark 4:12; Luke 22:32; Acts 3:19]
When we’re converted, there’s a separation that happens so we’re not like we used to be. We don’t do evil anymore.
Psalm 51:13 Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.
- Separation from what isn’t like God [Psalm 101:3; Leviticus 26:1; 2 Corinthians 6:17; 1 John 2:15; Matthew 6:24]
Psalm 101:3 I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.
- Striving to be more like Christ every passing day [2 Peter 3:18; 1 Thess. 4:1; 6:2; Philippians 2:1; 1 Peter 1:15]
Striving is more than a formula or going to the altar. It means we grow in grace and have a personal experience with Christ.
2 Peter 3:18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.
- Unity of faith of all believers [Psalm 133:1; Ephesians 4:3; Ephesians 4:13; Ephesians 5:30; 1 Corinthians 12:12; Mark 3:25; Luke 11:17; Luke 9:50]
We have a principle in the unity of the faith of all believers. We seek the unity of God’s people wherever they are. Don’t discount what God has done for someone in a place you know nothing about. God creates the unity and what we seek is fellowship with that unity. If we or anyone else is teaching false doctrine, it’s hard to have fellowship. If we don’t agree that we have freedom from sin, it will be hard to have fellowship. When we have fellowship, we don’t want to do anything to damage that unity.
Psalm 133:1 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
- Consecration (Sanctification) [Romans 12:2; Acts 9:17-18; Acts 2:17; Galatians 5:18; Romans 8:9]
We see in Acts 2 that God’s Spirit empowers us to witness and be what God wants.
- Congregational administration [Titus 1:5; Acts 5:42, Acts 21:8 ; 1 Corinthians 16:19]
A congregational organization is accountable to the leadership of the congregation, not to some other hierarchy like the Roman Catholic or the Lutheran church have. We don’t subject the leadership of the Holy Spirit to a group.
- Evangelism [Mark 6:7; Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 1:8, Acts 8:26; Acts 16:9-10]
- Truth will never contradict truth [John 14:6, John 18:37; Hebrews 6:18]
We measure our actions by truth to see if they line up with the word and the Spirit of God.
- The fruit of the Spirit [Galatians 5:22; Ephesians 5:9] – we have fruits of God’s Spirit in our lives.
Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.