Sunday Sermon Quotes: "The Equipped Church"

“The church is the showcase of the wisdom of God.” -John Piper

“The church is His instrument in carrying out His purposes for the cosmos." -P.T. O’Brien

“The face of God shines upon us in teaching.” -John Calvin

“The ministry of the word reproduces itself in the ministry of the people…This is what happens when the word of God as it were jumps from the pulpit and starts running around our lives. We begin to discover that the gifts the Lord has given to us as individuals are sharpened and honed and strengthened…in order that in due time we may be able to serve and minister to others. When there is a motivation to serve and love others, there will always be a sphere for the use of your gifts.” -Sinclair Ferguson

“It doesn't take long after experiencing a major storm in leadership, for you to begin to wonder if you need to abandon ship. Whether it's seventy foot waves or just an extremely slow leak in nice weather, there are times when walking away from the community to which God called you to minister seems to be safer than staying put.

It was after multiple times of standing on the edge and looking into the water that I realized something: Genesis 3 [that is, the entrance of sin, and all its effects into the world] really happened. I'm not saying I didn't know the content of that chapter in my Bible. I just think that I, like many others, didn't fully grasp the profound implications of what it reveals about the world we live in and the people we are called to serve. Simply put, everything is broken.

As leaders committed to the historic Reformed faith, we regularly and passionately taught the truth about depravity...Yet I've seen in others, and especially in my own heart, a significant lack of wisdom when it comes to understanding these truths and applying them to our everyday lives and everyday relationships. I think many of us walk around having functionally forgotten Genesis 3 ever happened, and then we find that people do not live up to our expectations and desires for them.

Most of us in leadership have fairly godly desires for others. We long for people to follow Christ and grow in him. But these good desires can turn vicious when we unconsciously expect people to live now only like they'll be able to in heaven - perfectly. The community our hearts often desire is a community of people that never disappoint us, rarely show the effects of sin in their lives, make serving in the church easy, and make us laugh a lot. In the words of Eugene Peterson, ‘The church we want becomes the enemy of the church we have.’” -Clay Werner