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Jul 31, 2022

Our Jordan Moment

Our Jordan Moment

Passage: Judges 3:1-4

Speaker: Matt Petty

Series: Moving Forward

Category: Sunday Sermons

Keywords: church, worship, faith, jesus, sunday, god, ministry, sermon, bible, gospel, hope, preaching, sermons, jordan river, believe, israel, walking, the bible, bible study, promised land, israelites, jordan, amen, forward, moving forward, land, holy land, live music, livestream, burnt hickory baptist church, 2022, burnt hickory worship

We begin our new sermon series Moving Forward, by looking at Joshua and the Israelites journey crossing over the Jordan river. God wants us to move forward on our journey, and we need to stand behind God and seek his holiness. We see in scripture that holiness always precedes God’s movement, and we have to be in continual pursuit of living set apart to accomplish what God has set before us. We also look forward to where God is taking us here at Burnt Hickory as we prepare, plan, and build for the future. As always, if you’ve got questions or want to take the next step, reach out today – burnthickory.com/next. We’d love to pray with you and help you move forward in your faith journey.

Well, good morning, Church. I hope you are ready to be back from summertime. We've missed you. A lot of you have been gone, but we are back today and excited. Want to bring you up to speed a little bit. If you have been doing some traveling and just let you know that I think out of my 20 years of being at Burnt Hickory, that we had the best summer of ministry here at Burnt Hickory that we have ever had. I mean, I really do. I mean, I can't explain to you how many weeks, week after week after week, we saw people come to know the Lord. We saw people be baptized. We saw mission trips and camps and retreats and life groups taking care of people almost every single time. I call somebody in this church or check on them when something's happening in their life. The story goes something like this. Hey Pastor Matt, we are fine. Our life group has already fill in the blank. Hey, man, I just want to tell you, God is answering the call of this church, taking care of people. And you guys have been incredible, incredible this summer. And I kind of hate to move into this new season of ministry, because last season was incredible.

Well, this is promotion Sunday. It is. Welcome back. Sunday. It is school bus time tomorrow. Sunday. Can I get an amen from everybody in the house? It is happening except for the students. Now, they don't like me, but that's fine. We're back. But here's what I want to do. In the first couple of weeks of this year, we're going to launch into a series called Moving Forward. We're going to launch into a look at scripture as to where we are, particularly individually as well as a church can look into God's word can look into God's plan and can begin to answer some questions of God, how do you want to move in my life? And God, how do you want to move in this Church's life? And God, what are some blind spots? What are some areas of my life that I need you to move in? So, over these next couple of weeks, I'm going to proclaim them as Moving Forward Sundays because here's what I know about God. God, yes, delivers us from our past. But we serve a God who looks towards the future. We serve a God that looks at us and is not interested in us remaining where we are. But He wants us to continually move in his name. See, so much of our lives are, they're consumed by looking back, aren't they? I mean, just take these last two and a half years of our lives, we have walked through an incredibly big global pandemic. We've walked through some of the most divisive moments. We walked through some of the most questionable times we've walked through just being fatigued by all the decision. And some of us are a little bit PTSD from the last years of our lives. And it's really hard for us to begin to point our eyes in a direction that's not absolutely being tethered to what is in our past.

But here's the God that we serve, the God that we serve, says, Yeah, learn from your past, but I'm interested in your future, and I'm interested in you moving in my name and everything you do and everything we say we have, we have a God who wants us to look forward and he wants us to be moving in His glory. In fact, the Apostle Paul said it probably best in Philippians three. He said this in verse 13. He said, But one thing that I do is that I forget what's behind me and I strain toward what's ahead, and I press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward into Christ Jesus. Was Paul shaped by his past? Absolutely. He was shaped by his past. But was Paul absolutely consumed with his past? No, he wasn't. He used it. God used it. God redeemed it. But then God continued to move him out of it. It is so easy for our past to be an anchor to our soul, but we serve a God that not only forgives us, but He wants us to look forward as a church and as an individual. If you had a copy of scripture this morning, I want you to turn with me to Joshua. Joshua chapter three. Joshua chapter three. And I want God to show us this morning to launch this series and to launch some things that we feel like this church is going to move forward in. I want us to see one of the most inspiring moving forward lessons and events in all of the Bible. And I think this incredibly I think this carries even some particular significance to us in Burnt Hickory's moving forward path by something I'm going to say on the back half of our message to say today. As you're finding that let me remind you of a couple of things. The Jordan River was the barrier between the wilderness and the promised land.

If you remember, God's chosen people, the Israelites, they ended up in bondage in Egypt. They called for God for help. God heard their cries for mercy. He answered them and God led them out of Egypt. Remember, he split the Red Sea. They walked across it on dry land into the wilderness, but because of their sin, they walked away from God. And so, God in His mercy allowed them to wander around in the wilderness for 40 years until that whole generation that walked away from God had died out. And now we're going to check in with them when the new generation has come. Joshua has taken the helm of the leader of the people. Behind them is the wilderness experience, is destruction, is death in question, but in front of them catch this, is the mercies of God, is the grace of God. It is the gift of God. From Abraham on God had promised was coming to these people and God shows us in this text in Joshua three how we move. He shows us how we can move forward.

And I want you to think of this passage with me as a guide to how I and how this church can move forward. It gives us some ways we can move. Joshua three, verse one. Let's read it. It says this. Early in the morning, Joshua And all the Israelites set out from Shittim and went to the Jordan where they camped before crossing over. After three days, the officers went throughout the camp giving orders to the people. When you see the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord your God, and the Leviticus priests carrying it, you are to move out from your positions and follow it. Look at verse four. Then you will know which way to go, since you have never been this way before. But keep a distance of about 2000 cubits between you and the Ark and do not go near it. If you want God to move you forward, He gives us in this first little chunk of text, the first thing that has to be present in all of our lives. And that is this. Number one, if you want God to move forward, you have to stand behind God, behind God. Now, look, I get it. That sounds so simple. It sounds like something that will be on a flannel board in a second-grade class, but it's incredibly profound. Why? Because how much of our lives do, we spend running ahead of where God is?

How much of our lives do we spend bargaining with God, leading God, asking God to get on my agenda? How much of our lives do we spend reasoning with God asking him if you will just see it my way this one-time God, and change your mind, then everything will work out okay. But that sounds so preposterous to say it out loud. But we spend a lot of our lives living in this category, do we not? Maybe it's just me, right? I mean, don't we? We do. We try to convince God to get on our agenda in so many areas of our lives. I mean, we can spend the rest of the morning picking out thing after thing after thing and culture right now that is looking at the filling of our desires but looking at God's plans and it has nothing to do with God's plans. We think that our ideas are better than God's ideas, but this makes no sense. Why? Because we are the created. He's the Creator. We are the temporary person walking on this earth. What about 90 years-ish at best? And he's, he's eternal. I mean, we barely passed the S.A.T. to get into college, and he knows everything. But yet we stand up in front of him and we go, No, no, no. God, you don't understand. I know what to do here. I know how to go here. I know what the ledger looks like. I know how to read culture and God's going, you really don't, you know, 40 years at best Matt. You know, 45 years at best. I am eternal. I know everything. I know what's behind you.

I know what's in front of you. And I know what's in the shadows of your life. Stand behind God. This picture here in this charge to the Israelites to stay behind the Ark is all through Scripture. Verse six, it tells us, pass ahead of the people. Pass the ark, head of the people, verse 11. We see it again. See the Ark of the Covenant of the Earth will go ahead of you into the Jordan. Verse 14. It tells us again, the Ark of the Covenant went ahead of them, and it seems a little trivial that this box in front of these people until you really know what the ark was. Think back with me to the Old Testament, the ark of the Covenant represented God's presence on this Earth. It represented who God is. It represented the power of God. It represented the presence of God to all of these people. So now what we're seeing is God looking at them and looking at us and saying, Hey, listen, put me so far. This is good. I want to catch on to this one. Put me so far ahead of you that there is no question who is in charge. Now, those of us that want God to be ahead of us, there's a question here do we want him to be just barely ahead of us or we can kind of compete in this race a little bit based on my mood for the day? Or do we want him to be so far ahead of us that there is no question that he is Lord? Look at the text. What did it just tell us to do? He said, Put me 2000 cubits ahead of you. That is a long way. That is not like, hey, just barely stay right behind me. No, no. God said put me so far ahead of you that others see my glory and not yours but me. So far ahead of you.

That there is no question that I'm the one in the lead and you're just following in after me. Put me so far ahead of you that when other people see this, they're confused because it's not the marching army that's in the front of this chosen people. It's the presence of God. You do realize this makes zero tactical sense. Any time an army marches, especially during this time, the front people would always be the fighting men. Why? So, they could fight the other people. But what is God saying here? Hey, you put me ahead of you and I will fight your battles. Your job is just to stay right behind me. Stay in my shadow. Your job is to say so far behind me, I'm reminding you, this is not about your abilities. This is our role as a believer in Jesus. Our role now is to put God so far ahead of us. It's not about my riches. It's not about my dreams. It's not about my abilities. It's not about my cultural status. It is about God Almighty going into the river of life. And my job is just, quite frankly, just to walk right behind him. Isn't this so much easier than blazing the path on our own? Is it the so much easier than me trying to come up with a way to navigate culture and say the right thing all the time? If I just latch myself behind the King of kings, let the cards fall because I'm walking in the shadow of the King. I got to think this week I'm like, Man, how much trouble with that one lesson have saved me throughout my last 45 years. Amen? I mean, maybe it's just me that had some rocky roads, right? Man, if I were to just say, God, I. Oh, God, I should stay behind you, put you ahead of me, following behind. Let me ask you a question. What areas of your life are you running ahead of God in? What areas? Number one, what do you say? Stand behind God seen in the text. Number two, if you want God to move, seek holiness. Seek holiness. I'm not making it up, just keep reading. The text seems to work out. Verse five. Joshua told the people, Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you. You might want to circle that word consecrate. Consecrate is a big fancy church word that literally just means to be set apart or sacred. That's what that's what it means to be set apart, sacred and holy, and to dedicate yourselves before the Lord.

Now, this is way different than God. I'm just going to kind of nudge up here beside you when I'm around these people. But God, when I'm around these people, I'm going to run over here. God, I'm going to kind of do both. I'm just going to play the card of being friends with everybody and even ground with everybody. No, no, he says, consecrate yourself. Set yourself so far apart. When other people see you, they see the presence of God in your life. Now Joshua is looking at the nation here and he's giving them this truth that it is impossible for God to move in your life and in my life and in this church's lives, unless we give our whole lives to God. It's impossible to live a double life, catch this, and expect God to move in us. Boy, we do it, don't we? We live how we want to for years until the bottom falls out of life. And then we go, God, I don't understand why you're not answering me. We live how we want to for years, and then a relationship blows up and they were like, God, I don't know why you're not hearing me right now. And God goes, I'm hearing you, I'm hearing you. And I've been here all along. But if you want my power in your life, you've got to consecrate yourself to me. There's a couple of principles here I just want to point out real fast. And the first one is about the sequence of holiness. And here it is. Holiness always precedes God's movement. Holiness always precedes. Now precedes, for those of you that are younger, that means before. All right, always precedes God's movement. Verse five does not read Consecrate yourselves because God is doing great works. But that seems to be where a lot of us play ball, right? Verse five says, Consecrate yourself, then the Lord will do amazing things among you.

The same is true for us. God never comes to us and says, Hey, be holy so that you can know me. He doesn't ever say that. He never says, Hey, clean your life up and then give your life to Christ and I'll come into your life. But what He does say is this If you want the power of God in your life, and if you want God to move in your life, if you want God to put you in a direction of your life that you are going to glorify Him, then your life is going to have to be walking congruent with who God is and what God wants for you. You can't live how you want to and then all of a sudden call down a blessing from God. It doesn't work that way. It just does it. He says, Listen, listen, if you want to, Jordan says movement in your life, you got to live your life holy. And trust me, the second principle is that the goal of holiness is just a live set apart. That's the goal. The goal of this holiness is to live set apart. You do realize that our goal in life is not to live just a little bit more moral than everybody else. That's not our goal. The goal of our life is not just to have a little bit better language than everybody else, to dip into church every now and then. Right? The goal of our life is not just to say, Hey, I'm a believer, but then go do it. I want to know the goal of holiness is to live, set apart. Why? So other people see God's glory. We just talked about it so other people see the power of God. So other people look past us and see who God is. It's what God is doing in them. It's my prayer that this is what God is going to do in us. Number three principle is that holiness is a continual pursuit. It's continual. You say, Matt, wait a minute. Oh, the way I understand it, the moment I give my life to Christ, He forgives me of my past, present and future sins.

Yes, he does. If you really gave your life to Christ. But also, if you really gave your life to Christ, you are going to pursue Christ in your life. It's not like you're just kind of getting a little get out, get out of jail card when you're seven years old, your parents booted you down the aisle to a pastor you didn't want to talk to with bad coffee breath. That is not salvation. Salvation is you giving your life to Jesus and living in a continual pursuit of who God is Well Matt, isn't that a works-based salvation? No, it's not. It is a result of what God has done in your life. So, if that's all you've ever done, is at some point when you were seven years old, ended up down a revival trail because all your friends did it, then you might want to go, Hey, look, where am I? What am I doing? Who am I in you? Because holiness is a continual pursuit. There is a start to holiness, that's salvation. And then there's a sanctification process of holiness, where every day we're becoming more and more and more like him. And then, catch this, one day there's going to be the full holiness when Christ returns to get us. Amen.

That's the process of holiness. It's continual. It's not a onetime event. If you want God to move, stand behind him. Quit getting in front of him. Seek holiness. Here's number three. Start where you are. Just start where you are. Listen to the stat, It's going to blow you away. 100% of people who win races, start them. That one's free. 100%. They start them. Starting is the hardest part. I promise you, starting is the hardest part. Think about any discipline you've ever tried to have in your life. You just try to start working out, starting is the hardest part. Try to start losing weight. Starting is the hardest part. Try to start not treating your body like a carnival in what you eat. Starting is always the hardest part. Start where you are. Look at these guy’s step. Verse seven. And the Lord said to Joshua, today I will begin to exalt you in the eyes of all Israel so that they may know that I am with you. As I was with Moses. Tell the priest to carry the ark of the Covenant. When you reach the edge of the Jordan's waters, go and stand in the water and in the river. Let's skip to verse 13. And as soon as the priest who carried the ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth set foot in the Jordan, its waters flowing downstream will be cut off and stand up in the heap. Verse 14. So, when the people broke camp across the Jordan, the priest carrying the Ark of the Covenant went ahead of them. Now, the Jordan was at flood stage during the harvest, yet as soon as the priest who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water's edge.

Now notice what they've already done. They've always stood behind the presence, right? The ark is going in first. They've consecrated themselves the day before. Right? Watch verse 16. The water from upstream stopped flowing. It piled up in a heap, a great distance away in a town called Adam in the vicinity of Zarethan, while the water flowing down to the Sea of Arabia, that is the Dead Sea was completely cut off. Watch this last sentence. So, the people crossed over opposite of Jericho. You know what's not said, but we see in this context was that they're crossing right across from Jericho, which was one of the most well-defended, well-respected and strongest military cities in the world. In the world. So, catch this. These broken-down people that have been wandering the wilderness for 40 years have finally gotten to the point where they think God is going to do something big in their life. God takes them to the river's edge, right across from the strongest military city in the region at the flood stage of the river. And he says, hey, get into the river and cross it. You know what? It makes no sense, which is the principle here. God's calling to move doesn't always make earthly sense. The ledger doesn't always add up, I promise you. The time doesn't always add up. By man's standards, this was the worst place at the worst time, at the worst situation to cross this river.

They couldn't wait until the dry season, and they could have almost just waded through about shin high the Jordan River. But right here it would have been about 20 feet deep, hundreds of yards wide. God said, though, just take the step. Take the step, and what did he do? He dried up the river. So, here's the question I got for you. Where do you need to step? I don't care if it makes sense. Making sense is the secondary point here. Where do you need to step? For some reason, we've been deceived into thinking that if my relationship with Christ doesn't look like that person's relationship with Christ, that I'm just going to stand right here and I'm going to do nothing. But God is going no, no, no, take the step, take the step, move from where you are. Let me just tell you this. Every single one of us, every single day should take a self-examination and ask ourselves, God, where am I right now with you today? Where am I in this moment? And then we should say this to God, God I own that. I did it. I walked in it. And number three, we should say, God, I need you to start moving in my life. Help me take the first step. Here's the deal. You're not telling God anything he doesn't already know. You're not hiding it from God. He already knows it. The question is, will we walk? Will we take the first step? And I love the first step is not even somewhere we know where to go. Look at verse four, it's very clear. They had no clue where they were going. Then you will know which way to go. Watch this. Since you have never been this way before. If you're waiting to take the first step for God to move in your life because you've never been there before, you are always going to be waiting. Always. Because faith says, Just take the step from where you are. Let me ask you, what's the starting point for you? Is today the day that you finally need to say yes to Jesus and give him your life? It's the day, the day that you need to move from being a spectator to becoming a child of the king. It's the day, the day you need to say, Yeah, God, I'm no longer going to be on the sidelines as your child. I'm stepping into a moving relationship with you. Start where you are. Here's number four, it's short. Stay in the presence of God. Just stay. Stay in the presence of God.

I love verse 16, it just quite simply says the last of it. So, the people cross over opposite of Jericho. Why'd they crossover? Because that's where God went. It's where the ark went. Their whole lives, this generation had watched God move ahead of them and they would move. If God stayed, they stayed. If the fire leapt in front of them, they went. If the cloud went, they went. The ark moved and they moved. Why? Because they did not want to be outside the presence of God. They didn't want to be outside of it. God says look, I'm with you. Just stay with me. I'm with you. Watch what happens. I love that God didn't just cause this thing to dry up and on a dry season. I love that He didn't, like, freeze it over. I love the fact that God said, okay, watch this. Just as I dried up the Red Sea, that would swallow you up and your ancestors to begin this journey, to finish this promise. I'm drying up the Jordan River for you to walk into the promise that I've giving you. Now just stay with me. You do realize it's God's job to start it?

It's our job if you want him to move, just to stay with him. Just to stay with him. I don't know what you are thinking, Matt, I don't have a box in front of me. I don't have a fire by night. I don't have a cloud by day. No, but Jesus said it like this. And John 15. He just said remain in me. As I remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself. It must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I'm the vine and you're the branches. If you remain in me. Watch what he says. You will bear much fruit. Church I think we're in a season where God is looking at every single one of us saying it's time to move. Let's move, let's go. My question today is, what's your step? Lord God, before I move into the next segment of this message and cast some vision, God, I'm going to ask you just to step in just for a second here for us personally. God, I want to give a moment for those that don't know you to meet you today, for those that have never trusted you with their lives, to trust you today, for those that need to jump on and move with us, God, today would be the day they say yes to this church. And God for so many that have just been idle, I just want to give them a chance today to say yes to you. God, move in this place. Let's stand and sing, I'm going to come back in a second and I got something to share with you.

Let's sing this together in faith. And I will believe. For great things. There's no power like the power of Jesus. Let faith arise. Let all agree. There's no power, like the power of Jesus. Come on, and I will believe, for greater things. There's no power like the power of Jesus. Let faith arise. Let all agree. There's no power like the power of Jesus. Now I will believe, for greater things. There's no power like the power of Jesus. Let faith arise. Let all agree. There's no power like his power. There's nothing that our God can't do. There's not a mountain He can't move. Oh, praise the name that makes a way. There's nothing, there's nothing that Jesus can't do. There's nothing that our God can't do. There's not a prison wall he can't break through. Oh, praise the name that makes a way, there's nothing that our God can't do. Oh, there's nothing.

Amen. And you can have a seat. I hope you believe that, because I got some things I want to put before us for 2023 real fast before we jump out of here today. You know, as we look back over the last year, there are some things that stand out for Burnt Hickory. Number one is that COVID hit, but Burnt Hickory, we didn't quit. You know, a lot of churches just kind of hit the pause button and said, we'll see you later. But because of you guys and the faithfulness of leaders and life group leaders and ministries, this place has flourished over the last two and a half years. And I think God has got us at the cusp of doing something really big, really big in moving us forward. Along with that, we didn't just quit. We fully funded the Kenya Ministry Center over half a million dollars given in two weeks. We jumped into our Guatemala program and funding the Compassion Center there. And actually, last week I got to meet Christopher, our family's little compassion kid, and got to give him a big hug and smile last week. And a lot of that is because of what you guys did in establishing that over the pandemic. During the pandemic, the reality is we also experienced some record giving. I don't know how. I don't know why, but God said, okay, here you go. And you guys gave we had our best financial year, the first year of pandemic. The second year of the pandemic, we had an even better year. And this year we're blowing it out of the water again because of your faithfulness in where God is moving.

Yeah, it's incredible. But inside of that, our attendance has been increasing. Today, quite frankly can be one of the largest Sundays, non-Easter or holiday Sundays that this church has ever had in this facility. So, God is up to something in this place. And I want us to look at a couple of things moving forward in 2023, I told you we're in a series called Moving Forward. First half of this morning was Where are you going and where am I going? And now I want to share some things that we think God has put on our hearts moving forward. The first thing in 2023 that we want to do is that we want to establish the Mike Stephens Community Counseling Center here. Yeah, come on. That's awesome. Long story short, the DNA of this church has always been to take care of people. It's always been to walk beside families. It's always been to sit eyeball to eyeball with families that are going through whatever that is. And the pandemic has made that load exponentially more, not only for us, but every counseling people that is in this community.

And we feel like as a church it is our responsibility to step in at this moment and build a holistic counseling center here that people inside our church can use and outside our church can use. And we want to honor Mike Steven's name and his legacy for this. He always made us promise he didn't want anything ever named after him, but we knew he was lying. All right. So, there it is. Secondly, we want to increase our community and our connection space. Pandemic has taught us that church is more than just hearing somebody stand up here and rant for half an hour, hearing somebody lead worship. But Church is about community, it's about belonging. It's about having a group of people to do life with. So, we want to increase some space to be able to utilize this facility, which has been the DNA of the space since we built it. The first day we were in this building. And I quote, We are not building this facility for us. We're building it for the community. And listen, we're out of room. We're out of room. Do you know that in 2019, non-church events we hosted over 19,000 people in this building? 19,000. So, with that, we want to add some live group and some community events, space onto our building. With that, we want to be able to accommodate when doing that, some building flow, some better traffic flow into this building. And also give us some entrance and some exit, better functioning spaces. I don't know if you've realized this, but if you park on this side of the building, there is no entrance. You walk all the way to the middle or you walk all the way to the to the middle of this side. So, we want to look at how can we open up the whole front side of our building to be able to have community space, better entrances, better flow, and a better way for us to say yes to the community.

Next, we want to update the senior adult parking side with a covered entrance. This far side of our building over here. I'm not sure you know this, but it's our senior adult parking on this side. And we want to build an overhang that they can pull up under 100% and be able to get in and out of the building, especially those who require care from our parking ministry, because there's nothing worse than watching a handicapped person trying to get out in the rain. So, we want to be able to meet their needs and say, yeah, we love you and trust you. Next, we want to provide a spot for a future. We want to be able to I'm sorry. That's wrong. We want to provide for our future worship space expansion. We want to be able to look at what we can do on the front side of this building, because the reality is we're out of room and there's going to be a day where God is going to put us in a situation where we have to build another place to worship, quite frankly, because we don't have any room. So, we want to go ahead and take the first step now to begin our building to be able to plug the Lego in later on to build a new worship space, along with updating the facade and the front door of our community. So, in doing that, here's what we're going to ask you. About a year ago, we went to Finance Committee and said, hey, we would love to start dreaming, love to start looking in, love to start exploring what it could look like to meet these needs.

Over the last two years, we met some international needs. We did some really big things. But this year we need to focus on the House along with doing everything else that we're already doing. But we need to do some things here. So, what we've done is we've met with architects, we've met with people in the fields of traffic flow and all through that. And we've began to dream and see what this space could look like. Now, I want to walk you really quickly through this, because this is the reality. This is something the church has to make a decision to do. In three weeks from now, we're going to come back and we're going to vote on this as a church of affirmation, and we're going to commit towards how we can get to this. But if you'll notice here, this is the up-to-date drawing what we've been dreaming of. On the right-hand side in blue, you'll see that we have the Mike Stevens counseling center. It's built in front of the offices, has his own feel, has its own entrance, an after-hour entrance, and it gives us four offices to be able to host up to eight counselors that can work in an AM and a PM shift. One of our goals is to move Brian Foster into full time counseling here at Hickory, but then underneath him begin to partner with colleges, institutions to have master's level programs and then move from just Brian, into specific counseling. Whether that be trauma, whether that be kids, whether that be family, divorce, whatever it is that our community is looking for. This gives us the space to do that. And I know it's kind of hard to kind of see what this really looks like. So, I want to show you what an artist's rendering of this space could be looking into the room. It will be a waiting room on the front side and then surrounding it. It would be all of the office space that is needed for this ministry to not just start, but for it to be sustainable throughout the years.

So, we want to build the counseling center, but along with that, one of our goals was our community space or our common space. So, when we built this building, we built the narrowest hallways you could possibly build in any building. We were right before the cusp of what it looks like to build community space. If you were to build churches today, you take 100% of your worship space and you add common space and that becomes the amount of common space that you have. We did about 25% in this building, so now we need to get up with the times so that we can host, and we can be better in our community. So, this is what we're proposing, the whole front side of this building bumping out to the road. Now not to Due West, to the little road. Due West would be a long way. We want to bump out to the front road so that we can now have an incredibly large space on the front that at every one of our banquets, every one of our events, whether it's wild game banquets, women's ministry banquets, disciple now, camps, registrations... We now have a spot that people can gather, can register before we move into the room. We just don't have that right now. At our Christmas Eve services and out Sunday mornings, we want to have a connections area where people can just be. Where when you invite someone to church, you can say, Hey, meet me right here and that's where I'll be. Right now, we just don't have that ability. It's a little hard to see kind of what this could look like. So, we'll give you a little rendering of what the architects are saying we could do with this space. And it could be just an incredibly big coffee shop feel that we could host large events in. We'll be able to host up to about 300 people in here. All the furniture has secondary location. So, if there is a banquet, it can move out.

But during the week, it's also a place for the hundreds of people who stop by here to go. Hey, is there just somewhere we could talk? We want to establish a place where people can do that. We're moms or dads or families can come together and just get across the table with somebody and share. So, this is the common space moving across the building would be a new front lobby. I don't know if you've noticed this or not, but when you walk in the children's building, you go, Man, look at this place. When you walk in our front lobby, you go, Did we build a lobby on the front? Well, we know that that's a problem. And so, to tie in this whole building together and then getting ready for the future, our goal would be to bump the whole front lobby out, take it up three stories high into a big glass atrium. And to be able to have a place that could be a central point for people that are coming into the building. And it would look something like this. It would tie the front together, walk straight in the main doors of the FLC, but as well as now, give us a chance to have the whole front side of the building, one large open area to be able to host people. And plus, it just looks really cool.

Next, we want to look at what we would do with the media center because we know that's a big deal. The number one use of our media center is our weekday preschool. So, we want to move it down closer to where they are during the week as well as leave it on the main street. That would be kind of the front hallway of the church. So, we're going to bump the front side of this out a little bit and then it gives us a chance to be able to have a look that is wider and now connects the media center with Children's Area on this side with storefront glass as well as now somebody could come in, do what they need to in the media center while letting their kid play on the playground that's right out in front of it. So, it gives us a chance to meet that need as well. And then last, we want to look at what our overhang could look like for our senior adults on this office side of the building. We want to look at building something that matches the front that gives a full overhang for a car to pull in, for them to be able to come in and out of the building. So, which would then give us a chance to have dry entry on the side of the building, the back of the building, right at the children's building. And then the whole front of the building will come right to the curb to where it's now, not 30 yards to get in from the car. It's two steps to get in from the car.

You say Matt, I just can't get a feel of what this can look like. So, we asked them for a rendering of what the new front of the building could look like. Totally transforms the look of the building, the function of the building, and now brings us up to date in a building that is now 18 years old and allows us to move forward to look like the rest of our community and be a place that people belong. You do realize that Burnt Hickory is effectually known as the West Cobb Community Center or the West Cobb State Park? Because that's who we are in the community and that's who we're going to stay being. You'll notice a couple of things on this picture. There's outdoor seating all the way across the front. The pergola area is covered with fans and heaters. There's an outdoor fireplace under there for gatherings, for life groups, for events that are happening. And now there's doors going all the way across the front of our building for egress and exit. So, with that, though, comes some questions. That's the good news. The bad news not really would be what would a timeline look on doing something like this?

We've been working really hard over the last months to be able to bring this to you today, kind of on a moving forward Sunday to have this ready to go. If the church comes behind this project. And then three weeks from now, we vote to say, yeah, let's do this, and we support it. We believe that we can start this project the day after Easter this year and we can finish it by this Sunday next year. We can finish it in one year from today. The builders have told us that's doable. Now, obviously they're selling it, but they've told us that it's doable. Summertime is the best time for us to be able to look at this. And we're just asking your permission and asking you to get alongside this vision, to move in this. But here's what we'll do. We're going to throw this back to you today. You're going to receive some info as you walk out the doors today. There's an email coming out from me today along with other stuff. And we're going to ask you to pray over these next two weeks. And then on the third week, we're going to vote as a church family.

If this is something that we're going to move forward on. So that would be the timeline. Here's the second one. What's this project going to cost? It's a great question. Between four and four and a half million dollars is where it costs. Now, for me, that's a lot of money. But for what we're getting in the building and construction world right now, I think that it's an incredibly reasonable price, especially looking at the fact of how many million-dollar houses are going up around us. So, for God's house, that much. Four and a half million dollars. To which leads me to the question will we go into debt for this project? No, we're not going to go into debt for this project. I opened this up today by saying that we've had two of the best financial years this church has ever had in its lifetime. Here's the good news. God has already got us on track to be able to do this. But here's what I'm asking of you. I'm asking over the next year for an over and beyond offering commitment from the families of our church of $2 million, $2 million. We've gone to finance. We've asked kind of how this looks. And we believe that we are without even without even trying. We can stroke the other check because of your faithfulness already. But I'm going to ask you for $2 million, and here's why I think God is in it. And I think all of us need but in. I can remember, moving into this facility and having this same process from a generation before us. I can remember seven years ago doing same thing for the children's building on this side.

And now I know there are so many new families that now this is our chance to one more time say yes to the next generation. So, I'm going to ask you to pray over these next weeks of what does this look like in your family? What is sacrificial giving look like in your family? And how can I step in and say, yes, Lord, in supporting this project. You say Matt, what if we don't get the $2 million commitment? Well, number one, I think we're going to. But just in case you're that person, let me tell you this. What if we just get a million? That's okay. We can still pay for it. What if we just get 500,000? We're not. But that's okay. We can still pay for it. God has blessed this church. But here's what I don't want to do. I don't want to deplete all of our reserves so when God calls us to something big again, we just can't step in and say, Yes, I want us to support it. I want us to move in. This next question is this one how does this set us up for future worship space? Because that's the goal. We don't want to have to redo something later on. This gives us the lobby space. It gives us the main street common space to be able to plug a building in like this, a 22 to 2500 seat auditorium that would sit on the front side of our building that we can now quadruple where we are in worship in a couple of years.

So Matt, why don't we just go ahead and do this? $25 million. Is why we don't go ahead and do this? Are we blessed? Yeah, we're blessed. But that's a lot of money. All right. That's a lot of money. So, this gives us now the capability to have the infrastructure ready for that stage. When God moves us into that stage. But here's the question. I know that I haven't covered everything today. The next two Sundays at 5:00 in the Connections room, I'm going to be there. Some of our other leadership will be there, and we'll be sharing this vision again. We'll be walking through maybe even some more details will be accepting questions at that point. Obviously, any point during the week that you want to reach out and if you have questions, we'd love to talk to you.

But this whole Sunday morning has been around the idea of will we move? Will I move in my personal life, and will we move as a church? And church, I can't think of another way for us right now to move that is any better than meeting these needs that I just laid out for us. And so, here's what I'm going to ask you as your pastor to bring this before the Lord in prayer and to seriously begin to think how you can support this. You'll be getting some information about how you can commit. In three weeks will come together and we'll vote yes or no as members. And then we'll also indicate, I'm not only just saying yes, but here's how my family is going to support this over the next year. Would you pray with us that God can have a Jordan moment in this church?

Let's pray, Lord Jesus, we love you, Jesus. And God I'm just so amazed that we can be in a position right now to even have this conversation, because so many churches can't. But God, to whom much is given, much is expected. And God, you have called us to reach this community. God, I pray for these next two weeks. I pray that you light a fire under us. God, I pray that you move us in a unison direction to fulfill the vision of this church, to reach this community Jesus. God, I pray that we look back on this day years down the road, and we say, that's when God began. Thank you, Lord Jesus. It's in your name we pray.

Amen, amen.

You're dismissed. We'll see you next week.

 

Follow Along with the Message


Our Jordan Moment

July 31, 2022

Philippians 3:13–14
…But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Joshua 3:1–4
1 Early in the morning Joshua and all the Israelites set out from Shittim and went to the Jordan, where they camped before crossing over. 2 After three days the officers went throughout the camp, 3 giving orders to the people: “When you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, and the Levitical priests carrying it, you are to move out from your positions and follow it. 4 Then you will know which way to go, since you have never been this way before. But keep a distance of about two thousand cubits between you and the ark; do not go near it.”

If We Want God to Move Us Forward:

1. Stand God.

2. Seek .

Joshua 3:5
Joshua told the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.”

PRINCIPLE: Holiness always God’s movement.

PRINCIPLE: The goal of this holiness is to live apart.

PRINCIPLE: Holiness is a pursuit.

3. Start where you .

Joshua 3:7–8
7 And the Lord said to Joshua, “Today I will begin to exalt you in the eyes of all Israel, so they may know that I am with you as I was with Moses. 8 Tell the priests who carry the ark of the covenant: ‘When you reach the edge of the Jordan’s waters, go and stand in the river.’”
Joshua 3:13–16
13 And as soon as the priests who carry the ark of the Lord — the Lord of all the earth — set foot in the Jordan, its waters flowing downstream will be cut off and stand up in a heap.” 14 So when the people broke camp to cross the Jordan, the priests carrying the ark of the covenant went ahead of them. 15 Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water’s edge, 16 the water from upstream stopped flowing. It piled up in a heap a great distance away, at a town called Adam in the vicinity of Zarethan, while the water flowing down to the Sea of the Arabah (that is, the Dead Sea) was completely cut off. So the people crossed over opposite Jericho.

PRINCIPLE: God’s calling to move doesn’t always make sense.

Joshua 3:4
Then you will know which way to go, since you have never been this way before.

4. Stay in the of God.

Joshua 3:16
…So the people crossed over opposite Jericho.
Joshua 15:4–5
4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. 5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

4. like you are .

“Knowing and loving God is our greatest privilege. And being known and being loved by God is our greatest pleasure.”
— Rick Warren


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