August 18, 2019 AM
Dr. Michael Catt - 1915
What is the DNA of Sherwood?
How should we measure maturity personally and corporately? We aren’t looking for “joiners;” we are looking for people who long to be part of something supernatural. You can call this a path, a design, or a philosophy of ministry. Whatever you call it, it’s the key to being more of a New Testament church in America than a typical American church that fails to prioritize biblical essentials. These are transferrable concepts – truths that will transform how we think about our lives individually and our church life corporately.
We want everyone who considers membership at Sherwood to know:
- The benefits and blessings of membership
- The responsibilities of membership
- The journey we’re inviting you to take
- The blessings that come from being part of a healthy church
1) Sherwood is not for everyone.
2) There’s more than one way to do church. We are committed to:
- Multi-ethnic and multi-cultural
- Changed lives
- A passionate pursuit of Jesus
- All ministry birthed and bathed in prayer
Prayer is central to the Gospels and the Book of Acts. In the Gospels, Jesus teaches us how to pray. In Acts, God shows us how He works in a praying church.
1) Prayer is __, not __. (Matthew 18:19; Acts 4:24)
“To give prayer a secondary place is to make God secondary in life’s affairs.” – E. M. Bounds
“The greatest thing anyone can do for God and for man is to pray. You can do more than pray after you have prayed, but you cannot do more than pray until you have prayed.” – S. D. Gordon
“Prayer is set forth as the primary human factor in the accomplishment of God’s program on earth.” – Dr. Curtis Mitchell
There are three kinds of churches:
1) Churches that pray in crisis
“Much of our praying is just asking God to bless some folks that are ill, and to keep us plugging along. But prayer is not merely prattle; it is warfare.” – Alan Redpath
2) Churches with a prayer ministry
3) The praying church
“The church upon its knees would bring heaven upon the earth.” – E. M. Bounds
2) Prayer brings __.
“The one concern of the devil is to keep the saints from praying. He fears nothing from prayerless studies, prayerless work, prayerless religion. He laughs at our toil, he mocks at our wisdom, but he trembles when we pray.” – Samuel Chadwick
A praying church looks to:
-The sovereign Lord (Acts 4:24, 28)
-The self-revealing Lord (Acts 4:24)
-The serving saints
“Most churches don’t know that God rules the world by the prayers of His saints.” – Andrew Murray
3) A praying church __. (Matthew 22:34, 35)
“True worship exalts God to His rightful place in our lives. Worship is not so much an activity, as it is first and foremost an attitude. In worship, saved sinners express their praise and adoration to the God who saves.” – Michael Catt
“It is impossible to use God and worship Him at the same time.” – Larry Crabb
“True worship is to be so personally and hopelessly in love with God that the idea of a transfer of affection never even remotely exists.” – A. W. Tozer
4) A praying church __.
We study the Bible to be wise, believe it to be safe, practice it to be holy. We believe the Bible is the inerrant, infallible, inspired Word of God.
Connected people are effective people. We are connected to Christ and members of His body. our lives are linked together in Christ. (John 15; Galatians 5:22, 23)
“We are in Christ, and Christ is in us. Therefore, the world should see Christ when it sees us. Our lives should be visible representations of the life of Christ.” – Michael Catt
This speaks of the believer’s lifestyle. In John 15, Jesus mentions fruit 6 â€€times in 8 verses, and every â€€time it’s present tense in the Greek.
- “does not bear fruit” (15:2)
- “bears fruit” (15:2)
- “bears more fruit” (15:2)
- “bears much fruit” (15:5, 8)
“The Christian’s task is to make the Lord Jesus visible, intelligible, and desirable.” – Len Jones
Fruit shows up:
5) A praying church believes God for __.
“Prayer is the great engine to overthrow and rout my spiritual enemies, the great means to procure the graces of which I stand in hourly need.” – John Newton
“When I pray coincidences happen, and when I do not they don’t.” – William Temple
6) A praying church walks in the __.
“Prayer honors God, acknowledges His being, exalts His power, adores His providence, secures His aid.” – E. M. Bounds
“It is the Spirit’s ministry to bring the sinner to the Savior and to make the sinner like the Savior.” – John Blanchard
Jesus promised His disciples:
- His peace (John 14:27)
- His Spirit (John 14:16)
- Prayer in His name (John 16:23, 24)
- His abiding presence (Maâ€€hew 28:18-20)
“What the Spirit does is exactly what the Lord does; the Spirit’s work is not an additional or special work beyond the Lord’s; the Spirit is the Lord at work.” – F. D. Bruner
7) A praying church __. (John 14:12-14; Acts 4:31-33)
“We may boldly tell the chief of sinners that Christ loves him. Salvation is ready for the worst of men, if they will only come to Christ. If men are lost, it is not because Jesus does not love them and is not ready to save.” – J. C. Ryle
“What is the first hypothesis for evangelism? That God is there, and is the kind of God that the Bible says He is, and that He has not been silent but has given us propositional truth.” – Francis Schaeffer
“Evangelism in the New Testament sense is the vocation of every believer, and there is therefore something radically wrong when we imply that personal evangelism is the province of those who have the time and/or inclination to take special courses and learn special techniques.” – Roland Allen
“Never undertake more Christian work than can be covered in believing prayer.” – Alan Redpath
8) A praying church is used __.
“We cannot make God greater or higher than He is; but if we adore Him as infinitely great and higher than the highest, He is pleased to reckon this magnifying and exalting Him.” – Matthew Henry
We want a church that exhibits God’s grace:
- The grace of unity (v. 32)
- The grace of renunciaâ€€on (v. 32)
- The grace of fellowship (v. 32)
- The grace of generosity (vv, 34, 35)