Victory Church
Foundations: Why the Church Exists (Part 3) Six responsibilities we all have towards our church
February 4, 2024

Foundations: Why the Church Exists (Part 3) Six responsibilities we all have towards our church

February 4, 2024

Foundations: Why the Church Exists (Part 3)

Six responsibilities we all have towards our church.


Why Church?

The two institutions that God has given His approval to in the world:

1) Marriage

2) The Church


Notice again Matthew 16:18 (NLT):

Now I say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it.

19 And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.”

Last week: What is the Role of a Pastor in a Local Church?

A healthy church

Healthy churches maintain a healthy balance of preaching the Word, allowing the Holy Spirit to manifest Himself with spiritual gifts and with the tangible presence of God. They create an environment for relationships, and then together reach out to the community.

A healthy believer puts:

The Word First

The Spirit Second

Experience last

My most important role as a pastor is to minister the Word of God to you week after week in a way that you can practically apply it to your personal life.





Notice the charge God gives pastors:

Acts 20:28 (NKJV)

Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock that the Holy Spirit has appointed you to as overseers, to shepherd (KJV- feed) the church of God, which He purchased with His own blood.

Acts 20:28 (NLT)

So guard yourselves and God’s people. Feed and shepherd God’s flock—his church, purchased with his own blood—over which the Holy Spirit has appointed you as leaders.

Acts 20:32 (NKJV)

So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.

Jeremiah 3:15 (NKJV)

And I will give you shepherds according to My heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding.

Jeremiah 23:4 (NKJV)

I will set up shepherds over them who will feed them; and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, nor shall they be lacking,” says the Lord.

1. My first responsibility is to minister the Word of God.

My primary focus is that you receive the Word in such a way that you are challenged to put it into practice and to change.

If you will come here for one year, attend services and get involved, you will be changed.

The Word of God is more than an ordinary book! It is God’s power! It is His will. If you will put it into practice, you will be transformed.

2. My second responsibility is to give vision and direction to ministry of the local church.

Jesus gives pastors vision and direction in ministry.

There is no higher authority spiritually in a local church than the senior pastor. Notice I said spiritual authority.

We have a board that helps me with the finances here, and we have other members on our pastoral staff team that help with managing day-to-day things.

To the Senior Pastor God gives direction and focus to that local church and shows him how to produce forward motion.

I’ve made some changes in recent years. For our church to progress, I had to make a decision to lead in a different way than I have in the past. I have led with others, and this church grew from 49 people when I came to where we are now.

I have now stepped aside from daily management of day-to-day things and have assumed the role of a visionary or encourager and motivator and general direction giver as well as a teacher of the Word!

Meera Short is our Executive Pastor and has taken the role that I had for many years in managing our staff team..

My focus now is on studying, writing, and producing podcasts and blogs and things that enable believers to grow in the Word of God.

Today: What is the people’s responsibility?

Some questions:

What do you plan to get out of attending a local church?

What is the major reason you attend a church?

Do you know what your responsibilities before God are in being involved in a church?

6 responsibilities we all have towards our church:

1. Attend the services and get involved!

More involvement is needed than watching online!

Hebrews 10:23-25 (NLT)

Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. 24 Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. 25 And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.

Hebrews 10:23-25 (NKJV)

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

Rick Renner – Sparkling Gems Quote:

Sparkling Gems From the Greek Vol. 1: 365 Greek Word Studies For Every Day Of The Year To Sharpen Your Understanding Of God’s Word by Rick Renner

That’s why Hebrews 10:25 says, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is….” The word “forsaking” is taken from the Greek word egkatakeipontes. It’s a compound of three different Greek words: eg, kata, and leipo. The first word, eg (actually from the Greek word ek), means out. Kata, the second part of the word, means down. The third word, leipo, means behind. These three words compounded together simply mean out, down, and behind. These words describe someone who is extremely discouraged, defeated, and depressed. Maybe he feels depressed because it looks like everyone is succeeding but him. Or maybe this is someone who is simply weary from fighting a very long battle. Regardless of the reason why, this word describes a person who feels left out, down, depressed, and far behind everyone else. The moment people begin to feel like they are failing or falling short of everyone else is often the moment when Satan tells them,“ Oh, just stay home from church today. You don’t need to go down there with all those rejoicing people. You know that you don’t feel like being with them today, so why not just stay home by yourself? You don’t need them. You can just read the Bible at home!” Satan knows that if he can get you to fall out of fellowship with other believers—at the very moment when you need fellowship and encouragement the most—then he can probably keep you down and defeated. Yes, it’s true that you can read the Bible at home by yourself, and you need to do this. But fellowship with other believers is essential for everyone, and that includes you! You receive encouragement from other believers that you can’t get anywhere else. That is why church is the last place the devil wants you to go when you’re feeling low! He knows if you go to church, you will be touched by the Presence of the Lord; you will get encouraged by other believers; and in the end, you’ll crawl out of that hole the enemy has put you in and rise up to a place of heavenly victory! The devil works overtime to try to tempt you to skip church, stay home, and do something else instead. But, friend, why isolate yourself when you are in the greatest need of encouragement? Hebrews 10: 25 could be translated: “When you’re feeling down and depressed—like a failure who is falling behind everyone else—that isn’t the time to stay away from other believers, as some are in the habit of doing….””

Three things happen when you attend a local church

1. The atmosphere infects you.

1 Corinthians 3:16 (AMPC)

Do you not discern and understand that you [the whole church at Corinth] are God’s temple (His sanctuary), and that God’s Spirit has His permanent dwelling in you [to be at home in you,collectively as a church and also individually]

Ephesians 2:19-22 (NLT)

So now you Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens along with all of God’s holy people. You are members of God’s family.

20 Together, we are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself. 21 We are carefully joined together in him, becoming a holy temple for the Lord. 22 Through him you Gentiles are also being made part of this dwelling where God lives by his Spirit.

Matthew 18:20 (NLT)

For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.

Matthew 18:20 (AMPC)

For wherever two or three are gathered (drawn together as My followers) in (into) My name, there I AM in the midst of them.

You become what you hang around!

*Five years from now, the person you are will be determined by the books you read, and the friends you entertain.

2. Relationships encourage you.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (NLT)

Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. 10 If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. 11 Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? 12 A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.

Proverbs 27:17 (NLT)

As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.

3. There are opportunities to bless others that will develop you.

1 Peter 4:10-11 (NLT)

God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. 11 Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.

God wants to use you to help another person. How can you help others if you are never around them?

2. Yield yourself to the Word spoken by your pastor. Willingly submit yourself to his care.

We have an independent attitude as Americans, and sometimes that independence keeps us from making commitments.

If you have been disappointed by church leaders in your past, that disappointment can cloud your attitude toward local church activities today.

1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 (NKJV)

And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, 13 and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. Be at peace among yourselves.

Hebrews 13:7 (NKJV)

Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct.

This is not some domineering rule. It is a firm, loving stance on the Word of God designed to challenge your flesh!

Hebrews 13:17 (NKJV)

Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.

Balance is needed here. A pastor and his staff should never act like dictators! They are to serve the congregation. A wise pastor listens to suggestions and comments.

Email me! [email protected]

A test of spiritual maturity in the life of every believer is whether or not they are willing to submit freely to the role of a pastor.

If I can’t submit to a human authority in my life that I can see, how can I expect to submit to the authority of a God that I cannot see?

The principle here is found in Luke 16:10-12 (ESV):

One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. 11 If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? 12 And if you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own?

For years before I became pastor here at Victory, I chose to submit to and honor the pastor where I attended church or where I was on staff.

3. Prove your character as a person faithful to God.

The world looks for qualifications. God looks first of all for character.

You can learn qualifications. But you have to develop character on your own!

Luke 16:10 (NLT)

If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities.

Proverbs 28:20 (NKJV)

A faithful man will abound with blessings,

But he who hastens to be rich will not go unpunished.

Matthew 20:16 (NKJV)

The Parable of the Vineyard workers

So the last will be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few chosen.

When you get to heaven, you will be rewarded for faithfulness alone, not skill or even the amount of work you do.

Matthew 25:23 (NKJV)

Parable of the Talents

His lord said to him, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.”

4. Partner with your church financially!

Three ways we give:

Tithe, Offerings, Alms

The seedbed for your spiritual life is your local church. It provides inspiration, motivation, and direction for your spiritual life. Spiritual growth happens in the relationship with the local church.

The tithe belongs in the local church.

Do you eat at one restaurant and pay at another?

Are you a spiritual moocher? Do you support the local church you attend with your finances?

A good indicator of where my heart is will be what I do with my money!

If I spend more weekly on eating out than what I give my church, my priorities are out of line!

Matthew 6:19-21 (NLT)

Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. 21 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.

Quote from Tim Keller – God’s Wisdom For Navigating Life

— God’s Wisdom for Navigating Life: A Year of Daily Devotions in the Book of Proverbs by Timothy Keller, Kathy Keller

What your heart most loves and adores, what it most rests in, is where you most effortlessly, joyfully, almost addictively spend your money. Some people put their money most effortlessly into savings, in order to feel safe. Others put it most readily into clothing or things that make them appear attractive and sophisticated, in order to get people’s approval and admiration. Others put it into homes and membership in clubs, in order to get status and power. “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6: 21). What will help break the hold that money has on our hearts? Radical generosity to God and the poor is a critical starting place. For idolatrous hearts it will be painful, but “one who cannot cast away a treasure at need is in fetters.” How have you seen the truth of Jesus’ saying “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” worked out in your life or others’ lives?”

Deuteronomy 26:1-10 (NLT)

When you enter the land the LORD your God is giving you as a special possession and you have conquered it and settled there, 2 put some of the first produce from each crop you harvest into a basket and bring it to the designated place of worship—the place the LORD your God chooses for his name to be honored. 3 Go to the priest in charge at that time and say to him, ‘With this gift I acknowledge to the LORD your God that I have entered the land he swore to our ancestors he would give us.’ 4 The priest will then take the basket from your hand and set it before the altar of the LORD your God.5 “You must then say in the presence of the LORD your God, ‘My ancestor Jacob was a wandering Aramean who went to live as a foreigner in Egypt. His family arrived few in number, but in Egypt they became a large and mighty nation. 6 When the Egyptians oppressed and humiliated us by making us their slaves, 7 we cried out to the LORD, the God of our ancestors. He heard our cries and saw our hardship, toil, and oppression. 8 So the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a strong hand and powerful arm, with overwhelming terror, and with miraculous signs and wonders. 9 He brought us to this place and gave us this land flowing with milk and honey! 10 And now, O LORD, I have brought you the first portion of the harvest you have given me from the ground.’ Then place the produce before the LORD your God, and bow to the ground in worship before him.

Offerings are freewill from the heart to where the Lord directs.

2 Corinthians 9:6-10 (NLT)

Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. 7 You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. For God loves a person who gives cheerfully. 8 And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. 9 As the Scriptures say, “They share freely and give generously to the poor. Their good deeds will be remembered forever.” 10 For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, he will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you.

Proverbs 3:9-10 (NLT)

Honor the LORD with your wealth and with the best part of everything you produce. 10 Then He will fill your barns with grain, and your vats will overflow with good wine.

Proverbs 11:24-25 (NLT)

Give freely and become more wealthy; be stingy and lose everything. 25 The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.

5. Invite people that don’t know the Lord to come to church with you!

2 Corinthians 5:18-20 (NLT)

And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. 19 For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. 20 So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!”

Accept the responsibility to invite your friends here…

I want to say and do things in such a way at Victory that when people come with you that don’t know the Lord, they will understand exactly what we are doing and why…

We all have the responsibility to be a witness for Jesus, and to make disciples. Make it your goal to bring just 2 people per month to church with you.

What would happen if we all did that?

What keeps you from bringing people with you to services?

Four tips to help with effective personal witnessing:

1. Accept the personal responsibility

Paul: one plants, the other waters, God gives increase…

2. Build a personal relationship.

3. Share your personal story.

1 John 1:3 (NLT)

We proclaim to you what we ourselves have actually seen and heard so that you may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.

Your passion in sharing Jesus with others comes from your personal experience with Him!

Write a paragraph that includes what Jesus has done in your life in a short, clear way. Rehearse it in your mind and be ready when the opportunity arises to share with someone!

4. Give a personal invitation.

Romans 10:9-10 (NLT)

If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved.

Here is a sample prayer for salvation:

God, I repent of my sins. Today I change my heart and mind about how I have been living my life. I ask you to forgive me for every sin that I have committed from the time I was born until today. I believe that Jesus Christ is the virgin-born Son of God, that He died in my place to pay for my personal sins, and that He rose from the dead to make me right with You. Jesus, I give myself wholeheartedly to You for the rest of my life. Change my interests and desires. Thank you Father for saving me from my sin, in Jesus’ name.

6. Pray for your local church leaders and members

Ephesians 6:18-19 (HBSC)

Pray at all times in the Spirit with every prayer and request, and stay alert in this with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints. 19 Pray also for me, that the message may be given to me when I open my mouth to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel.

2 Thessalonians 3:1-2 (HBSC)

Finally, brothers, pray for us that the Lord’s message may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you, 2 and that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men, for not all have faith.

Action Points:

1. Attend the services and join our team. Attend Victory Pathway the 1st Sunday of any month.

2. Get involved with friendships within our church.

3. Yield yourself to the Word spoken by your pastor. Willingly submit yourself to his care.

4. Prove your character as a person faithful to God.

5. Support the mission of the church with your finances.

6. Invite people who don’t know the Lord to come to church with you! (Make a goal of at least two per month.)


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