Sermon Summary

This message is a bit different from normal, but it serves an important purpose in the life of Northshore Church. We are embarking on a ministry initiative to build out 9,000 square feet of our building in order to better serve the children’s ministry of our church. By doing so we will also have greater opportunities to minister to our youth and our church families as a whole. This initiative is called “Vision to Reality” and is an outgrowth of continued efforts to see our purpose, mission and vision fulfilled!  Our purpose is to see the One who gave His life for us exalted and the ones He gave His life for transformed! Our mission is transforming worship, people and the world! Our vision is to raise up a healthy church that will impact the north shore and ultimately the world with the life changing message of Jesus Christ!  God’s Word says this: “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21 This tells us God’s power works in us! We are vessels and instruments in God’s hands! If we are willing to allow God to use us He can accomplish great things in and through us! This ministry initiative will be a great way for all of us to allow God to use our time, talents and treasures to see the Vision become a Reality!

Community Group Discussion Guide

1. Why do you think the staff and leadership of Northshore Church decided to do a children’s ministry build out before enlarging the auditorium?

2. What are some ways the Vision To Reality ministry initiative will help Northshore Church fulfill its God given purpose, mission and vision?
Purpose: To see the One who gave His life for us exalted and the ones He gave His life for transformed!
Mission: Transforming worship, people and the world!
Vision: To raise up a healthy church that will impact the north shore and ultimately the world with the life changing message of Jesus Christ!

3. How does the passage of Scripture that has served as Larry’s main text for the last three weeks apply to the V2R project?
Ephesians 3:20  
20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,
21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

4. What are some ways this building project can be used of God to draw us together in unity? Think fellowship, common purpose, excitement as we see it coming together! Remember, building the Body of Christ should be our ultimate goal! Read Ephesians 2:19-22
Eph 2:19  Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household,
Eph 2:20  built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.
Eph 2:21  In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord.
Eph 2:22  And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.

Full Sermon Notes
The R of V2R = REALITY

God has consistently allowed us to see the vision He has given us become reality!

While I'm talking you will be seeing on the screen behind me some images of our vision becoming reality in the past. So just enjoy those glimpses of our history as we look forward to our future! If you're a guest today this will be a different service from the normal, but it will give you a good look at where we've been and where we are going! Our purpose and our vision have not changed since our church had it's first Bible study July 2001. Our mission statement has been adjusted to more clearly communicate what our mission is. Our...

Purpose: To see the One who gave His life for us exalted and the ones He gave His life for transformed!

Mission: Transforming worship, people and the world!

Vision: To raise up a healthy church that will impact the north shore and ultimately the world with the life changing message of Jesus Christ!

Folks I believe this stuff! These statements drive our every decision at Northshore Church and I pray they always will because they are Bible based and God given!
One of the most important things to consider in our history is the fact God has blessed our commitment to our God given purpose, mission and vision! We've faced our share of hurdles, but God has allowed us to overcome everyone of them!! I want to read you the verses that have been the foundation verses of this Vision to Reality Series.

Ephesians 3:20  
20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,
21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Folks you can't measure what God wants to do in your life and through your life and we can't measure what God wants to do in and through the life of this church. God is beyond our ability to measure! Why? Because of His awesome and mighty power!
No matter what we ask God for in prayer, I promise you His divine plans will always be more spectacular and have more impact than anything we could ever ask or even imagine!

I absolutely love the way Isaiah described God's intimacy with us and His greatness above us…Listen to Isaiah's words...

Isaiah 40:10-15
10 See, the Sovereign LORD comes with power, and his arm rules for him. See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him.

11 He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.
12 Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens? Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket, or weighed the mountains on the scales and the hills in a balance?
13 Who has understood the mind of the LORD, or instructed him as his counselor?     14 Whom did the LORD consult to enlighten him, and who taught him the right way? Who was it that taught him knowledge or showed him the path of understanding?
15 Surely the nations are like a drop in a bucket; they are regarded as dust on the scales; he weighs the islands as though they were fine dust.

If Isaiah were here today I think he would have included these words…
"I'm just saying!"
And it's this all loving and all powerful God who has given Northshore Church its purpose, mission and vision!!

So since God Almighty stands with us and behind us nothing can defeat us as long as we trust in His power, His wisdom, and His provision. A skeptic might ask, "Ever had a chance to put that belief to the test?" To which I would reply "In fact we have! The story goes something like this."

KATRINA VIDEO! (Watch this video on our sermon video cast titled R=Reality)

Do you think for a minute we could have rebounded after Katrina like we did without the power and resources of Almighty God? No indeed! Christian people from all over this country and even from the poorest country in the western hemisphere, Haiti, came to our aid and brought resources. Did you know a Christian school in Port-au-Prince raised $4,000.00 U.S. dollars and sent to us? It would take a Haitian almost 10 years to work for that much money at the average salary of 400.00 per year. I cried when we got that check along with drawings and notes from the children letting us know they were praying for us! And churches large and small gave funds to help us rebuild and sent groups from all over this country from as far away as  Idaho, Illinois, Texas, the Carolinas, Alabama.

And some groups came back as many as 10 times or more. So you see, when God has a vision and gives a vision, He'll make sure that vision is accomplished no matter what happens! 'Cause He's God!

2 minutes long.

And even though we had some real hardships after Katrina, we all found joy in serving as you'll see on the faces of the people on the video. We were a family, a team, The Body of Christ, and we had a God-given vision to accomplish, so we worked together to make it happen.

Setting up and tearing down every week. And then, what did God do? He worked a miracle for us to purchase 44,000 square feet of an old grocery store! And God helped us to see it not for what it was but what it could be. And we came together again to make the vision happen. You're sitting in part of the old warehouse! How did this happen? God gave the vision, and we trusted Him to fulfill the vision through us. We were His vessels. He provided the strength and the resources, we were simply obedient to allow Him to work through us! Through our gifts of talent, time, prayers, and financial support. God Blessed each gift and multiplied them.
Listen to what God's Word tells us about giving to a ministry initiative like V2R...

2 Corinthians 9:7-8
7 Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

I had a mentor who was a retired minister. He had served a large church for 25 years and at the time was the pastor emeritus. I asked him how he had been so successful leading that church to do such great things. He told me it was rather simple. He said, "Inform the people and trust God!" Folks I still believe that's great wisdom and that's exactly what we're doing with this V2R ministry initiative.

That's what the these three messages have been about. Keeping you informed. We've not started building a thing, but as I told you last week, our staff and leadership team have been seeking the Lord's will concerning the direction of our church. We believe it's God's will for us to focus on our children's and youth environments at this time. Our staff have looked at our present children's ministry layout and have looked at other children ministry layouts and have been working with the architects on the design. As folks have had a chance to look at the plans, some suggestions have been made and some changes have been made. But overall, we feel we're on the right track.

Let's keep the ball rolling as some of our other staff will share their vision for this buildout in this short video...

V2R Video with staff plays here. (Watch this video on our sermon video cast titled R=Reality)

One of our church members is going to come now with a perspective from the congregation...

“As pastor Larry mentioned My name is Tom Van Geffen. I want to start by saying that I am not a member of the leadership team, not a member of the financial board, and certainly not a member of the staff.

I am up here speaking as a member of this church just like many of you. So as a member I want to begin by stating that I'm all in with this project and I wanted to tell you why. I had an occasion to work with the financial board, leadership team as well as the staff concerning a bond issue. I got to know many of the individuals who lead this church and make many of the day to day decisions. I have been on many committees and boards over the years but I have never been associated with a group of individuals so committed to praying for God's direction, being patient to hear from God and being steadfast in following what God directs. Our leaders treat every resource that comes into this church as though it belonged to God. The have earned the trust of my financial support. I know you will agree with me that our youth of today has access to more information in their Hand than we had in our lifetime. Some of this is good, much of it not so good. It has never been more important than today that we teach our youth about Jesus.

As the proud father of five born again adult sons and grandfather of nine of the most beautiful grandchildren, I can think of no better way to invest in the future of my
grandchildren than to support a project designed to teach them about Jesus.
Bringing this vision o reality is up to us, the members of this church. Please pray and ask God to lead you in support of this noble goal. Join me in supporting financially the future of our children and grandchildren.”

Thank you Tom for those gracious words of encouragement! It is our deep desire to be good stewards of all God has entrusted to our care and that's why we seek the guidance and wisdom of trusted counsel like yours.

Some people say the church is getting too big and too impersonal. To which I would reply, "it may be getting too big for the pastor to do all the ministry, but I don't think God ever intended the pastor to do it all anyway!"
"Well", they continue, "it's just so many people you can't really get to know anybody anymore!" To which I reply, "What do you mean? The bigger we get the more opportunities there are to get to know people! And the more small groups we have the more chance there is you'll find one that's just the right fit for you! And the bigger we grow the more work there is to do so there's way more opportunities for you to plug in!

Now I would like to pass the ball on to Jay Victory, our Executive Pastor who's going to share with you how you can get plugged in to the V2R Ministry Initiative and then we will start the tours. Jay, come on up!

“Boy Larry always gets me with that Katrina video! As I look back and see how God has always been with us through the storms and difficult times and as I see the lives that have been changed through the ministry of Northshore Church I’m amazed and excited! Today we have been challenged and we have decisions to make as to what our participation in our Vision 2 Reality ministry initiative will be! If you will grab the V2R card from the seat backs in front of you. On this card you see there are multiple ways to be involved. We hope to save significantly on the price of this project by utilizing the gifts and skills of willing volunteers. If you have skills such as carpentry, electrical, plumbing, etc. let us know. If your like me and can carry a board or a tool to someone who know what to do with it, that would be great! Or you may just want to fix a meal for those who will be up here after work at night or on a weekend. You may not be able to do that but you can be one of our prayer warriors. We want to back and support this entire initiative with prayer. And then of course there’s the need for resources. God has blessed and due the generosity of various people we have about 200,000.00 already for this project. We don’t know what the top end number will be until we get our final bids in. You can give a one time gift, weekly or monthly over and above your tithe. Now I don’t want you to turn this card in today! I want you to take it home and pray about your participation. Bring it back next week and place it in the offering basket when it comes by or put it in the black offering box in the back.
Now for me it’s always helpful when I can see something. When I can see what you’re talking about. I’m going to pray and afterwards this big warehouse door to my left is going to open. You can walk back to the part of our building that will be built out. It’s around 9,000 square feet. You’ll be able to see drawings and various information on TV monitors. There will be guides who will give you information and answer your questions.
Let’s pray!”