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Developing the Heart Attitudes We Need: Excellence

Today, July 30, 2017, Pastor Ed Allen continued his sermon series on Developing the Heart Attitudes We Need for this next phase of ministry in the life of our church - as we open our new building!

Last week, we looked at the first two G'Attitudes, Solidarity, with the key phrase Connect in Full! and Service, with the key phrases It's my pleasure! and Nobody eats alone!

Today we looked at a third heart attitude we need to develop:

Excellence  Colossians 3:22-23

Do what you do really well, as if you're doing it for the Lord.

Ed quoted a study of child musicians, the ones who decided they wanted to do this for years to come - they were the ones who became proficient musicians.  If we're committed, we'll soar.

Two obvious enemies of God-honoring excellence:

1)  Sloth

Qualities for thriving organizations:  Pursue excellence, not success.  If we want to pursue excellence, we will have to convert ideas into action.  But every idea eventually degenerates into hard work.

God does ask for our obedience.  It will involve hard work.  Proverbs 10:4, 20:4

Sometimes, we let ourselves off the hook too easily.

2)  Control

Our culture admires hard work in all its forms.  Even more than excellence, we admire success.

People in this category rarely let themselves off the hook.

They're working hard, but for the wrong reasons - terrified of making a mistake.  Are you doing it to protect yourself?  To promote yourself?

Again, Colossians 3:22-24 speaks to this.  Work "out of reverence for the Lord."  As followers of the Lord, we work with excellence to please Him.

We don't engage in diligent work for its own sake.

God doesn't want automatons or workaholics.  Abundance and satisfaction are found in Him.

Working with excellence has got to be the focus of our lives together for this next season.

Do it with excellence - for the Lord.

You don't know the effects of your actions.  We won't be lazy.  Or controlling.  We'll do it as to the Lord.

Pursue excellence, not success.  This is where suburban Americans get it wrong.  Success is in comparison with others, excellence in comparison with your own potential.  We're aiming for excellence.

God has given us an amazing place.  Let's step into it with excellence!

Key phrase:  If you see a problem, own it!

And we'll do that as if working for the Lord.

The King of kings will be at our new building.  Let's give him an appropriate welcome!

G'Attitudes Going Forward

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Last Sunday, July 23, 2017, Pastor Ed Allen preached about the heart attitudes we need in our community going forward, as we prepare to move into our new building.

We did a virtual tour of part of the building.  We are especially thankful for God's provision!  We take so much that God does for granted.

When we began the building process, we looked at four heart attitudes that we needed, from Joshua 1:

1)  Dependence

2)  Obedience

3)  Courage

4)  Solidarity

Now there are 6 heart attitudes we need for this next season.  We'll call them G'Attitudes (instead of Beattitudes) - Gateway Attitudes.

1)  Solidarity

2)  Service

3)  Excellence

4)  Flexibility

5)  Hospitality

6)  Generosity

On Sunday, we covered the first two.

Solidarity

We looked at Philippians 2:1-4.  We also want to make every effort to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace.

Church is not about me - not about selfish ambition or vain conceit.

Church is a "we" thing, not a "they" thing.

The word for church in Greek is ecclesia - "called out ones."  We're the gathered ones.

It involves stepping in and showing up.

The church is not a building, it's the people, the community.

I'm an integral part of the church.

Jesus defined the distinguishing characteristic of his church as Love.

Heart challenges:

1)  Some need to investigate and decide:  Is this the place God has for you?

2)  Some need to step into Gateway with our gifts and our interests.  You need to be counted in.  Let us feel the full weight of who you are.

3)  A few of us need to let go of some barrier - some conflict, some hurt, or some slight.

Theme:  Connect in full!

Don't give the scraps of your life to Gateway.  As much as you can, and as much as you should, step in.  Step in, give your all.

Service

The second G'Attitude we need.  It's intricately intertwined with solidarity.  As we serve, our hearts get intertwined.

We looked at Philippians 2 again, going on to verses 5-11.

Selfish ambition is an alternative to service:  It's about me.

Our participation in church is not driven by selfish ambition.  Is this a place I can serve?

Our participation in church is not driven by vain conceit.  This is a service blocker.

If you're having trouble serving, these may be the problems.

Our participation in church is driven by humility, thinking about ourselves less often but more accurately.

Heart focuses:

1)  Let's think about other people's needs!

September to November this year, let's focus on our guests!  We're doing this for others. 

Make this our attitude:  "It's my pleasure!"

It's about service!  As soon as we turn our lives outward, our needs get met.

2)  Share meals - Take people out to eat.

"Nobody eats alone!"

Can we make this our motto this Fall?

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