Even if you do not know much about computers, you know about times when computers need to be rebooted, for various reasons:
- Ever had your computer screen freeze? Sometimes computers freeze due to errors or glitchy applications and we just don’t know how to fix them.
- Sometimes updates are installed which can add new features to an application or fix issues that occurred with older versions.
- Do you have an outdated program or operating system? Sometimes computers have outdated, overused or glitchy programs that leak memory that need closing so the the computer operates well.
- Sometimes computers have some short-term tasks and data that keep the computer running slowly. Rebooting it helps flush out these issues and make it run more quickly.
Churches are much like computers. Sometimes churches become stuck. Sometimes programs need updating. Sometimes things go on in the life of a church that keep it moving more slowly than is needed.
To reboot means to restart a computer by loading the operating system, or to make a change in something in order to establish a new beginning. This sermon series is entitled, Reboot. Churches, like computers, can have things happen and sneak up on them that can cause glitches and freezes, can need some updating and fixes. God provides us great opportunities to examine ourselves and to see what our personal and church’s operating system is.
Our operating systems: The stewardship of every church is the guarding of the gospel.
Churches have ways of operating. Some are innovative: Music, lights, technology. Using the movies, TV, and books popular in the culture in order to connect with same said culture. Whatever is new is implemented. This is where, even if your iPhone 7 is working fine, you’ve got to have the iPhone 8 as soon as it comes out.
Some are, well, not so innovative: for some, any change, any adaptation is compromise at best, blasphemy at worst. Music for some is consigned to piano and organ. There’s no negotiation as to meeting times. Programs have to stay in place. Computers at times have screens and systems that freeze up. Churches can freeze as well, but rather than stay frozen, a reboot is needed to clear out the issues and start from scratch.
What operating system drives the church according to Scripture? The gospel. But others were bringing in other operating systems and bringing in viruses (that is, heresies) that were making the church malfunction. Churches are stewards not of the latest fads, nor are they stewards of another time and another place of our preferred era. We are stewards of the gospel! Verse 11: “In accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted.”
Danny Akin, president of Southeastern Seminary:
“If we lose the gospel, we lose everything. We may thing other things are more urgent or more in need of addressing in the church—things like prayer, leadership, mission, materialism, or caring for one another. Paul would get to all of these things eventually, but he began by telling Timothy to guard the gospel. And we guard the gospel by the way we use God’s Word, which in this case concerns his law. (Daniel Akin).
We can have conversations about all these things, and be passionate about leadership, mission, roles, music, innovation, programs—but we are having conversations about preferences. What about talking about what Scripture talks about.
The gospel is about how God designed us to love and worship Him, to have fellowship with Him. But we chose to follow our own ‘word’ that separated us from God and pursued sin and self. We became broken, looking for other streams to find our identity and purpose. Jesus wasn’t enough—we had had enough of Jesus. The gospel told us of the Good News of how Jesus rescued us from our sins if we repent and believe His saving work on the cross and how He rose from the dead in triumph. He rescued us and restored us to God’s design.
Not myths. Not lineage. Not traditions. Not preferences. Not agendas. Not self. It’s a denial of self.
Is the gospel our personal operating system? Our church’s?