Worship – Membership SERIES – The Other Little Ships

Mark 4:36 KJV
36 And when they had sent away the multitude, they took
him even as he was in the ship. And there were also
with him other little ships.
Acts 1:1-12 ESV
1 In the first book, O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that
Jesus began to do and teach,
2 until the day when he was taken up, after he had
given commands through the Holy Spirit to the
apostles whom he had chosen.
3 He presented himself alive to them after his suffering
by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days
and speaking about the kingdom of God.
4 And while staying with them he ordered them not to
depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of
the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me;
5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized
with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
6 So when they had come together, they asked him,
“Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to
7 He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or
seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority.
8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has
come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in
Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the
end of the earth.”
9 And when he had said these things, as they were
looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out
of their sight.
10 And while they were gazing into heaven as he went,
behold, two men stood by them in white robes,
11 and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking
into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you
into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw
him go into heaven.”
12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount
called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath
day’s journey away.
Acts 1:15 – 120
Acts 2:41 – 3,000
Acts 2:47 – 365
Acts 4:4 – 5000 men
Acts 5:14 – Explosive growth
Acts 5:28 – The city
Acts 6:1 – Multiplication
Acts 6:7 – Anti-Christian movement
Acts 21:20 – Thousands
“Will you” Christians want God to do something
for them.
“But you” Christians want God to do something
through them.
People are looking less for a place to believe
and more for a place to belong.
People are looking less for an institution with rules
and more for a community with love.
Things that membership provides:

  1. Mutual accountability
    Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 NLT – 9 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.
  2. Mutual encouragement
    Ephesians 4:29 NLT – Don’t use foul or abusive
    language. Let everything you say be good
    and helpful, so that your words will be an
    encouragement to those who hear them.
  3. Mutual development
    Proverbs 13:20 ESV – Whoever walks with the wise
    becomes wise, but the companion of fools will
    suffer harm.
    • Aspirational models – those who have
    already done or are doing what you want
    to do
    • Mentors – those who can show you how to
    do it
    • Partners – colleagues who can support or
    • Friends – those who love you no matter
    Acts 2:43-47 GNB
    43 Many miracles and wonders were being done through
    the apostles, and everyone was filled with awe.
    44 All the believers continued together in close fellowship
    and shared their belongings with one another.
    45 They would sell their property and possessions, and
    distribute the money among all, according to what
    each one needed.
    46 Day after day they met as a group in the Temple, and
    they had their meals together in their homes, eating
    with glad and humble hearts,
    47 praising God, and enjoying the good will of all the
    people. And every day the Lord added to their group
    those who were being saved.
    How healthy churches grow
  4. Every member has a PURPOSE to
    A witness is someone who saw something and
    said something about what they saw.
  5. Every member has a plan to
    • Jerusalem – Failure
    • Judea – Friends
    No guests – no growth
    • Samaria – Foes
    Romans 12:14-21 GNV – 14 Ask God to bless those who
    persecute you—yes, ask him to bless, not to curse. 15 Be
    happy with those who are happy, weep with those who
    weep. 16 Have the same concern for everyone. Do not
    be proud, but accept humble duties. Do not think of
    yourselves as wise.17 If someone has done you wrong,
    do not repay him with a wrong. Try to do what everyone
    considers to be good. 18 Do everything possible on your
    part to live in peace with everybody. 19 Never take
    revenge, my friends, but instead let God’s anger do it. For
    the scripture says, “I will take revenge, I will pay back, says
    the Lord.” 20 Instead, as the scripture says: “If your enemies
    are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them a drink;
    for by doing this you will make them burn with shame.” 21
    Do not let evil defeat you; instead, conquer evil with good.
    • Ends of the Earth – Fears
    Ecclesiastes11:4 TLB – If you wait for perfect conditions, you
    will never get anything done.
  6. Every member has a power to
    Philippians 2:13 NLT – For God is working in you, giving you
    the desire and the power to do what pleases him.
    Before you became a Christian, the Holy Spirit
    was working on you.
    When you became a Christian, the Holy Spirit was
    working in you.
    After you became a Christian, the Holy Spirit was
    working through you.
    The Holy Spirit:
    • Enlarges you
    • Energizes you
    • Encourages you
    • Endorses you
    These ordinary people
    • Overcame their failure
    Acts 2:14 ESV – But Peter, standing with the eleven,
    lifted up his voice and addressed them: “Men of Judea
    and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to
    you, and give ear to my words.
    • Won over their friends
    Acts 2:42-47 ESV – 42 And they devoted themselves
    to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the
    breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe came
    upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were
    being done through the apostles. 44 And all who
    believed were together and had all things in common.
    45 And they were selling their possessions and
    belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any
    had need. 46 And day by day, attending the temple
    together and breaking bread in their homes, they
    received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47
    praising God and having favor with all the people. And
    the Lord added to their number day by day those who
    were being saved.
    • Converted their foes
    Acts 8:4-6 ESV – 4 Now those who were scattered went
    about preaching the word. 5 Philip went down to the
    city of Samaria and proclaimed to them the Christ.
    6 And the crowds with one accord paid attention to
    what was being said by Philip when they heard him
    and saw the signs that he did.
    • Rose above their fear
    Acts 28:30-31 ESV – 30 He lived there two whole years
    at his own expense, and welcomed all who came to
    him, 31 proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching
    about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and
    without hindrance.
    Words that symbolize what membership is about
  7. Come – as a member
    Matthew 11:28-30 ESV – 28 Come to me, all who
    labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
    29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me,
    for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find
    rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my
    burden is light.”
  8. Go – as a missionary
    Matthew 28:19-20 ESV – 19 Go therefore and
    make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in
    the name of the Father and of the Son and of the
    Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I
    have commanded you. And behold, I am with you
    always, to