Support us on Paypal
Contact Us
Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » James Merritt » James Merritt - What's the One Job Every Believer Should Do?

James Merritt - What's the One Job Every Believer Should Do?

  • Watch
  • Audio
  • Donate
  • Shop
    James Merritt - What's the One Job Every Believer Should Do?

I'm a big leader of leadership books. I'm a leader and I try to be a better leader. I don't think you can learn too much about leadership. And since the modern era began, there's been about a 15,000 books just written on leadership. But every now and then, there's a book that comes along and it is so special you just can even see by the title. You say to yourself, "I gotta read this book. This is a different book". And about 11 years ago, there was a man named Simon Sinek, S-I-N-E-K, if you like leadership, you need to get this book. It is a game-changer. And he wrote it and the title of the book was "Why". That was kind of the short version. It was "Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action". Saw the title. I said, "That is got to be a great book".

And what Simon Sinek did was he looked at some of the most innovative, influential, profitable leaders of movements and companies in history. He looked at Martin Luther King Jr. He looked at Thomas Edison, he looked at Steve Jobs, he looked at the Wright Brothers and he said, "What was the common denominator that made all of these men rise to the top"? And he found out that they just began to ask one simple question, why? Why should you buy my product? Why should you hire me to do your job? Why do you think I should start this business to begin with? They asked this question, why? Why do you think my idea should be a good idea? He said, "They asked this question, why"? Because he said, "There are really two ways you can motivate people to do things. You can either manipulate them to do things which people do all the time, or you can inspire them to do things". And what he said was, "Is when you inspire people to do things that they really do things that last".

And this is so true for a church. I know you probably get tired of hearing it 'cause you hear it all the time. We tell you about what we want you to do. Read your Bible every day. Spend time in prayer. Share your faith. Invest in God's work. Go on a mission trip. Serve somewhere in the body. Do something for the Lord. And you always hear the what? But too often we don't really explain the why? And I understand just rattling off a bunch of things for you to do. No matter how noble or how good they may seem. It's not gonna go very far unless I answer the one question, why? You won't do the what 'till you understand the why? So I said all that to say that I really believe that the two greatest things, and I'm looking back on my life and I would say this to all these beautiful young people down here, the two greatest things you'll ever do with your life, all of your life are these two things. Get involved in God's work and invest in God's work.

You say, "Why? Why is that the most important thing"? 'Cause those the only two things that will last forever. You're not gonna last physically. You're not gonna last forever. I'm not gonna last forever. This stuff, this world, this church one day probably won't be here. But God's work is the one thing that has an eternal impact. So what I thought I would do is we start a little series of messages today is instead of telling you what I wanna answer the question, why? So let me ask for a big question. Why did God come up with the idea of a church to begin with? This wasn't my idea though. The building was, but the concept was not. Well, why did God come up with the idea of a church to begin with? As a matter of fact, why did he make the church the central piece of the puzzle to get the message of the gospel out to an entire world? Why did he spend 27 books of the Bible written to churches? Why did he make the church such a big, big deal?

Well, it all goes back to one job that he gave the church, one job that he gave to every believer. As a matter of fact, here's how big this is. The church is the only institution in the world that can do this job. Delta Airlines can't do this job. IBM can't do this job. The United States government can't do this job. The Army can't do this job. AT&T can't do this job. And nobody else in the world except followers of Jesus can do this job. Muslims can't do it. Buddhists can't do it. Hindus can't do it. Nobody in the world can do it except those of us who claim to be followers of Jesus, He has given us one job. The problem is we're not doing that job. We're doing a lot of other jobs. We're not doing that one job. Can you just do the one job?

And I'm absolutely convinced when we get to heaven one day as a church and as individuals, God's gonna look at all of us together and individually and He's gonna ask one question, "You only had one job. Did you do it? I gave you 1, not 2, not 3, not 4. I gave you one job". And you say, "Well, what's that one job"? We'd have to wonder, gospel called Matthew Chapter 28, goes right before the other three gospels. Mark, Luke, and John, Jesus tells us clearly what our job is. Now what you're about to read is not what He just said then to 11 disciples 2,000 years ago. He's saying it right now to you and to me. And by the way, He doesn't just say it to pastors or preachers or priests or professionals or professors. He's talking to you and me. People of all stripes, people of all ethnicities. He's talking to you whether you're a Republican, a Democrat, whether you're Black, whether you're White, whether you're rich, whether you're poor, whether you're educated or illiterate. He says, "It doesn't matter, we all have the same job. Here's what's going on".

Jesus is about to ascend to heaven. He's lived 30 years, He's spent three years with these 11 disciples, He's about to check out. But before He checks out, He says, "Okay boys, you got one job. And I'm gonna give you that job". Now you understand something as a church, we get to decide how we do what we do. We don't get to decide what we do. We know what we do. We already know what we're supposed to be doing. We already know what the yardstick is. And and he gets very, very specific. He says, "Okay, as a church together and as individual followers of Jesus individually, this is your one job". And what I love about Jesus, I've told you many times, He always simplifies the complicated. You don't have to have a a 40-page manual. You don't need to look up anything on Google. He says, "You know what? I'm gonna give you one job in one sentence that's gonna be made up of one verb, here it is. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations".

That's it, that's our job, make disciples. That is the why behind the what. So why did we start this church? To make disciples. Why do I preach what I preach every single week? Why do I present the gospel every week? Why do we give people an opportunity to trust Christ every single week? 'Cause our job is to make disciples. Why do I encourage you when you leave this church to go out and live as a disciples of the cross-shaped life? A spirit filled life? Because we've got one job. Our job is to make disciples. So all of that being said, Jesus tells us three reasons why we ought to be excited to do this one job while we ought to do this one job and while we'll be blessed when we do this one job, and I'm gonna say them to you super quick, so listen fast, all right? Number 1, we have the provision of His power. We have the provision of His power.

Now Jesus is a great leader and He knows the number 1 thing you do as a leader is this. Never give anybody that follows you responsibility to do a job if you don't give them the authority to do the job. So the worst thing you can do. If you give somebody the ability, the responsibility, but you don't give them the authority, you're gonna wind up with a lot of frustrated people. I tell young pastors all the time, if you wanna hire a really good person and then see that person lead pretty fast, give them the responsibility without the authority. Every staff person I've ever had worked for me will tell you one thing that's true about me. When Doc hires us, he tells us what he wants us to do, he gives us the tools we need to do it, then he gives us the authority to go and do it. I don't micromanage, I don't get in their business. I expect them to know about what they're doing, that I know what I'm doing. I expect Riley to know a lot more about high school ministry than I used to do it. I expect Riley to know a whole lot more about high school ministry than I do.

I said, "Hey Riley, if I can help you, I wanna help you. But Riley, it is your job". So Jesus knows that He's talking to 11 disciples and He's letting them know, "I want you to go make disciples". And they're wondering themselves, "How am I gonna do this? You're talking to just us". And then Jesus says this, Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me". All authority. Now that was kinda mind-boggling, because the word that Jesus used for authority is one of the most powerful words in the New Testament. It's a word that means both power and authority. You say, "Why is that so important"? If I give you the authority to do something, but you don't have the power to do it, you can't do it. If I give you the power to do something, but I don't give you the authority to do it, you can't do it.

What you've got to do to get the job done, you've gotta have the authority to do it and the power to pull it off, you've got to have the power to pull it off and the authority to do it. That's exactly what that word means. And what Jesus was saying to these disciples was mind-boggling. He said, "Boys, the authority that I have, I am giving to you. The power that I have, I am giving to you". We the church, we who are followers of Jesus, we are the only institution in the world, we are the only people in the world that have the authority and the power to go anywhere in the world and to say to anybody in the world, you are a sinner, you need a savior, Jesus is that savior, He died for you, He came back from the grave. And if you are repent of your sins and give your faith to Jesus Christ, I don't care what you've done, He will save you, He will cleanse you, He will fill you, you will never be the same. You'll have a purpose in life while you're here. And you'll live an eternity with God after you're gone. It just doesn't get any better than that. And He said, "You've got the power and you've got the authority to do that".

Now I guarantee you these 11 guys, you know what I think they all said at exactly the same time? "You talking to me? You talking to me? We're fishermen, we're farmers. We're tax collectors. There's not a college graduate among us. There's not an ordained person here. There's not a seminary degree on the wall. You're telling us, and by the way, we have all authority," and Jesus, oh it gets better than that. If Jesus has said to them, "All authority in Jerusalem has been given to me," Pontius Pilate would've stood up and said, "Not so fast". If Jesus had said, "All authority in Rome has been given to me, Julius Caesar, the Caesar Augustus," the Roman army would've said, "Not so fast".

Jesus said, "All authority from one end of the universe to the other. There's not a square inch anywhere in the universe that's not under my authority and not under my command. There's not one random molecule out there running around doing its own business. Everything is under my control. Everything is under my command and the authority that I have, I am investing in you". So why should we carry this out? Why should we go make disciples of all nations? Because we have the provision of His power, the authority that He had, He has invested in us. But then He does the second thing a great leader does. He says, "Okay, I've given you the authority and the power to do your job. Now let me just remind you of what a great job it is".

So number 2, we have the process of His plan. We got the promise of power, the provision of His power. We've got the process of His plan. He says, "Look, you got a simple job. It's not hard, it's in three stages". Stage number 1 he said, "You've got to go and make disciples of all nations". Now let me just stop, because the most important word right now is that little word there. Let me tell you why that's so important. If we don't do that, nothing else works. If we don't do that, the job doesn't get done. If we do not do that, we will have failed miserably. Everything depends on that very first word, go. So I'm gonna tell you something that may shock a lot of you, particularly those of you that don't come to church very often.

So I wanna kind of help you out on something. If you're a follower of Jesus, your primary job is not to come to church, 'cause I know some of us, let's be honest, you think you've done God a big favor because you came today. Now I'm glad you came. Thank you for coming. I'd rather you be here than be at home sleeping. Or like some of these kids right now, they're fighting to stay awake, 'cause they didn't sleep all weekend, I get that, okay? By the way, if there's anybody to sleep right now, slap 'em, it's okay. Listen, just a joke, just a joke. Your primary responsibility is not to come to church. Now you have a responsibility to come. Matter of fact, you're commanded to come. I said this is the first service. We've actually got people and some of 'em are watching right now. They have said, "I don't have to come to church. I'm just gonna watch a pastor on TV".

I wanna tell you're out of the will of God, you're disobeying God. The Bible's very clear, we should not forsake the assembling of ourselves together. You ought to be here. So you know you ought to be in church. But let me just be honest with you. If you're a follower of Jesus, your number 1 responsibility is not to come to church. Your number 1 responsibility is to leave the church and go into your community and into your neighborhood and into your schools and into your workplace and do the job that you were called to do. As a matter of fact, let me tell you this, this one job that God's given us to do, you ready for this? It's the church's job to do it, but it will never be done in the church. You can't do this job in the church. So let me put it to you this way. We are to come to the church so we can go from the church and be the church for people who don't even attend church.

Now I was pretty good. Okay, I'll say it again. We're to come to the church so we can go from the church and be the church for people who don't even attend church. You say, "Okay, so what are we supposed to be doing"? Well, He tells us, "Make disciples," He says, "of all nations". Jesus is talking to both disciples then and disciples now. So here's what He basically said. If you claim to be a follower of Jesus, the Bible turned for that is disciple. Here's what Jesus said, disciples do, you ready? He said, "Disciples make disciples". That's our job, that's your job, my job, "Disciples make disciples". So 1 of 2 things is true about every one of you listening to me right now, you are either a disciple or you need to become one.

Now, if you are a disciple, then this ought to be true of you also, then you need to be a disciple-maker, because what Jesus did when He was on this earth is what we are to do while we are on this earth. And by the way, while I'm in the neighborhood, so where did Jesus do His disciple=making? I've told you this a thousand times, in a small group. Here's His strategy. I'm gonna find 12 men. I'm gonna pour my life into those 12 men and that's how I'm going to make disciples. So for 12 years He spent His years in a small group making disciples. So I just wanna remind you, the primary way we make disciples in this church is not in this service, not in this building, it will never happen here. The primary way we make disciples in this church is through a small group. I'm in one, every one of you ought to be in one.

There's not a one of you that's so spiritual and so Godly and so mature. You don't need to be in a group. I'm sorry, you're just not there. And by the way, if you are one of those rare people, "Oh, I'm too Godly, I'm too spiritual, I'm too maturity, I don't need a small group". Okay, I'll grant that, then they need you. Please, if you're one of those people, you're a lot better than I am. Come, I need your help, 'cause that's what we all need, we need to be in that group where we encourage one another and we love one another. And by the way, if you're not in a group and you say, "Okay, I know I need to be in a group," when you leave our building in just a minute, if you'll go out in the lobby to our connection table, we will tell you all the groups are available, we will custom make a group for you.

Well, if you find a group that you'll enjoy being in, that will be close to where you live or at the right time that you can meet, we will do everything we can to get you in a group. Now let me just stop here and make something else real easy. When I say you're to make disciples, we kind of freeze up because we say, "Gosh, I don't know how to make disciples. I do love the Lord, but, and I know you talk about it, but I just I don't know how to do it". So let me just kind of help you on something. When you know you're sitting there thinking, "Okay, do I have to go through training? Do I have to get a degree? Is there something I need to know"? Let me just make this as easy as I can. Jesus spends three years with these guys in this small group. So He comes to the end of the road and He says, "Okay boys, you got one job. Go make disciples".

Doesn't give them a manual, doesn't give them a notebook. Doesn't say, "Okay, go take this course". He said, "Just go and make disciples". And it's very obvious because they didn't ask what He meant. They knew exactly what He was telling them to do. You know what He was telling them to do, you ready for this? "Boys, just go do what you've been seeing me do for three years". All you need to do. So let me give you some great news, you ready? The best way for you to be a disciple-maker is just model for other people what it means to be a disciple. So let me just kind of brag on you for a minute. When you got out of bed this morning and you cleaned up, we're believing by faith and you use mouthwash, we were really believing by faith and you came to church, you know what you were saying to everybody in your neighborhood? Do you know what you were saying to people that were walking to this building as you were walking to this building?

This is what a disciple does. You're a parent when you read your Bible and your kids see you read your Bible. You know what you're saying to your kids? This is what a disciple does. If you're raising little children and you start teaching your little children early to say a blessing in a restaurant, you know what you're telling that little child? This is what a disciple does. When you provide, when you take your hard earned money that God gave you and you give God his time, then you're offering and you pass that basket and people see you put an offering in the basket, for example. You know what you're telling people around you, this is what a disciple does. When you get out of your house, raise some money, get involved and go out on a mission trip. You know what you're doing? You're saying to the church, this is what a disciple does. He says, "We're to be making disciples".

So when you get together in a small group with other believers and you study God's Word together and you share your heartaches and your headaches and you get encouragement and you give encouragement, you know what you're saying to unbelievers and believers? "This is what a disciple does". And Jesus said, "We're to be making disciples," and I love this, "of all nations". So the first thing Jesus was saying to these disciples, now these are Jews remember this, God's chosen people. He said, "Oh by the way boys, no discrimination. We believe in amazing grace for every race. We don't leave anybody out. We're gonna make disciples of all the nations". And by the way, the word for nations there does not refer to countries or political states. It refers to people of different ethnicities, different colors, different languages, different cultures.

One of the reasons why I tell people everywhere I go, why I love our church so much. I love our church, 'cause our church is so multinational and our church is so multicultural and our church is so multiethnic. Let me tell you something to make you feel good about our church. Of all the churches in the United States of America, you ready for this? Of all the churches in the United States of America, only 5.5% of all the churches, that's 5 out of 100. Only 5.5% qualify as multicultural. What does that mean? Sociologists define a church that's multicultural is a church where no one race makes up more than 80% of the congregation. So if you've got one race or one ethnicity or one culture or one color and they make up 80%-plus, they say, "Okay, you're not multicultural". You ready for this? This church is 41% minority, 41% minority. We've got 'em from everywhere. Ethiopia, Nigeria, they come from Europe, they come from Asia, they come from South America. I mean, they come from everywhere.

And that's exactly the way Jesus intended it. Multicultural diversity is baked into the job that we're supposed to do. It's in the DNA of the gospel. And by the way, it was supposed to be that way from the very, very, very, very beginning. This will blow your mind. This is another reason why I'm so glad I'm a Christian. The Christianity of all the religious faith in the world, listen to this. Christianity is roughly divided equally percentage-wise, roughly divided between Africa, Asia, Europe, North America and South America. You say, "Why is that such a big deal"? Every other religion, every other faith except Christianity, every other one has at least 80% of the people who believe it concentrated on one continent. We are the most diverse movement in history, because Jesus said, "Go and make disciples of all the nations. Don't you stay in Jerusalem? Don't you stay in Judea? Don't you stay in Sumeria. You need to go to the uttermost parts of the earth".

So what does that mean? Okay, just put on your think cap for a minute. You cannot make disciples of all the nations unless something happens. Now somebody tell me what's got to happen if we're gonna make disciples of all the nations, what's gotta happen? We gotta go to all the nations. You're not gonna do it Gwinnett County, you're not gonna do it in this building. You're not gonna do it in your neighborhood. If we're gonna make disciples of all the nations, we have got got to go to all the nations. So you wanna know the why we do missions? You know some people say, "Look man, we got a lot of lost people out here in America. Tell me about it". We could start Washington DC that would be a good place to start right there. I know we got a lot of lost people, I get that. But Jesus didn't say, "Just go to your country, go to your state, go to your county".

We start there, we don't end there. He said, "We're to go to all the nations". That means our job description doesn't just entail where we live. It doesn't stop at the city limits or the state lines or national borders. Then He says, you're not through yet. He says, "Then you're to teach them to observe all that I have commanded you". In other words, He said, "Look, here's your job. Go teach people the number 1, trust in me. And then number 2, simply to obey what I want them to do". So we're to lead people to trust in Jesus and then we are to lead people to obey Jesus. Which is why if you're news around here, you'll see our mission statements real easy to point people to Jesus. That's make disciples and inspire them to live the cross-shaped life that's baptism and that's teaching them how to obey and do what God wants them to do.

So we've got one job, three simple parts. He says, "Number 1, get people to believe in me," that's discipleship, "Number 2, get people to belong to me," that's baptism, "Number 3, get people to be like me," that's teaching to obey His command. So why should we do it? Why should we be passionate about it? Well, number 1, we've got the provision of His power. Look, I've given the power and the authority, don't waste it, go use it. Number 2, we've got the process of His plan. I've laid out, this is exactly what I want you to do. But then He tells us one last thing we're gonna be done. We have the promise of His presence. He says, "And behold, I'm with you always to the end of the age". Now, why do you think He said that? Why do you think He added that? Why do you think that was the last kind of the whipped cream on the cake? I'll tell you why, 'cause you're a fisherman, you're a farmer, you can't even sign your name. And this Son of God just said, "You're gonna be my disciples and you're gonna go to all the nations, you're gonna transform the world".

But you won't be alone, you won't be by yourself, I will be right beside you every step of the way. I'll be with you in every word you speak. I'll be with you in every person you talk to. I'll be with you every time you take the opportunity to share the gospel of Jesus. I'm not gonna throw you in the water and you don't even know how to swim. Don't let that be a second thought. I will be beside you and I won't let you on a secret. I walk with the Lord a long time and I bet you have the same experience I have. There are times I feel like Jesus is just this close to me, but can I be honest? There are times I feel like Jesus is so far away I can't see Him with a telescope. How many of you have that experience? Can you please help me? Don't lie, just go ahead and raise all your hands, okay? Listen, if you say, "Oh no, me and Jesus we're just like that all the time".

See me after the service, you got something I don't have. That doesn't bother me, because Jesus doesn't deal with us with feelings. Can I be honest with you? If you said, "Hey pastor, in all these years you walk with Jesus, when was Jesus the closest to you"? I can tell you easy. I never ever, ever feel the presence of Jesus like I feel him when I'm sharing him, never. When I sat there in Panama with the President's wife, the President of Panama, the first lady of Panama who's a Catholic, but not a believer, I'd never met her in my life and I knew I had my one shot and when I stood there at that table talking to her and her assistant and I was just sharing the gospel, I got so emotional. Tears were coming out of my eyes and I was telling her what Christ meant to me and how she could have a real relationship with God.

You can ask the guys some of 'em, a couple of 'em are here they were in this room. I wanna tell you, I felt the power and the presence of God. So thick you could cut it with a knife. You say, "Well how do you explain that"? I'll tell you how. Jesus will be most real to you when you share that Jesus is most real to other people. So here's all I'll say and I'll be done. It still comes back to the why question, but why should I do it? Here's my answer, plain and simple. If the one that died for your sins, if the one that paid off your sin debt, the one who took hell, so you wouldn't have to go there, if He just asked you to do it, how can you not do it? So together we've got one job, let's do it for the glory of God.
Are you Human?:*