Hello and welcome to this special message from Calvary Church. We're excited to hear from our guest speaker, Pastor Nate Heitzig. Nate serves as the executive creative administrator at Calvary Church. If this message impacts you, let us know. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And if you'd like to support this ministry financially, you can give online securely at calvaryabq.org/give. Many businesses and organizations will agree that having a clear and strong vision is vital to planning for the future. But as a fellowship of believers, it's important for us to grasp the Lord's vision for us. In this message, Pastor Nate explains the vision the Lord has given Calvary Church for the upcoming year.
Well, I'm so excited about this weekend. This weekend's a bit different than most weekends. If you're here for your first time, you're like, man, do they always play like a 20-minute video? No, we don't. It's a bit different. It's Vision Weekend. But I'm so excited about this weekend, about Vision Weekend.
We do this once a year, but what is so good is it gives us an opportunity to all focus in on where we're headed as a church and what our heart is, what our passion is, what God has called us to. Think of this as like a family meeting. Sometimes you have to have a family meeting, don't you? Where you get your whole family together in a living room and you guys talk about your family values, some decisions that you think the family should make.
Well, once a year we have a Vision Weekend. It's a family meeting. It gives us an opportunity to get together and let you know our values, what's important to us, where we're headed, what's in store for us this year and beyond. And I think it's such a healthy and good thing for us to do as a church. We love letting you guys know where we're going and where we're headed.
And so this gives us an opportunity to let you know about some things and get on the ground floor of some things before the rest of the city knows about it. And that's really important to us. So this is Vision Weekend. And we're really expectant for what God wants to do.
My dad would love to be here this weekend, but as all of you probably know, America's pastor, Billy Graham, went to heaven on February 21st. And my mom and dad were given the incredible honor of being invited to his funeral in Charlotte. And they attended on Friday. Anyone get a chance to watch the funeral for Dr. Billy Graham? Man, if you didn't. You missed out. It was so good.
Billy Graham was an incredible man. He lived a life worthy of honor. He lived a life that impacted millions of people. And we're so grateful for the impact he's had on our church, on our senior pastor. Pastor Skip was saved through a message that Billy Graham gave on the television. And so man, this church is fruit to his account, because of his faithful preaching of the word of God.
And as I watched the funeral yesterday, I was struck by what an incredible man Billy Graham was. Wasn't he just an incredible man? What a legacy he leaves behind.
As a matter of fact, I would say apart from the apostle Paul, he's probably had a greater impact for the Kingdom of God than any man in human history. That's incredible. Just think about that for a second. We want invite you tonight at six o'clock on Fox and also on CBS, they're doing a very special program, Billy Graham, an Extraordinary Journey. We encourage you to watch that and see the incredible life that this man lived.
But it was amazing, the fact that when he died, presidents honored him. Celebrities praised him and talked about how great he was. The entire world mourned him. But what made him a great man wasn't the people that he rubbed shoulders with. What made him a great man was the impact that he had on the world and the reason he had an impact is because of his singular focus and vision.
Billy Graham was laser focused. He had one desire, one chief aim. And that was to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, to see as many lives as possible changed and transformed by the power of the gospel for the glory of God. And he never wavered. He never let anything deter him or take him off focus or take him off of his mission and vision.
He kept his eyes on Jesus. He said, yes, Lord. And he took a step. He kept his eyes on Jesus. And he said, yes, Lord, and took another step. And he always moved in the same direction, the same vision, the same focus. And what a great example that is for us, isn't it, Church?
The impact we can have, individually, and as a church, if we keep our eyes focused, if we have a singular vision, a singular direction, and if we step up and say, yes, Lord, use me and we take a step and we keep our eyes on Jesus and we say, yes, Lord, and we take another step, such a good example that Billy Graham gives us.
Billy was once asked, if an older Billy could give counsel to a younger Billy about what is really important to emphasize when preaching, what would you say. And Billy didn't skip a beat. He said, I would preach more on the cross and on the blood of Christ, because that's where the power is. Come on, somebody. That's where the power is. That's where life change happens.
And any other person that who would've said that, I would've said, yeah, that's good. But Billy Graham did he ever preach anything but the gospel of Jesus Christ and the power of the cross and the blood of Christ? But even with how much he preached it, he said, I would do it more. I'd go all out. I'd do it more. I'd do it more often. And man, if Billy Graham says he should do that more, then I think every one of us should probably say that we need to do that more.
Church, Billy Graham was all about creating opportunities for life change. And I don't think this weekend could've come at a more perfect time, as we honor Billy Graham, as we honor his legacy, as we honor his vision that he had and what he wanted to do. We realize that this desire that Billy Graham had, it's the same desire that this church has.
And this weekend is all about us as a church rallying around our purpose, focusing on our vision, uniting as the body of Christ, and then mobilizing to create more opportunities for lives to be changed. Church, we are all about the same purpose and the same heart that Billy Graham was about. We've always been about it. We're still about it. We're always going to be about it. And that is creating opportunities for life change, seeing more people give their lives to Jesus. Everything we do centers around this one desire and this one heart.
Now, you've probably heard us talk often about life change. If you've been at Calvary for more than one week, you've probably heard us use the word life change, use those words together, because it's important to us. This is something that we really believe in. It's something we talk about all the time, because we're all about creating life change, because Jesus is all about creating life change.
That's what Jesus is all about. That's what Jesus was all about. That's why he came to this earth. That's why he existed, was to create life change. John 10:10, Jesus said, I have come that they may have life and that they may have it more abundantly. John 11:25, he says, I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me, though he may die, he shall live.
John 3:3 and John 3:16, Jesus says, unless one is born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God, for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whoever believes in Him would not perish, but would have everlasting life. Come on, Church. That's why Jesus came, was to see life change.
Romans 6:23 says, the gift of God is eternal life. Church, this is something that has been a part of Calvary from the very beginning. You know, we have people come visit our church all the time, people from out of state. And one thing that I've heard people say over the years is they marvel and they remark at how they've never been to a church that has a public call to salvation. They've never seen an altar call before.
And they're amazed, some people, when they come and they say, man, that's so cool that you guys do that. I've never seen a church do that. And I'm always amazed, because I've never seen anything else. I've never seen anything different, because, Church, if we're not about life change, if we're not giving people an opportunity to respond to Jesus Christ, then what are we doing?
What is the purpose of the church, unless the church is giving people an opportunity to respond to the gospel message of Jesus Christ, to meet their creator, to meet their savior, and to have their life forever changed because of Him? What are we doing if we're not doing that? What's the purpose?
We can create incredible experiences. We can create great kids programs. We can create caring ministries. We can create powerful meanings and powerful media. But if we're not creating life change, then what's the point? Why do we need to exist? We might as well become a community center or a YMCA, just a fun place to come hang out, unless we're creating life change.
And Church, that's why we're so excited to share with you this weekend, our church's purpose statement. And what we're going to share with you, it's nothing new. It's no new truth or some new profound thing. It's something that we've always been about. It's something that's always been true of us. What we're doing is simply stating it clearly so that we're all on the same page. We're stating this as our purpose statement so everyone knows this is who we are and this is what we're about.
So the question is, what is a purpose statement. Because you say, well, I thought we had a purpose statement? Well, we don't. We have a vision statement. We have a mission statement. And a mission and vision statement let you know how we are accomplishing what is most important to us. But a purpose statement is defining what is most important to us.
In other words, our mission and our vision helps us accomplish our purpose. Our purpose anchors us and says, this is what we want to do. And our mission and vision says this is how we're going to do it. So what is our purpose statement? You ready for it? It's super easy. I bet you'll all be able to remember it. Creating life change.
That's it. That is our purpose statement. That is what Calvary Albuquerque seeks to do in this city, in this world. That is why we exist. That is what we are for. That's what we want to accomplish. That's what we will not stop seeing happen in this city, is creating life change. That is God's call upon this church. And if you're a part of this church, that is God's call upon you.
As you came through the east foyer, you might have seen a brand new graphic. Right above the doors it says, creating life change. Because that's what happens in this room. You'll see it in your bulletin, there's a little insert in there that says creating life change. And on the back, it says this is our purpose. And it expands a little bit more in depth of what our heart is for this church. You'll see it on our billboards around town. We have a brand new sign on Osuna. You'll see it there, creating life change.
Because, Church, we believe that God is creating life change, that that's what he has always done. That's what he's always been about. And we're simply partnering with God in creating life change. We're saying, yes, Lord. We want to be a part of what you're doing. We want to be a part of your desire and your vision for this city. We aren't creating services or kids programs or multimedia presentations. We're using those things to create life change.
And everyone always wants to know what you're about. What do you do? And there are certain churches that are known for great kids programs. There are certain churches that are known for a great music or a great worship or whatever. They're known for having something.
Well, Church, we want to be known as the church that sees lives changed by the power of the gospel for the glory of God. We want to be the church that's known for creating life change, that when someone says, hey, what does Calvary do really well, people say, Calvary sees lives changed and transformed by the power of the gospel for the glory of God.
And you can walk through these doors and see the big room and say, man, they've got such an incredible room. And they've got such great worship. And they've got such great kids programs. And yes, we do. But that's not the reason we exist. We don't just make things and come up with things to be cool or flashy. We use all those things and we do them with excellence, in order to create opportunities where people can encounter Jesus Christ and receive Him as their Lord and Savior.
And so Church, what we're doing together, as a church, we're coming alongside what God is already doing and we're saying yes. I want you to think of it this way. I have a son, Seth, he's seven years old. And Seth loves helping. And I use that word very loosely.
Seth loves helping with projects. Whenever I'm doing something, he always wants to help. He always want to be a part of it. And we have some friends of ours, the Burns, who watch the kids sometimes when we go out of town. And one time, I came back from a trip and Seth came up and he said, Dad, I installed sprinklers in the backyard. And I knew exactly what that meant.
Murray installed sprinklers and Seth helped Murray install sprinklers, which really means he carried around some gloves and he kicked pipes every now and then. But in Seth's mind, man, he installed the sprinkler system. When I'm building something at the house, a piece of furniture or something, Seth likes to help me. And he's really not doing the work. I'm doing the work, but in his mind, he's helping me.
And as a good father, Murray as a good person, we don't come to Seth and say, hey, Seth, you know, realistically, all you did was lose a few screws and break my hammer. Or hey, Seth, really, all you did was carry gloves or kick pipes. No, we come alongside and we say, good job, Seth. That's right. You installed the sprinkler system. That's right, Seth, you built that desk. You did a great job. You did the work.
And Church, guess what? We understand, we realize that God is doing the work. God is creating life change, but we are the children of God. And when we come alongside God and say, God, we want to help, God lets us help. And not only does he let us help, he let us be a part and be the ones who create life change.
And he looks upon us and he doesn't say, hey, don't you realize that you weren't the one that did the work. I was the one who did the work. No, he looks upon us and he says, well done, good and faithful servant. Come on. You did it. You joined the family business. You were a part of the work. You made it happen. He invites us to do it.
And so Church, we unashamedly say we are creating life change. We are partnering with God and what he has always done and saying, yes, Lord, we want the same thing. And this has always been true of us. But we're finally stating it clearly so that all of us know why we are doing what we do.
And this is why a purpose statement is so important, because the purpose statement defines why we do certain things and why we don't do certain things. And as a big church, I'm sure you can imagine, we always have people coming up to us, telling us what we should do. Hey, you guys should do this ministry. Hey, you guys should go to this place. Hey, you guys should do this thing or stop doing this thing. And it can become a committee. And if you let a committee build a horse, you get a camel.
And so we've got to be firm in what we feel God has called us to do. We've got to be firm in our purpose and say we want to create life change. And if this thing that we're doing doesn't have an opportunity to see that happen, then why are we doing it? And if this thing that we're not doing has an opportunity to create life change, then maybe we should pray about doing it. But this becomes the lens that we as a church look through to determine what we should be doing. Everything we do here at Calvary should fall under this purpose, creating life change.
Now, let's attack this a little bit further. What we do here at Calvary is we create environments that minimize awkwardness and remove obstacles, believing that this will maximize belonging and create an opportunity for life change.
See, Church, each and every one of us are creating environments, everywhere we go. Everywhere you go, you're creating an environment. You have an environment that you've created at home, an environment that you've created at your work, an environment that you create in the car on the drive home, an environment you're creating right now by your body language, by your verbal communication, by what you're doing in church.
You're creating an environment wherever you're at. Each and every one of us are creating environments everywhere we go. An environment is bigger than this building. An environment is bigger than connect groups. An environment is bigger than an event. An environment is created in everything we do.
And here at Calvary, we want to create an environment everywhere that we go that minimize awkwardness instead of creating awkwardness. We want to create environments where people feel loved, where people feel cared for, where people feel comfortable believing that by doing so it will make them more receptive to the word of God.
We want to create an environment that removes obstacles, instead of placing obstacles, realizing that the more barriers that we create, the less involved people will become. Because we believe that by doing this, it will maximize belonging, both upward with God and inward with other believers. And most importantly, it will create an opportunity for life change.
I want you to think about it the way that we do. We always ask this question. No matter what we're doing, what we're planning, we always say what is this going to look like to the first timer? What is this going to look like to that person who comes in for their first time? How are they going to receive this? How are they going to respond to this?
Because we always say, the service starts in the parking lot. And if a first time visitor comes and they have a hard time finding a parking spot and then they come down and they're greeted coldly by somebody at the door and they can't find their way around the campus and they have a hard time checking their kids in, because they don't know how the system works, and they come in and they can't find a seat and they're given a dirty look from someone when they try to sit down.
What happens is by the time the gospel's being preached and the message is being shared, they're not thinking about a word that has been said. All they're thinking about is the awkwardness and obstacles that have been placed in front of them. And we've lost that opportunity for life change.
And so we've decided to do things differently. We've decided to have a spot saved for first time visitors, that when a first time visitor comes down, we have somebody there to greet them and give them a gift and help them walk around the campus and give them priority check-in at kid's ministry and to find them a seat and make sure they feel loved and cared for and to tell them that they're important and to tell him that their family.
And these might seem like small things, but our hope is that by the time the gospel is presented, by the time the word is preached all they're thinking about is the words that are being said and that we have created an opportunity for life change. And when we realize that, the way that we open a door is a lot more important, isn't it?
When we open a door, when we play music, when we serve in kids ministry, when we help somebody find their seat, we're not just doing those things. We're creating opportunities for life change. We're creating opportunities for someone to change their eternal destination from hell to heaven.
And Church, everything we do is about life change. We want to build and provide opportunities for that to happen in every realm of life. We want to see people give their lives to Jesus Christ and become better husbands and wives, better mothers and fathers, better employees and business owners. Because we believe that a relationship with Jesus makes life better. But it also makes you better at life.
A relationship with Jesus makes life better. It changes your eternal destination. It changes your eternal life. It gives you hope. It gives you peace. It gives you joy. It makes life better. But it also makes you better at life. When you become a Christian and you begin to be transformed and you begin to be sanctified, you're going to be a better husband. You're going to be a better wife. You're going to be a better mother, a better father. You're going to be a better employee as you work unto the Lord. You're going to become a better business owner as you operate your business by different principles.
A relationship with Jesus makes life better but it also makes you better at life. And everything we do should facilitate and create life change, not just spiritually when people come forward and give their lives to Jesus Christ, but we should be doing things in ministries that help people become better at life. Because that's what life change is all about. It doesn't just change you spiritually, it changes you emotionally and relationally. It changes your outlook.
And so this is what we are all about. Now, the way that we accomplish this might continually change. But our heart has always been the same. And will always be the same. And that is to see as many lives as possible change. And through the years, we've grown and now we have events like Easter Sunrise and Freedom Celebration, where we literally see thousands of people experience life change at one time.
And how incredible is that to see people pour onto a field, come down from every walk of life, and give their lives to Jesus Christ? That's exciting for us. And God has given us a vision for bigger things. But that should never cause us to lose sight of the individual, because behind each hand is a heart. Behind each number is a name. And as we reach out to everyone, we still care deeply for the one.
And there's times we had to leave the 99 behind to go get the 1. And that's why we have things like connect groups. That's why we have life courses, to help the one, to reach out to the one. And this is one of our culture axioms. We say for anyone, but not everyone.
We realize the way we do things, not everyone likes it. And that's OK with us, because we're never going to stop reaching out to the one. And we care more about reaching out to the lost than pacifying the critics. That's our heart. It's a passion for us is, to reach out to the one, to pursue them, to push after them. We cast the net out to the masses. But sometimes we need to use the fishing pole to get the one fish.
That's why we always say as a church to invite everyone, but bring someone. Everyone's the net. Everyone can be someone you invite in a restaurant, you're passing out cards to Freedom Celebration everywhere you go. But the someone is your one. It's the individual, the person who you know really needs their life change. They really need the gospel.
They're stuck in depression. They're stuck in addiction. And that's your one. And you need to know that we as a church care deeply about your someone, about your one. We care deeply for those individuals who are stuck in a life of sin. And though we reach out to everyone, we still care deeply for the someone.
And see, Church, when everyone knows what we are doing and why we are doing it, most questions become answered by themselves. That's why our purpose statement is so important. We're all about creating life change. So when you ask, why are we renting a baseball stadium. Or why did we change the worship experience? Or why do we do Welcome Weekends the way that we do? Why are we streamlining ministries and focusing on connect groups? Why do we go big for Mother's Day and Father's Day? Why do we put so much emphasis on first time visitors and making sure they feel loved?
Because we're all about creating life change. We want to reach out and draw new people in. We want families to know they are loved and cared for and we support them. We want to minimize awkwardness and remove obstacles, believing this will maximize belonging and create opportunities for life change.
And Church, I believe that when we as a church realize that we're creating opportunities for life change, it will change us. When you realize you're not just opening a door, that you're not just playing music, when you realize that something as small as welcoming someone with excellence, minimizing the awkwardness a first timer experiences, removing the obstacles for a mom checking her kids in, or maximizing the belonging that people feel in small groups, when you realize that that can create opportunities for life change, it will change the way we live our lives.
It will change the ways that we serve. It will change the ways that we work. It will change the ways that we get involved. And everyone in this church should be able to answer three questions. What are we doing? Creating opportunities for life change. Why are we doing it? Because Jesus told us to. Because God wants us to. Because Jesus wants to see this city transformed for His glory.
And then, the third question is where do you fit in. And we've answered the first two. We've explained and we've defined where we're going and why we're doing it. But the question remains, where do I fit in. Where do you fit in? Because Church, It's not about what I do, but it's about how does what I do fit into what we do. Because what we do is what makes me important.
We've got this big vision, this big purpose to create life change. That can't happen on its own. We need individual people who say this is what I do. This is the gift and talents that God's given me and say I want to know that what I do fit into what we do, so that we can accomplish something great.
And I really believe that even though there's a massive crowd of people in our church every single week, we need to understand that it comes down to each and every one of us. And if I have that sense, that if the Holy Spirit's in me, then, I can be the one that makes a big difference in this world around me. If each of us responds to this call personally, we can see this city changed.
And so often we can say, wow, there's this huge need. Who's going to fill that need? And we look around hoping someone will step up. But if we all carry the same sense that we are the ones that God wants to use, that we are the ones that can make a difference, that we are the ones who can facilitate life change, then this church and this city would never be the same.
So Church, let me tell you what we're going to do this year. We plan on creating opportunities for life change and preaching the gospel. We plan on teaching the word of God. We plan on seeing people give their lives to Jesus Christ. We have a huge vision for what God wants to do in this city.
But we can't do it on our own. We need people who will step up and say, I want to be a life changer. We need people like Billy Graham. Do you think Billy Graham thought, when he was a teenager, that he would go on to see millions of people change because of what he did? No. He simply said, yes, Lord. And he kept his eyes on Jesus.
We need people who will rise up and say, yes, Lord, and keep their eyes on Jesus and take a step. And then, look up and keep their eyes on Jesus and say, yes, Lord, and take another step. We need people who will rise up and say, count me in to what God's doing here in this church, in this city.
And our hope and our desire's that you would join us, that you would have this purpose become your purpose, and what you want to see God do in your family, in your life, in your community, in this church.
We hope you enjoyed this special service from Calvary Church, featuring our guest speaker Nate Heitzig. If this message impacted you, we'd love to know. Email us at email@example.com. And just a reminder, you can give financially to this work at calvaryabq.org/give. Thank you for joining us for for this teaching from Calvary Church.