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Five Rocks

Introducing the Five Imperatives of Christ for His Church

 “And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.” (Colossians 1:18 NIV)

At the beginning of a new century, our church has begun a journey of renewal. Acknowledging that we, the bride of Christ, must shed our lukewarm “cultural Christianity,” and become beautiful for our soon-returning Bridegroom, Jesus Christ, we have humbly and lovingly opened the door to the full enthronement of our Savior.

It is our purpose to seek renewal as a church by opening the door to the full lordship of Jesus Christ. We can do this by becoming fully devoted to Jesus to the point that we share His heart for people. Specifically, we will develop as strengths Christ’s five imperatives for His church: Worship, Prayer, Word, Community and Mission. We have come to call these imperatives the “five rocks.” The story below reminds us why.

The Five Rocks Analogy One

Sunday morning, in the middle of the worship service, the children were gathered forward in the front of the church. The pastor displayed a large, empty fish bowl on a table in the center of the sanctuary. He started, “Today, boys and girls, let’s use this fish bowl to represent our church. People who look at us should see something valuable in us. So, let me put some things in it until it is full.” One at a time, he placed large rocks into the glass container until there was no room left. (As he had planned, only five rocks were able to be placed inside.)

“Is the fish bowl full?” the pastor ask the children. “No!” exclaimed one very smart child. “You can put smaller rocks in it, too!” Right. So he poured a bucket of gravel into the bowl right up to the rim. “Now is it full?” “No, you can add water to it!” The children were catching on. After adding water to the rock/gravel content, all were satisfied that the bowl was now full.

The pastor then made this observation: “Unless we start with the big rocks, putting them into the bowl first, they would not fit. We had to start with the big rocks first. It is all about priorities. What is most important to Jesus must be most important to His church.”

And so it is with the church. If we focus our vision on the largest, most important priorities first, everything else can be meaningfully shaped around them. The “big rocks” for the church are those things which are most important to Jesus Christ. He has made five key issues imperative: Worship, Prayer, Word, Community, and Mission. All else that we do (gravel) supports these imperatives, and all are bathed in the power of the Spirit (water).

This little analogy is not original, but it is helpful in spot-lighting some important elements of our vision. Here is a brief overview and Scriptural foundation for what we call the “five rocks.”

The Five Imperatives of Christ:

1. Worship – Responding Appropriately to His Presence

 "But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." John 4:23-24

2. Prayer – Dialog with Christ for Intimacy and Strategy And He began to teach and say to them,

 "Is it not written, "MY HOUSE SHALL BE CALLED A HOUSE OF PRAYER FOR ALL THE NATIONS'? But you have made it a ROBBERS' DEN." Mark 11:17

3. Word – Embracing God’s Self-Disclosure But He answered and said,

"It is written, "MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD."' Matthew 4:4

4. Community – Communing in Unity

 "This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. . . . This I command you, that you love one another.” John 15:12, 17

5. Missions – Sharing Christ’s Heart Locally and Globally

 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Matthew 28:18-20

Identity and Strategy:

We are laying a biblical foundation for our renewed purpose. We want to become excellent in these priorities as a way of loving, pleasing and serving Jesus. We will organize and direct resources to becoming a healthy body of believers. When Christ is central, and our loving relationship with Him deepens, the church (bride of Christ) will once again be radiant and attractive to a world in darkness and despair. Healthy churches grow.

We also believe that “being” and “doing” go hand in hand. We want to start by loving God with all our heart, and then by loving our neighbor as ourselves. This involves action. Each of the imperatives require wise strategies for effectiveness. While the imperatives are narrowly defined by the revealed will of God in Scripture, the strategies we may adopt as a church family are many. We are in an exciting adventure as a church, building on the foundation of the “five rocks,” an effective ministry in our town and our world. Come join the adventure!

Calvary has given Jesus Christ the right to be the Head of the church. With joy we welcome Him to His rightful place in our church and our hearts! (Revelation 3:20)