If you were starting a church, what would your first sermon series be? I'm not talking about the sermon series you would launch with–NVC won't launch officially until Easter Sunday this year. I'm talking about the first message series you would preach during the pre-launch phase as people try to get a feel for what a new church is about.
After much prayer and thought, it came down to two possibilities: one on ecclesiology (the mission, purpose and vision of God for the church), or Christology. On the one hand, such an occasion deserves clarity of mission. On the other hand, the occasion calls for clarity of Christ. In reality, good ecclesiology flows from Christology. However, the coming birth of a new church calls for some articulation of Christology's implications for the mission of the church.
So, I decided on a Christocclesiological (a Spiveyism) series entitled, New Vintage Life, that would clarify the mission of this new church within the mission of Christ. From my perspective, if the church's mission isn't rooted there, it probably isn't a Christian church anyway. So, we'll begin our journey with the church mission statement through the lens of Christ's first miracle (turning water to wine at Cana) and it's implications (John 2:1-11). In subsequent weeks, we'll look separately at the 2 greatest commandments (love God with everything (worship), love others as ourselves (community) and camp out in John 15 talking about bearing fruit through life in the Vine (mission).
If you want an interesting study, do some serious digging on the role of wine in the Bible. It's absolutely fascinating, and I'll be posting some of my findings here. A good study of Jesus the Vine is even better.
If you're in the San Diego area tomorrow evening, come worship with us at New Vintage.