The People Business
By Mark Fogarty
This lesson is about the greatest business in the world and the greatest asset of the church people. The church ceases to exist in the absence of people. Therefore our greatest business as a church is the people business.
A. Jesus was in the people business.
Our greatest example is found in the savior; He was in the people business. The greatest reason that Jesus came to earth was for the benefit of people. He had several things to offer people:
1. He had deliverance, healing, and salvation to offer to the people.
B. The Church must be in the people business.
Being in the people business is not an option for an Apostolic church. We must be in the people business.
1. A church that is interested in meeting the needs of people will be a growing church.
2. People are looking for a church that truly cares about their needs and endeavors to meet those needs.
A place where needs are met is the greatest description that someone can give about what takes place at a particular church.
The Wrong Attitude:
This city knows where this church is and if they want to be
Saved they’ll have to come to us!
While there is a right attitude; there is also a wrong attitude that can be developed by the church.
James Davis wrote an editorial in the Chicago Tribune several years ago that describes what to look for in choosing a church. He points out several things that will help determine if a church is healthy and a place that would be considered a good choice to associate with. Davis posed some questions that will make it possible to determine what kind of church that a congregation tends to be. Below are the questions that he asked in his column.
Editorial in the Chicago Tribune by James Davis:
* Is the paint fresh?
* Are the windows clean?
* Is the lawn cared for?
* Are the people friendly?
* Do you feel welcome?
* How’s the music? Is it alive, refreshing, and inspiring?
* Does it have a bulletin announcing upcoming events?
* Would it be a church that ministers to the needs of your family?
Obviously some of the things that we feel are important in making our church appealing may not be what appeals to our guests or those looking to unite with a church family.
I. The People Business Began With Jesus.
The life of Jesus reveals how important the people business really is to the church.
A. Understanding who Jesus is reveals how He was in the people business.
Let’s take a look at who Jesus is and His purpose for coming to earth. The following scriptures reveal who He was and what He represented while here on earth.
1. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:14 “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” John 1:1
2. “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.” 1 Timothy 3:16
3. “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” John 4:24
4. Jesus was in the business of touching people that is why He came in the flesh.
5. The eternal spirit of God took upon himself the form of a man in order to touch man and bring redemption.
6. God became a person so that He could touch people.
God became flesh so flesh could touch God.
Light came into darkness in order for darkness to see light.
Heaven came to earth so that earth could go to heaven.
B. When the Church understands this we become God’s outreach agents.
Understanding who He is and who He was is not difficult. However, it is paramount to our understanding of our purpose in this world today. Notice a few facts about God’s involvement with people:
1. It was God who initiated the first move.
2. The church must do the same by initiating the first move towards the lost.
3. It is wrong for us to set in the four walls of comfort while the masses are passing us by, we have the salvation message.
4. “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” This is not just a strong suggestion this is a command; the great commission to the followers of Christ. Mark 16:15
II. The People Business is Big Business.
The business of working with people is big business. No business would or could be successful without the involvement of people. The side of serving and the side of benefiting must be involved in a business for it to succeed. To further clarify lets look at a simple ice cream stand; there must be someone working or serving in order for the business to succeed. Then there must be customers or someone benefiting from the service being offered. The church is no different; we must have those that serve and those that benefit from our serving. Hence we, the church are in the serving people business. Our existence depends on how well and efficiently we serve our world.
With this in mind let’s take a look at the following statistics about what happens with people in one day just in America.
A. What happens in one day?
In one day, Americans:
* Give birth to 10,000 new Americans
* 1282 babies are born illegitimate and are not wanted
* 69 teenagers commit suicide
* 1906 divorces are granted
* 180 rapes committed
* 54 people are murdered
* 19 robberies
* 1500 are physically attacked by a friend or relative
* 6000 abortions
B. We have a commandment to “let our light shine”.
There is great danger in just cursing the darkness. Many times we spend the majority cursing sin and evil that surrounds us. We would be much more productive to just turn the light of truth on for our world. This could be what Paul was referring to when he talked about one that beats the air.
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” turning the light on makes much more sense, than yelling at the darkness. We have been given the light. Turn it on so that others may find their way. Matthew 5:16
III. People Business and Jesus.
One of the first stories about Jesus and His relationship with his earthly parents reveal that He was about more than they even realized.
A. Jesus was obsessed with being about his Father’s business
Luke 2:49 … I must be about my Father’s business
Jesus never told the sinner to go to church,
HE TOLD THE CHURCH
TO GO TO THE SINNER!!!
B. Examples of Jesus and the people business.
There are several examples of Jesus being involved in the people business. Let’s look at a few of them.
1. The Good Samaritan.
“And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 And by chance there came down a certain priest (too busy) that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 And likewise a Levite, (too busy) when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. 33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,”
The example of the Good Samaritan is a perfect example of Jesus and his desire to help people. He was never too busy to lend a hand, heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the leper, and etc.
2. The woman at the well.
And he must needs go through Samaria. 5 Then cometh he to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. 6 Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour. 7 There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink. 8 (For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.) 9 Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans. 10 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. 11 The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water? 12 Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle? 13 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: 14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. 15 The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw. 16Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither. 17 The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband: 18 For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly. 19 The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. 21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. 23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. 25 The woman saith unto him, I know that Messiah cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. 26 Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.
After this experience with the woman at the well; the disciples encouraged Jesus to eat and nourish Himself. He informed them that He was nourished by meat other than natural meat. Notice what He said:
“In the mean while his disciples prayed him, saying, Master, eat. 32 But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of. 33 Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him ought to eat? 34 Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work. 35 Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.”
a. Her passion to tell someone about Jesus.
Because of her experience with someone that was passionate about touching people, this lady also wanted to touch others and tell them about this unusual man.
John 4:39 “And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did.”
IV. Do Thy First Works.
85% of all new church members are
Converted by new converts,
We must return to our first works!!
A. We are commanded to go and do our first works over.
First works involve more than just repentance or baptism. Many of us could not wait to tell what God had done for us when we were first converted. We became a one person evangelistic team others were saved because of our personal experience that we shared with them. Go ahead and be bold and do your first works over and share the Gospel with someone.
“Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. 5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.” Revelation 2:4-5
B. The people business is a work of the Spirit.
One of the greatest things we can learn about the people business is that it is a work of the Spirit. We would be foolish to think that a small group of people can influence a much larger group of people without the work of the Spirit. When we look at the size of our city in proportion to the size of our church congregation; we realize the truth in this statement. Reaching our world must be a God thing and not just human energy.
1. We will never accomplish the work of God by ourselves.
“I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, n no man can work.” John 9:4
“Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.” John 5:19
C. The people business requires urgent response.
The urgency of our business is obvious when we look at the facts below:
1. We are not getting any younger.
2. We don’t have much time.
3. The fields are ready for the harvest.
4. We cannot wait till everything is perfect.
“I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.” John 9:4
Closing: Anointing For the People Business
When we realize that the people business requires the involvement of the Spirit and the urgency of our business; then we realize how much we need to be anointed for the job.
A. We must be anointed to accomplish our work.
Jesus stated that the Spirit was upon Him and why this anointing was upon Him.
Luke 4:18-19 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, 19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.”
The anointing was not for the benefit of Jesus but for the benefit of those that He came in contact with. The anointing breaks the yoke and many of the individuals that Jesus touched with His life needed the yoke to be broken. The same is true for the church today. We must have the anointing. People are bound by various types of bondage and need real deliverance. The anointing will make the difference.
B. Jesus was anointed by the Holy Ghost right after he was baptized.
1. “And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:” Matthew 3:16
2. “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.” Acts 10:38
C. The first thing Jesus did was win a soul.
The very first thing that Jesus did after the anointing of the Holy Ghost came upon Him was to reach out and touch someone else with that anointing.
1. “From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. 18 And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. 19 And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. 20 And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.” Matthew 4:17-20
2. Everywhere Jesus went there were hurting, hungry, needy, lonely people.
3. Jesus had compassion on the multitude and met their needs.
4. Miracles, signs and wonders always followed the soul winning disciples. “And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.” Mark 16:20
A church involved in reaching the lost will be a church that has signs following that will confirm the words that they speak.
This article The People Business by Mike Fogarty is excerpted from his Bible Lessons Fishers of Men.