Do You Want Your Church To Grow? – Part 4
This is what the LORD says: “As when juice is still found in a cluster of grapes and men say, ‘Don’t destroy it, there is yet some good in it,’ so will I do in behalf of my servants; I will not destroy them all. Isaiah 65:8
The fourth, and perhaps the most frustrating challenge we face when it comes to church growth, is to involve them. Why is that? A message on a bulletin board outside a church gives us a clue. The top line says, ‘We care about you,’ and the line underneath reads: ‘Sundays. 10 am only.’ A cartoon by Erik Johnson puts it another way. At the top in big bold letters is a sign that reads: ‘The challenge of starting a men’s ministry.’ Standing directly under the sign is a group of bored-looking guys. To the right of the group is the pastor, who quips: ‘So far, the only thing we have in common is an aversion to singing, socializing and sharing.’ People can feel lost and lonely in a crowd, even if it’s in church. Sitting in a pew looking at the back of somebody’s head for an hour and a half doesn’t meet anyone’s emotional, relational, or spiritual needs. As a member of Christ’s body, the church, it’s your job to take the first step and initiate contact with those around you. Jesus went out of His way to love the fallen, the fraudulent and the faithless—people others wouldn’t have anything to do with. When someone comes into your church and finds Christ, your job has only begun. They are called to serve and you are called to show them how, when and where. ‘The new wine is found in the cluster…’ Wine speaks of joy. But you can’t get it out of a single grape; you’ve got to have a ‘cluster’. Are you getting the idea?
Heavenly Father, help me reach out to others and serve them and care for them and listen to them. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
The post Do You Want Your Church To Grow? – Part 4 – April 20, 2015 appeared first on LCC Daily Devotions.Read more...
Do You Want Your Church To Grow? – Part 3
After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly. Acts 4:31
Inspire them. To be inspired is to feel motivated and excited about what you are doing. The story is told of a little boy sitting in church with his mother. On the platform behind the pastor were three flags; the little boy asked her about the first one. ‘That’s our nation’s flag,’ she said. Then he wanted to know about the second flag. She whispered, ‘That’s the Christian flag.’ Finally he asked about the third flag. Telling him to be quiet, she whispered, ‘That’s for those who died in service.’ Innocently he asked, ‘Which service did they die in, the morning or evening service?’ Yes, your church should be a place of reverence and order, but it should also be alive with the power and presence of God. A sign on a little country store said it all: ‘There’s no place anywhere near this place, that’s anything like this place, so this must be the place!’ That’s what God wants His church to be. You ask, ‘What was church like back in the days of the early apostles?’ Distinctive! Dynamic! Demonstrative! ‘When they had prayed, the place where they were assembled…was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.’ According to the latest opinion poll, nowadays a ‘committed’ church member is somebody who attends church twice a month. Wow! The New Testament believers went every day. Furthermore, ‘They were all (every member) filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the Word of God with boldness.’ Jesus is many things—but boring isn’t one of them. So let’s engage people, instruct them, and inspire them!
Heavenly Father, the greatest gift in the world has been given to me – help me share it with the joy of having it. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
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Do You Want Your Church To Grow? – Part 2
my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. “Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you as my priests; because you have ignored the law of your God, I also will ignore your children. Hosea 4:6
Instruct them. ‘Go…make disciples…teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you…’ (Matthew 28:19-20). When your focus is on not only winning people to Jesus but making them disciples of Jesus, He promises, ‘…I am with you…’ (v. 20). Today we are raising a scripturally unenlightened generation. In a survey conducted in New York City, nine out of ten people couldn’t repeat one of the Ten Commandments or name one of the first four books of the New Testament. One man thought Dan and Beersheba were husband and wife! Another thought an epistle was the wife of an apostle! We smile, but it’s a deadly serious issue. God said, ‘My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.’ Jesus said, ‘…Are you not in error because you do not know the Scriptures?…’ (Mark 12:24). Many of the problems we seek counselling for could be resolved and in some cases avoided altogether, if we took time each day to get into God’s Word. The reason many of us are spiritually sick is not because the medicine failed, but because we don’t take it. Basically, we’re all motivated by reward. So read this: ‘This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success’ (Joshua 1:8). Do you want to be strong spiritually? Get into the Scriptures. Do you want to succeed in life? Get into the Scriptures.
Heavenly Father, I know Your Word Works – help me Work the Word. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
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Do You Want Your Church To Grow?
– Part 1
praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. Acts 2:47
God doesn’t mind your church having a small congregation. What He objects to is your church having a small vision, for that limits what He can do through you. The story’s told of a tourist visiting a small English village. He asked an old gentleman, ‘Is there anything special about this place?’ The old man smiled and said, ‘Yes, you can start here and go anywhere else on earth.’ In Acts chapter 5 verse 28 the New Testament church was accused of ‘…filling Jerusalem with your doctrine…’. And in chapter 17 verse 6, Paul and Silas were accused of ‘…turning the world upside down…’ What impact! God has a plan for church growth and you have a part to play. You are called to: invite them. You say, ‘Isn’t that my pastor’s job?’ No, your pastor is a shepherd. Shepherds don’t give birth to sheep; sheep do that. When was the last time you told someone about Jesus and invited them to meet other Christians? If you discovered a cure for cancer or Alzheimer’s, wouldn’t you share it? Jesus said, ‘A certain man gave a great supper and invited many and sent his servant…to say to those who were invited, ‘Come, for all things are now ready’’ (Luke 14:16-17). When the invited guests started making excuses as to why they couldn’t come, ‘The master said to the servant, “Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled”’ (v. 23). Note the words ‘compel them to come’. Pick them up in your car, arrange breakfast before church or lunch afterwards. Get creative, but whatever you do, show them Jesus!
Heavenly Father, help me to show others Jesus by my life and introducing them to others who reflect the Master. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
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What Will You Leave Behind?
A good man leaves an inheritance for his children’s children, but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous. Proverbs 13:22
Paul probably didn’t leave any money or property when he died, but he did leave a legacy—a superior one! His legacy was his writings, those he won to Christ, those he mentored and his enduring influence. Every day your life touches other lives in unseen ways. You don’t have to know someone personally in order to experience the blessing of their legacy. Like walking into an empty room and catching a whiff of someone’s perfume, your impact can continue to be felt long after you’re gone. Usually we associate legacies with dying and we don’t particularly like the topic. Or we assume that since our legacy won’t be revealed for years, we don’t need to start investing in it now. In some cases, we feel like we’ve little or no control over what we leave behind anyway. Not so: ‘A good man leaves an inheritance.’ What will yours be? More importantly, what’s it going to cost you? Since the best gifts aren’t always handed down in your will, why not try for something more meaningful—something that points to who you were. It’s one thing to measure success by the money in your bank account, the size of your property holdings and the value of your stocks portfolio. It’s entirely another to measure it by intangibles like raising great kids, building God’s kingdom and leaving your light burning brightly when you go. All great legacies come with a price tag. To move beyond mediocrity, you must invest every day in the accounts of those who follow you!
Heavenly Father, Help me leave a legacy that honors You and points others to You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen