Faithlife
Faithlife

Are We Losing The War?

Notes & Transcripts

Are we losing the war?

INTRO

  1. We live in a society of great abundance
    1. RESTAURANTS – type, number, menus
    2. CARS – make, model, color, options
    3. STORES – mom & pop, Supermarkets, SuperStores, Mega malls
  2. We live in a culture of choice – it is our right to get to decide!
  3. Observers – We are losing the war!
    1. We need to compete with the denominations and Community churches
    2. They have all of these programs to attract people
    3. What do we have to get people interested?
    4. READ LIST OF OPTIONS – at other churches
      • Something for Everyone
    5. We need a HOOK – something to bring the people in so that we can teach them the truth over time
  4. Some HOOKS that have been used lately in the brotherhood
    1. Change the worship #. Change the name on the building
    2. Change the roles that people can perform within the church
    3. Even when the changes are not this extreme, buying into the idea that the church needs to compete to survive sends the wrong message
  5. If the success of the church stands and falls on our ability to attract people through programs and events
    1. How can a congregation of 80 people ever hope to survive? 200? 300?

Providentially, God in His infinite wisdom provided His church with the answer… 

  1. The one thing that everyone in the world needs
      • 2 Corinthians 5:10 - For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
      • Romans 3:23“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”
        • Each and every person has the same sin problem!
        • It fits every demographic – every age, race culture or time of life
        • The problem with “programs” is finding something that everyone WANTS
  2. The larger the group gets, the more difficult it becomes
      • Some like Mexican food, some don't - how do you please everyone?
  3. God in His wisdom cut through all of that and has provided something that everyone NEEDS!
      • Ephesians 1:7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace”
        • Forgiveness is TRULY “Something for EVERYONE!!!
  4. The Lord adds those who are saved to HIS church - Acts 2:48 #. There is one body – 1 Corinthians 12:13
  5. Christ is the Savior of that one body – the church – Ephesians 5:23

Do we understand the preciousness of that gift? What we have found?

  1. Jesus expressed the value of the kingdom this way
      • Matthew 13:44 - The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
      • Matthew 13:45, 46 - “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls, 46 and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.”
      • The kingdom is so valuable, so precious that it is worth everything we have to insure that we attain it
  2. Peter reminded the early church - 1 Peter 1:3-9
      • Inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven (vs4)
      • We are protected by the power of God through faith for salvation (5)
      • Proof of our faith – more precious than gold (vs7)
      • Will result in praise and glory and honor when the Lord returns (7)
  3. I know all of that – but the church down the street has a coffee bar in the Lobby – and you know how much I like my coffee!

Have we bought into the worldview that the church needs to offer more?

    1. The church was not established to serve those who seek their own gratification – Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness
    2.  The church was built for those who wish to seek God and His kingdom!
    3. KNOCK  and it shall be opened – SEEK and you shall find

Hasn’t God already done enough?

    1. He was willing to leave heaven FOR MANKIND
      • Phillipians 2:6-7 - although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.
    2. He was willing to lay down His life FOR MANKIND
      • Isaiah 53:5-7 - But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all. To fall on Him.
    3. He provided a way of reconciliation FOR MANKIND
      • Romans 5:10 - For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.
    4. He made a promise TO MANKIND
      • Acts 2:37-38 - Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.”
      • 1 John 1:7 - if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.
    5. He is coming back FOR HIS CHURCH
      • 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 - For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.
    6. What more does He have to do to get the world’s attention?
      • Tuesday night pizza and a movie ministry?
      • Latte Bar in the foyer?
      • A pool party after baptism?

Should we have programs? YES!!!*

      • To help us encourage one another
      • To help us build each other up
      • To help us strengthen each other against the difficulties of life
      • To help us reach out into the community and the world around us

WHEN WE VIEW THESE PROGRAMS AS THE LIGHT TO ATTRACT PEOPLE TO THE CHURCH – WE HAVE MISSED THE POINT!*

THIS KIND OF THINKING SUGGESTS THAT THE SUCCUSS OF THE LORD’S CHURCH DEPENDS MORE ON US THAN THE CROSS!!!

There will always be someone out there that offers more programs, bigger events, more money and more resources – but there will NEVER be anything offered to match what the Lord has done for His people!!!

  1. We need to show people a place where
  2. God’s people live for Him not themselves
  3. God’s people are committed to helping each other reach the prize of heaven
  4. God’s people love each other – not just in word – but in deed and truth
  5. God’s people cherish His revealed word – and study it – and live it
  6. God’s people are committed to doing His work in this world

If we really strive to be the people and the congregation that God wants us to be it will be better than any program that we could ever come up with ourselves

Let’s not apologize for our lack of programs but rest our hope in the Gospel instead

Romans 1:16 - For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

INVITATION

LIST OF OPTIONS

WORSHIP

Traditional Worship

Contemporary worship

Progressive worship

Contemplative Worship

Kid’s Church

Junior church

GROUP MINISTRIES

6 different kids programs

            including kids auditorium

Engaged people

Newly married people

Young married couples

Older Married couples

Singles

Carreer Singles

30’s

40’s & 50’s

Best Years Yet Group

Girls and guys group

Kids choir

Teen choir

Adult choir

Road Warriors – group for business travelers (teleconference)

Nights of the roundtable

Summer Softballs league

Bagels and Bibles

Recovery Group

Divorce Group

Good sense ministry – money management

EVENTS

Wild West Days – Food, Games Candy, Worship and Fun!

Rock around the clock night – Rock music with live bands every Friday night

Coffee Shop Night – Join us in the lobby café for food, music, poetry and a good time

Baptism Day – Sign up in the office if you want to be baptized. Children must be 10 or older. Plan to stay for the pool party afterward!

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