Series: A Growing Church¡K [#1]
Wasn’t it nice to have a big crowd here last week? Yes, I know it was Easter Sunday; but the more I thought about it, why can¡¦t we have a nice crowd here every Sunday? Now I know that numbers should never be the focus, but I also know that they are an indicator of some things. Jesus always had crowds forming when He was going from place to place. They would follow Him to the lake, the mountain, even the cross.
Bel Aire has been through many seasons.
I believe that we are at a time to grow. There were some things that we had to go through before we got to this time. We really didn¡¦t need a lot of visitors coming to watch us beat each other up or hear some of the sermons that we needed to hear; but now we are at the start of a new season.
Over the next few weeks (if God so leads), we are going to look at what it takes to be a growing Church. This morning we need to see that "A Growing Church... Is Focused".
I have a video clip this morning that shows many people’s view of church services.
A focused church...
Eutychus made it to the church service. That’s a good thing. We need to make it a habit of attending church services, (and that doesn’t mean that they all have to be here). You may say well we aren’t supposed to do things just to do them. Let me ask you, did you brush your teeth today? Do you enjoy brushing your teeth or is it something that just needs to be done?
We need to encourage one another to come. That means we need to call one another, send notes, etc... Please don’t "brow beat" them. Guilting them or bribing them here never last; but if you encouraged them by letting them know the good things about our church and not the bad that would be a good start. If every time you talk to those people that you invite to church about how boring or terrible it is, why would they come?
Getting in the habit of meeting together is good.
A focused church...
Paul preached on and on and on. It was getting late and Eutychus just couldn’t stay awake anymore. He was so tired that he fell asleep and leaned back right out the window; where he fell from 3rd floor to his death. I bet they didn¡¦t have anyone sit in the window sill or fall asleep in church for a while after that.
Was that a distraction to the preaching? Of course it was. They had to stop the preaching to go check on Eutychus.
What I’m about to say could seem offensive to some, unimportant to some, or very obvious to some. Our behavior within our worship services is extremely important to the growth of our church.
We have lost our reverence within church service.
*Clapping your hands during the service (while singing, after someone gets saved, even during the preaching), is not irreverent- Talking while we are singing or while there is preaching is.
*Movement while we are singing (such as tapping your toe or even [gasp] dancing), is not irreverent- Moving in and out of the sanctuary during any point of the service is. (Especially during invitation.)
*Closing your eyes during the prayer time and invitation is not irreverent- Sleeping during the preaching is.
*Writing notes about what God is telling you is not irreverent- Writing and passing notes about something other than that is.
*Children being in the service is not irreverent- Children being allowed to roam freely or continue to disturb others is. (We have a nursery for babies-3 years old for a reason. Mom if you want to keep your new-born in here, I don’t blame you that’s fine; but at some point let them go to nursery so you can get some time to learn.) You may be saying to yourself, "Pastor, if you want my 4 year old to not be disturbing, then why are you not having Children’s Worship today"?
1.We don’t have enough Children’s worship leaders and I want those workers to be in the preaching time at least every other month.
2.You are the parent, make that 4 year old, (or any other age) behave. I know I said I don’t want people leaving the service, but there are some exceptions.
*Some of you take medicine that causes you to not be able to make it through an hour of preaching without a restroom break. That is o.k. Just leave quietly.
*Another exception is if that kid just can’t act right or that baby won’t stop crying take them out. Now this is not for the baby, but that 2 year old or older kid may need a properly placed "swat". When I was a little kid, there was not a nursery (except for bed babies) or a children’s church; but if I got out of line either my momma gave me the famous "twist your ear off" move, the famous glare from the organ (which meant, don’t make me leave this organ because if I do I will kill you glare), or my daddy took you out and that was real bad.
*Calling your friends and family before or after the services to invite them to church, to pray for them, to make things right, or to encourage them is not irreverent- Leaving your cell phone on to ring, and especially talking on it in here while I’m preaching is.
We need to be attentive to what God is trying to do in our lives, but even if the sermon doesn’t seem to be of any use to you at all, you are too tired, or you just can’t get focused; don’t distract others. I hope you receive what I am saying today, because this is important. All of those distractions could keep someone from getting saved.
You must notice in our text that it never tells us what Paul preached about. In fact it almost sounds like he was not real exciting that night in his preaching and he definitely preached longer than what people were used to. After Eutychus was brought back to life, they ate, then Paul went back to preaching, and then they left.
Why did God give us this passage of Scripture? To show us that our services are not about being entertained; but about worshipping Him and being grown up in order to change this world for Him. It has nothing to do with how good of a preacher I am or how long I preach.
IT IS ALL ABOUT JESUS!
Each of us need to be here and when you are here, you need to be focused on Jesus and what He is teaching you.