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Summary: Everyone today wants to know the secret for a growing church. There are an endless number of seminars & workshops on how to ahve a growing church but I believe that the ebst workshop is the one where we sit down & study how the first church in the books o

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Bunbury

Sun am

13/02/11

“A growing church”

Intro: T/m I want to speak on something we are all interested in & if we are not interested we should be!

I want to speak about a growing church & how our church can be a growing church.

It’s the kind of church we read about in the book of Acts, it’s the kind of church our church should be.

And most imptly ……. It’s the kind of church we can be!

I believe the secret of a growing church is plainly laid out for us to see in the book of Acts.

If we follow the pattern we see there then our church too can b/co a growing church.

So t/m if you haven’t already figured it out I’m preaching on ‘A growing church’.

Text: (Acts 2:47 NKJV) [they were] praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.

# 1. The real power.

A. We firstly need to u/s t/m the real power behind a growing church.

a. There are scores of books written about church growth today.

i. It is fast b/co one of the most popular topics in Christian bookstores.

*** George Barna – America’s # 1 church growth expert. His book Evangelism that Works is 176 pages covering everything related to church growth from evangelising / statistics / follow-up programs & not offending new converts! He covers all the possibilities for making your church grow. One church in America even has a McDonalds built into the church foyer!

ii. Everyone wants to know about church growth / pastors / evangelists / para – church groups / congregations etc.

iii. Some churches even hire church growth exerts to come in & tell them what they are doing wrong & how they can make their church grow.

iv. Church growth is something that interests everybody & that is b/c when a church grows everybody stands to win from the church growing.

b. There’s nothing wrong w/ learning what works as long as we don’t ignore the One who makes everything work!

i. This is where most church growth books today are missing the mark!

ii. If we want to experience church growth then we need to have in our church the only One that can make it grow – Jesus!

B. Our text tells us that it was ‘the Lord’ who was adding souls to the church.

Vs 47. …… And the Lord added to the church ……

a. This tells us something very simple yet vitally impt to a growing church – Jesus is the one who adds souls to the church!

i. When we look at the book of Acts we see right from the very first verse the real power behind the building of the church.

(Acts 1:1-2 NKJV) The former account I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, {2} until the day in which He was taken up, after He through the Holy Spirit had given commandments to the apostles whom He had chosen,

ii. The book of Acts is not about what the apostles were doing but it’s about what Jesus was doing!

iii. All throughout the book we see the continuing work of Jesus being carried out.

b. Let’s look at this hero of the book of Acts.

i. Again & again throughout the book of Acts we see not the hand of the apostles so much as the hand of the Lord working & moving.

ii. We see Him sending down the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost.

iii. It is Him who Stephen sees standing at the right hand of the Father as he is being martyred.

iv. It was Him …. who appeared to Paul on the road to Damascus.

v. It was He who sends Paul & those accompanying him to preach in Europe.

vi. He was the One who opened hearts to receive the gospel message.

vii. It is Him – the ascended Jesus Christ, who stands by Paul & encourages him in a time of trial.

viii. It is He who was working in & through his people in the book of Acts.

ix. And now it is He who adds to the church such as should be saved!

C. Here is the truth we need to see – The ascended Christ is the present life of His church!

a. What Jesus did in the church in the book of Acts is what He is still doing in His church today!

i. It is Him who is adding to the church today …not our preaching / eloquence / zeal / wisdom.

ii. Our efforts / contributions are weapons used in His hands but He is the One doing all the adding / building / growing of His church.

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