Summary: A military church overseas can lose up to half or three-quarters of their congregation in any given year. This sermon was a New Years challenge to our church to rebuild from a huge turnover we were expecting. Through...Evangelism, Encouragement, Edificati
A Year to Rebuild
December 30, 2012
TEXT: Please turn to Acts 14.
I preached a sermon titled “A Year to Build” in 2008 under totally different circumstances. The two brigades had finally settled into Grafenwoehr and Vilseck and after five years of endless change and transition, it finally looked like we would have a stable congregation. We had also just finished the reconstruction on our building and were meeting in this auditorium for the first time. Things looked rosy…and God has given us many wonderful experiences since then.
But now, in 2013, we face tumultuous times ahead:
• First, between February and April, we will lose the Praters, who are heavily involved in our teaching ministry in our Adult GrowGroups and the International Homegroup.
• Our teen leaders, the Neals, will be PCSing in February.
• In May, the Brechlers will be leaving, meaning we’ll lose Patty as our Nursery Director, Steve as our Sunday night children’s teacher and their home as a homegroup venue.
• In February through June, the rest of the 172nd Infantry Brigade will exit our community, causing us to lose about half of our children’s ministry teaching staff.
• Regular PCS moves OUT of the community will follow in the summer, leaving several holes in our ministry, including Tom Mowers, who is our sound and media technician.
• By August, all of the ladies in our worship team married to soldiers will have PCSed.
• Also this summer, Vilseck’s 2CR will deploy to Afghanistan, taking away our Children’s Ministries Director, Chris Morello.
Of course new battalions and other units will eventually be coming in after that; there will be normal PCS rotations back into the community; and some Vilseck families will be quartered in Grafenwoehr and Netzaberg.
So it’s not all gloom and doom for us…it’s just going to be a wild ride, to say the least.
What a GREAT time to be in Grace Baptist Church to help us rebuild from the ground up!
Grace Baptist has a short, but a great heritage since its inception in 2003.!
• It’s a church WHERE PEOPLE LOVE ONE ANOTHER!
• It’s a church WHERE PEOPLE CAN FIND CHRIST, AND LEARN HOW TO GROW IN FAITH AND COMMITMENT TO GOD.
• It’s a church THAT HAS SEEN GOD’S UNIQUE BLESSINGS ON IT!
This is a great foundation and this is a time to look ahead with great confidence, not wring our hands in fear and trembling.
As we launch into a new year, this is a time to look forward to the best! It’s a time to reach out and try to do BIG things for God. The great missionary William Carey used to say, “Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God.”
I believe this is the year to do it! It’s a time we shouldn’t be preoccupied with lesser things; when we shouldn’t be deterred by pleasure and a desire for comfort; when we should “keep our eye on the ball”;…it’s a time to rebuild for the future!
How shall we rebuild?—The same three ways Paul did in Acts 14:
I. FIRST, LET US REBUILD THROUGH EVANGELISM – Acts 14:19-21 – “And there came thither certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded the people, and, having stoned Paul, drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead. 20 Howbeit, as the disciples stood round about him, he rose up, and came into the city: and the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe. 21 And when they had preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch.”
Here, Paul was stoned and believed to be dead. The disciples gather around his body, but he rises and surprises them! Folks, let’s let the world know we’re ALIVE! Let’s rise and surprise them!
What does Paul do in our text?—He heads for Derbe to reach people for Christ.
This was the purpose of his life – He said in 1 Corinthians 9:16 – “For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!” This was what made him such a powerful missionary. This was why he founded so many churches. His heart throbbed for evangelism—in reaching the lost for Christ!
Folks, evangelism should be the heartthrob of Grace Baptist, not just a course we take on Sunday nights once every couple of years.
• Let’s bring in people to hear the Gospel at Grace Baptist Church!
• Let’s be living messengers of the Gospel ourselves through the lives we live!
• And then let’s personally proclaim the Gospel ourselves to others!
In Mark 16:15, Jesus commanded, “…Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”