Summary: In light of a desire for church growth many abandon the anchoring points that bring God’s blessing.
ANCHOR POINTS FOR CHURCH GROWTH
Introduction: If we desire church growth, it would be good for us to look at the pattern set by the early church in Jerusalem following the Day of Pentecost. The church experienced phenomenal growth and had the power of God flowing through virtually everything they did on a daily basis. I believe that they had set four anchor points or enduring principles that would insure God’s blessing. Each of these points is reinforced by the phrase "they continued steadfastly". That is to say they persevered in or endured in each of these areas.
I. Steadfastly adhere to truth - apostle’s doctrine
A. The Apostle’s doctrine - teaching, instruction
B. II Timothy 3:16 "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:"
C. II Timothy 4:3 "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;"
D. Churches across our country have sought various ways to address growth in the midst of a changing culture. Unfortunately many have compromised and have failed to maintain a strong stand on doctrinal truth. Many have gone so far as to condone activities of the culture which clearly violated the precepts of Scripture.
E. A. W. Tozer (1897-1963) - Great saints have always been dogmatic. We need a return to a gentle dogmatism that smiles while it stands stubborn and firm on the Word of God.
F. II John 1:9-11 "Whosoever transgresses, and abides not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abides in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.  If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:  for he that bids him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds."
II. Steadfastly share in the work - Fellowship
A. Fellowship - a sharing in common, partnership
B. II Corinthians 6:14 "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness?"
C. I Corinthians 1:9 "God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord."
D. For the early Christians, koinonia was not the frilly "fellowship" of church-sponsored, biweekly bowling parties. It was not tea, cookies, and sophisticated small talk in Fellowship Hall after the sermon. It was an almost unconditional sharing of their lives with the other members of Christ’s body.
E. Coming together is a beginning; staying together is progress; working together is success.
F. 2 Corinthians 8:4 "Praying us with much entreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints."
G. Christianity is not a solo sport.
H. Ephesians 4:11-13 "And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;  For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:  Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ:"
I. Philippians 1:3-5 "I thank my God upon every remembrance of you,  Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy,  For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now;"
J. I was saddened to learn this week of the death of one of our most valued members, Someone Else. Someone’s passing creates a vacancy that will be difficult to fill. Else has been with us for many years and for every one of those years, Someone did far more than a normal person’s share of the work. Whenever there was a job to do, a class to teach, or a meeting to attend, one name was on everyone’s list, "Let Someone Else do it." Whenever leadership was mentioned, this wonderful person was looked to for inspiration as well as results; "Someone Else can work with that group." It was common knowledge that Someone Else was among the most liberal givers in the church. Whenever there was a financial need, everyone just assumed Someone Else would make up the difference. Someone Else was a wonderful person; sometimes appearing superhuman. Were the truth known, everybody expected too much of Someone Else. Now Someone Else is gone! We wonder what we are going to do. Someone Else left a wonderful example to follow, but who is going to follow it? Who is going to do the things Someone Else did? When you are asked to help this year, remember -- we can’t depend on Someone Else anymore.