Summary: The main reason a church does not grow is that it doesn't want to grow. Is that where are?
In his book Comeback Churches, Ed Stetzer said this: “Comeback churches cast a compelling vision for outreach. They made intentional, strategic efforts to move outward.
** The main reason a church does not grow is that it doesn’t want to grow.
Everyone in the church should be engaged in three ways:
They should be pray-ers.
Pray by name for those the church is trying to reach.
They should be bring-ers.
The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and bring him to Jesus. About half of any given congregation will only bring someone on a special occasion.
They should be tell-ers.
Some people are good at working within the church. The goal is to get outside the church. One thing he suggests is to have people identify 3 unchurched friends to witness to each year.”
Can you imagine what would happen here in EBC if each person would lead 3 people to Jesus this year? 20 people would soon become 60. Then those 60 become 180etc.
I want to talk about making a Comeback this morning.
In 2012 we saw a number of changes in this place. We had 25+ decisions made that year. The church experienced growth. What happened? Where did everybody go? Do you remember the church I told you about where all of the names on the mail boxes were the same? This church was struggling to grow and the Sunday School director told me a sad story. He said they had a man come from Florence to show them how to get the church growing. He said “along about Wednesday night I asked that man when he was going to start visiting the members.” Now this man was a total stranger and there for the sole purpose of training the church in outreach. He then said, “that man had the nerve to tell me,” “that’s not why I’m here. I’m here to teach you all how to do it.” “I told him that’s what we pay the preacher for and we aren’t about to do none of that.”
The church will survive when and only when we realize that these seats around us need to be occupied by those who are searching for hope…searching for freedom from some addiction or sin…searching for peace in a life that resembles a battlefield of emotions and hurt.
If a church is to make a Comeback there needs to be a wakeup call.
Who is missing from the seat next to you? Do you know someone who should be in that spot?
1. A Comeback Starts with a Wakeup Call:
A comeback can’t begin until there is a wakeup call. Most people never really appreciate what they have until they lose it. We sometimes take those people/things we love for granted until they’re gone.
I think for the church to experience a comeback she must realize what is missing. Do we know what we’re fighting for? Is what we’re fighting for, at the moment, really important? Some fight over ridiculous things like who cuts the grass. I want fight for lost souls…
In order for the church to make a comeback we need a wakeup call. Let’s start with this verse:
I Corinthians 15:58 Read from NKJV
Listen to it in the NLT [1Cr 15:58 NLT] “58 So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.”
Wake up Call #1- We are the Church! Not these pews… these walls… this floor but we the people, inside the walls, seated in these pews ARE THE CHURCH.
We may not have many of the assets of some Fortune 500 companies, and we may not have the entertaining appeal of Branson or Disney Land, but we have something far greater:
God is intimately and personally involved with us and we are called His body and His bride.
I am in the ministry: my wife is a preacher’s wife and certain things are expected of her. The same is true of Deacons wives or any leader in the church.
Why would the same not be expected of the church, who is the bride of Christ?
Being the Church means:
I. We Are United
Notice that Paul says…“Therefore, my dear brothers…”
Families are bound together by certain things and the church family is bound together by a number of things.
I want us to see a few things concerning the idea of being bound together as “Brothers” or family.
1. We are bound in Conduct
Paul, in Colossians 3:12 says, “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”
Our conduct should be such that it is an attraction to those on the outside looking in.