Sermons

Summary: I use the first Sunday of the year to "cast" the vision for the New Year. Vision 2004 is "Each One Win One" (bearing fruit)

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January 4, 2003

Title: Each One...Win One

Text: Colossians 1:1-13

Introduction

1. Happy New Year!!!

This time of year, many people look back and evaluate their life in the past year...

This is a good exercise.

Did you meet your personal goals?

How has the Lord blessed you in 2003?

Have you spent time in counting your blessings?

If you haven’t, I hope you do spend some time in reflection.

2. This is also a time when people look ahead to the new year...

many people will make resolutions...

they will try lose weight...

or exercise more...

or read the Bible through in a year...(forms provided)

or have personal devotions every day...

or spend 30 minutes in prayer every morning...

3. I certainly encourage you to look at your physical, emotional, and spiritual life and try to improve yourself in the coming year.

4. It is good for a church to do the same things.

to look back at what has happened...

reflect upon God’s blessings...

reflect upon the challenges that we have faced.

5. And it is good to look ahead...

to make some goals for the new year...

to cast a new vision...

to encourage and motivate the faithful...

and that is my goal today.

6.

Read Text: Colossians 1:1-13

Body

1. First, as a church, I’d like to begin by looking Back...

A. To be honest, when I first look back...

it is discouraging...

One day, I sat down to make a list of all the people who used to be a part of our church...

but for whatever reason, they are no longer with us...

some have died...

some have moved away...

some have left us to attend other churches...

some have simply just quit going to church altogether.

On this exercise, instead of just looking at the last year...

I looked at the 2 1/2 years that I have been your pastor.

And in that time, we have lost 21 people because they moved away...

people like the Pifers, Gary and Susie Short, Julian & Emily Sanders,

Deal family, Vern Buchanan, Daryel and Rosemary Townsend...

and others...

all good people...

all solid, tithing, working, serving, involved people...

and the losses have hurt us.

It has hurt our membership...

it has hurt our income...

it has hurt our ministry, trying to find people to pick up and do the work that those people used to do...

B. But, we can’t be all doom and gloom...

to be honest with ourselves...

we must look at both sides...

on the positive side, we have gained new people too...

some are brand new...

others had stopped coming to church for whatever reason...

but now are coming again...

people like Mary Grant and John DeRosa,

People like Herb and Ruth Kelley...

Tom and Judy Schultz...

Lina Bowser...

Erma Jones...Lisa Titman...

and more

A total of 17 people that are new since I’ve been your pastor.

And we praise the Lord for these people...

C. We also praise the Lord for those who have continued to be faithful throughout...

faithfully attending...

faithfully giving...

faithfully working...

without those people...

our church couldn’t have weathered the storm that we have been through...

D. But more important than numbers...

we try to look back and evaluate our spiritual growth...

or lack thereof...


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