Summary: God uses us as partners to grow the church.
ENERGIZED BY MULTIPLICATION
S: Church Growth
Th: Freed to Minister
Pr: GOD USES US AS PARTNERS TO GROW THE CHURCH.
?: How? How is it observed?
TS: We will find in our study of Acts 2:42 three stages that show how God uses us as partners in church growth.
The _____ stage that shows how God uses us as partners to grow the church is…
RMBC 23 September 01 AM
1. Have you ever wondered about the purpose of something?
ILL Notebook: Purpose (wooden spoons)
One day during cooking class, the teacher, Mrs. Pritchard, was extolling her secrets for preparing perfect sauces. When she ordered the class to the stoves to prepare their assignments, she said, "Don’t forget to use wooden spoons."
As Richard stirred his sauce, he contemplated the physics behind the mystery of the wooden spoon and decided it must have something to do with heat conduction. He approached Mrs. Pritchard to test his theory.
"Why wooden spoons?" he asked. "Because," she replied, "if I have to sit here listening to all your metal spoons banging against metal pots, I’ll go nuts!"
Well, sometimes there are reasons for the way things are.
And often they are good reasons.
I think it is human nature to enjoy being a part of something that is thought out and purposeful.
We like to know where we are going.
But you know…
2. Sometimes, the purpose of the church can get lost.
Win Arn, a church consultant, recently discovered that 89% of church attenders believe that the church’s purpose is to take care for their family’s and their own needs.
Only 11% believe that the church’s purpose is to win the world for Christ.
Isn’t that amazing?
But it is no wonder.
I have heard way too many times people complain that a certain church doesn’t meet their needs.
Something gets missed in that.
We start losing track of who we are and what we are to be about.
ILL Church of God Grill
Charles Paul Conn tells of the time when he lived in Atlanta. He noticed in the Yellow Pages, in the listing of restaurants, an entry for a place called the Church of God Grill. The peculiar name aroused his curiosity, and he dialed the number. A man answered with a cheerful, “Hello! Church of God Grill!” He asked how the restaurant had been given such an unusual name, and the man at the other end said, “Well, we had a little mission down here, and we started selling chicken dinners after church on Sunday to help pay the bills. Well, people liked the chicken, and we did such a good business, that eventually we cut back on the church service. After a while we just closed down the church altogether and kept on serving the chicken dinners. We kept the name we started with, and that’s Church of God Grill.”
What is sad about this is that probably no one noticed that they wandered away from their mission.
Instead of being a great church, they chose to be a great restaurant instead.
It makes me ask this question…
1. What does it take to grow a great church?
If you come into my office sometime, I can show you that I have a whole shelf of books that deal specifically with church growth.
It is a fascinating subject.
And a lot of the books that I have read have good ideas in them, even some that I apply from time to time.
But I really don’t think there is any better text about how to grow a great church than what we find in Acts 2.
The second chapter of Acts is what we have been studying this month during our discipleship emphasis.
Our theme is “Freed to Minister,” because…
2. We have been “freed to minister.”
In review, you will notice that we are using for these five weeks an acrostic that spells the word “freed.”
The first week we spoke about being…
2.1 Filled with the Spirit (1-13)
At Pentecost, Jesus kept His promise and sent the Spirit.
These people in the upper room were dramatically changed, filled with a boldness and power that until now had been absent from their lives.
We then showed how they were…
2.2 Ready to share the gospel (14-36)
Peter spoke with great passion about Jesus.
He spoke of His burial, resurrection and exaltation.
He made his listeners face the truth about Jesus.
Following that he was…
2.3 Eager to invite a response (37-40)
Last week, we talked about the people’s need of forgiveness and for God to be in their lives.
They needed to demonstrate their new life by repenting and publicly declaring their new allegiance by being baptized.