Summary: A new year is upon us, what will we do with it?
• SLIDE #1
• It is time for a new year! Here we are, standing at the door of 2009. How did your 2008 go? Was it a good year? Do you wish you could live it over again? Are you just glad it is over?
• I am looking forward to the New Year because it is an opportunity for us as a church to build on the past year. It is a chance to maybe do some of the things that we let slip by in the past year. Somehow the words, “New Year” have a fresh ring to them.
• How did we do as a church last year? We had 8 people give their lives to Jesus and we have 31 other people transfer their membership to our church. That is a total of 39 mew faces at FCC! That is over 3 per month.
• I do not know about you, but I think that is really good. Can we do better? Yes we can. Should we be content with that? No. Not until all are saved! What will it take for us to build on that?
• Did the people who already belong to Christ grow over the past year? I believe many did. Can we help them grow even more? Yes we can.
• I am excited to be a part of First Christian Church. We have a lot of great people in this church. I love each one of you. Each one of you are gifted in a unique way to help this church grow and to help each person grow closer to Jesus. This church is a winner!
• I believe our church is on the verge of doing even greater things for the kingdom of God. What is it going to take for us to be able to do that?
• Why is it important for the church to be successful? Because every day people in our fine community, our family and our friends are dying without Jesus. We must be successful; the dying world is depending on us to do so.
• What I want us to look at some keys for us to have a successful 2009.
• These keys will help each of us individually and to have a successful year and they will help the church also be successful.
• These things go hand in hand since the church is made up of people. How we do individually will have an effect on how we do as a church.
• If none of us who make up the church are successful in our walk with Jesus, the church will not win new souls to Jesus. If our personal lives are all a mess, the life of the church will be a mess also.
• Today we are going to look at some keys to help us. Most of these keys for success come to us from Acts 2:42. Why go there? The early church in the book of Acts was very successful. It grew in number and in Spirit.
• God has given us a blueprint for success in His word.
• This is one of the reasons the Restoration Movement started in the mid 1800’s. The church had gotten off course. It got hung up on man-made stuff. The clergy in many cases became nothing more than another political system. Many of the churches were getting stale.
• Many preachers decided to go back to the Word of God as their guide. That is why are church is here. We believe that answers to life’s questions are found in God, not man.
• When I look at our church, I see a great potential for having a deep impact on our community. As I look into the eyes of many of you I see the same thing potential in your life also.
• Let us consider some keys to having a successful 2009!
• Let’s read Acts 2:41-43 together.
• SLIDE #2
• Acts 2:41-43 ( ESV ) 41So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls. 42And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43And awe£ came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles.
• SLIDE #3
I. MAKE PRAYER A PRIORITY
• The context of this verse is that Peter had preached his great sermon on the day of Pentecost. 3,000 people gave their lives to Jesus and they were immersed into the kingdom of God. This was the beginning of the church.
• One of the things that the early church did was devote itself to prayer.
• Notice we are told “they”, that is the people who were a part of the church were devoting themselves to prayer.