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Summary: God has given us the choice: life and blessing or death and curses. Which will we choose?

3. Our obedience is dependent on what choice we make

a. We can choose life and blessings

b. We can choose death and curses

4. Our choice determines what happens

a. the Law of the Harvest applies in every situation

b. Gal. 6:7-8 – “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who

sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please

the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.”

II. SELF-EXAMINATION

A. I’ve known for quite some time that this sermon would be necessary but it really gives me no pleasure to

preach this part of the message

1. I don’t like being the bearer of bad news but sometimes it’s part of doing the job of the preacher

--It’s been said that the preacher’s job is to comfort the afflicted and disturb the comfortable

2. This portion will probably make a lot of you uncomfortable

--yet, I don’t apologize for proclaiming it

3. It’s time to come to grips with where we are as a congregation and then discover what we need to do

about it.

B. The simple fact of the matter is that we’re heading in the wrong direction

1. In the 12-21-05 newsletter, the 2006 budget was included in the insert

--I hope you took time to study it and see what it shows:

a. Out reach was cut from $300.00 a year to $0.00 a year

b. The bus budget was to almost half of 2005

c. Worship was cut more than half of 2005

d. Missions were cut almost in half

e. Advertising was cut in half

f. Helping Hand (benevolence ministry) was cut by 75%

g. The newsletter will only be sent out twice a month to conserve on the cost postage, paper, and other

miscellaneous supplies that go into making the newsletter

h. In 2005, the church operated $5,000.00 in the red

h. Those budget items don’t show the problem

--They simply show the results of the problem

2. Our average attendance has been slipping for quite some time

--We made a slight rally toward the end of 2005 but overall we’re down

3. The only area we’ve seen any sustained or consistent growth is in attendance in our youth program

--Even there, some of the zeal is beginning to wane

4. The item I’m most reluctant to mention is that the board only extended my contract until the end of

March

--They’ve told me that if things don’t turn around, they’re going to have to re-consider my position as

your Sr. Minister

a. When I interviewed here, I was told that this congregation wants to grow and is willing to do what

is necessary to grow

b. Without going into excessive detail, I haven’t been convinced of that for quite some time

c. My wife and I have been spending a lot of time examining ourselves and our ministry here as well

as looking at things we can do to help things along in the right direction

--Don’t look worried! I’m not resigning today. But I do believe that you need to know where

things are headed

d. It’s time this morning for everyone of us to examine our own contributions to where FCC is at this

point in time

--Church growth is a partnership: It’s a partnership between the minister, the elders and deacons,

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