Summary: If God has made you a promise it is yours to have. Never Give Up!
September 11, 2016
Subject: The Seed Principle Part 4
Title: Never Give Up
I want to continue this morning with the series that we are calling “The Seed Principle.”
Can we begin with a word of prayer?
And I want to begin with gong back to something I have shared with you in the past few weeks about the visions I have received from the Lord. Let’s go back about 3 years to the word of prophecy that I received from the Lord concerning this church. You remember when I spoke it to you as well as I do and looking back I know that the word was true but that I confined that word to just a specific time frame. The prophecy was that if the church would do what it is supposed to be doing that in a year’s time the Lord would bring so many people in that we would not even recognize it. If we would not do what we are supposed to be doing that the church would slowly but surly die out. When I received that word we were averaging about 65-75 people on Sunday Morning. By the end of the year it was 50-60 and a slow decline began. For a couple of years now our numbers have been down and we have been asking ourselves what we have to do to bring the numbers up. In 2015 3 of our members went home to be with the Lord. Another suffered a stroke and hasn’t been able to be here with us for a year.
I thought that the prophetic word given to me was coming to pass. And we kept looking at what was going on and wondering how we could prevent the church from dying. Now some of you will say that those things never crossed your mind, but from a pastor’s view I have to say, I thought about it a lot.
Then something else happened. The weekend after my mom’s funeral we were scheduled to attend a Convoy of Hope/Rural Compassion seminar that was put on for the benefit of small church pastors. We thought about canceling because of my mother’s passing and the stress of the week, but decided to go just to get away from everything. I don’t remember everything about the seminar but I know this much. It was a weekend that changed our lives and ultimately the life of this church. You see, on that weekend we were instructed to remove all the seats from our big church van because Convoy of Hope was going to load us down with thing to bring back that would bless the church.
And so we did … and so they did! At first we were overwhelmed with all the stuff that they loaded in the van. I mean there were boxes and boxes of things that we had no idea what to do with or where to go with them. Boxes of nail polish and candy and cookies and crackers… baby food, and cereal… barbeque sauce… along with some obscure items feminine hygiene items and coconut water… Can you see our dilemma? And I wondered about why would they give us so much of what I considered useless stuff!
But do you know what happened? Charlotte and I began to look at our community to see where we could do with these things. Where was there a need? It caused us to begin to look outward instead of inward. We took items to each school… the middle school teachers love the nail polish, bath bombs and the candy bars! We took things to the fire department and police department. We gave food items to the nutrition center and to Douglas Community preschool. I made contact with people I had never met before…. Because I had been so busy looking inward at our church decline that I never looked outward.