Summary: So many churches out there today desire to change the world, the only problem is that they do not desire to change themselves first. In order to change the fruit of the ministry you must first check your roots!

• Focusing on Church growth what would you say that it is instituted or measured?

o In Numbers?

o In Evangelism?

o In Money?

o In a beautiful facility?

o In a parking lot filled with new and expensive cars?

o In the church with a plethora of ministries?

• Too often churches and people when focusing on Church growth go right for the Fruit.

o Many believe that if the fruit is watered and LOOKS superior it must be superior and healthy.

o But how untrue can a statement be. Watering the fruit does not make it healthy. For the fruit is a byproduct.

• The Root is where health begins and is sustained.

• So if there is a fruit problem it truly must be a root problem.

• So if we are to be a healthy church it does not start with trying to gain a crowd

o But building the crowd we already have!

o To be a healthy church we must build the root of the ministry.

• So we are going to focus on building the inside of the church.

• We want to create a healthy atmosphere and so much more healthy roots so God can bring the growth.

o 1 Corinthians 3:6 Paul wrote I planted Apolos watered and God caused the increase.

• So creating a healthy church is in the how of sowing and consumption of the Word.

• We read in our portion of scripture of four kinds of people, and how they treat their roots.

o So let’s dig in to the word and find out how we can change the roots of our problems so that God can bless us 30 60 and 100 fold.

How many of yall could use some increase like that??? Anyone who hears the word had the potential of producing. It is just a matter of your soil. So let’s look at our roots.

Which person are you??

1) Mr. and Mrs. Wayside. (The Bench warmer) MK 4:4, 4:14-15

a) The Word that is sown in to the bench warmers is stolen immediately.

i) All of Satan’s efforts are to pluck the seed ASAP, for it is easier to pluck a seed then a full grown tree with roots. Proverbs 12:3 States A man is not established by wickedness, but the root of the righteous cannot be moved.

b) You see Satan if he had his way you would have stayed in bed sick this morning instead of coming here.

c) How often do you see this happen, someone is asked to come to church and they even tell you they will. And yet they never show. The seed was sown and satan immediately comes to steel it.

d) So are you a bench warmer who never gets grounded?

i) One who never lets his roots secure a place in the Word? One who is blind to the things of God because through the lack of discipline Satan is able to steal the word.

ii) You see satan would try to get you to skip out on church or the things of God by telling you there was a better way. Like the story of the boy with Measles.

(1) 1189 Measles For Sale At Wilmington, North Carolina, there was a youngster who certainly had a talent for business. He made a neat bit of profit by selling measles. Yes, the old familiar rash called measles. He had the measles himself and was delighted to find that it kept him out of the school. He got word to some other boys and suggested that they also could dodge school by getting the measles. In fact, he’d sell the measles to them. He would let them sneak up to his room, unobserved and they could sit there long enough to get a case of red-rash measles for themselves. He would only charge them ten cents apiece. Seven schoolboys fell for the proposition. They paid their ten cents and got their measles. That made a net profit of seventy cents for the smart boy. His cleverness resulted in a small epidemic of measles in Wilmington!

—Lowell Thomas

(2) Don’t be fooled by satan who would try to tell you the roots don’t matter.

Are you like the second people?

2) Mr. or Mrs. Stony Ground ( To rough around the edges) MK4:5-6, 4:16-17

a) Mr. and Mrs. Stony Ground were a little rough around the edges and when the word of peace and freedom were spoken to them they Loved it and saw the light at the end of the tunnel.

b) The Seed Started to GROW!

i) Things started going their way, they were being blessed, their income taxes came in and they were happy as can be. Then someone came up to them and said God wanted me to tell you that He loves you. Another comes up and says God told me to give you 100 dollars. You are happy as can be…

c) But you aren’t going to midweek service, your not reading and praying, and then someone at work comes up to you and confronts you about being uptight and that a Christian shouldn’t be that way. Then starts telling you that you are not a Christian and that God does not exist.

i) And IMMEDIATELY you give up and never show up to church again.

ii) When you do not have your roots deep in Christ you WILL GET BURNED!

iii) Dig Deep and Grab a hold of Christ because a healthy church is one that does not get burned by opposition. A healthy church is passionate about spiritual things, and loves Jesus.

So have you found yourself yet??? Don’t Answer that..

Maybe you are like the third couple?

3) Mr. and Mrs. Thorn (The backbiting Gossipers) MK 4:7, 4:18-19

a) So if you are Mr. and Mrs. Thorn I want you to come up for deliverance now.

b) Mr. and Mrs. Thorn are the bitter backbiting gossipers who care more about the jones’ than Christ. The Hard hearted.

c) They are the ones who are taken away by the cares of this world

i) Cares of this world would be mental suffering, grief, oppression of the mind, weighed down by responsibility.

(1) One who is so full of anxiety that they are troubled to the point of rejecting peace.

ii) Care is a thorn MT 13:22

iii) Care Chokes LK 8:14

iv) Don’t become a Mr. and Mrs. Thorn where the soil that is so torn up that it kills any roots that may have grown in the past.

d) Those who have a problem with backbiting and gossip in the church are those who hear the word and receive it until it does not fit in to their plans.

Are you Mr. and Mrs Thorn? So have you found yourself yet? If not hopefully you wil be categorized in the next couple.

4) Mr. and Mrs. Good Ground (The Christian) MK 4:8, 4:20

a) Mr. and Mrs Good Ground are the ones who


(1) Faith cometh by hearing and Hearing by the Word of God.


(1) Listen for the sweet voice of Jesus for he does speak to you.


(1) James 1:22 Be doers of the Word not just hearers only.


(1) So we must realize that in order to bear the fruit we want to see as a church we have to change the roots of the church first.

(a) We must bring our church to a status of health.

(b) Soon we are going to be going through a survey that will analyze our church. And from this we will derive where we are as a church and start to build our church from the roots up. That is with you. So I want to encourage you to start praying for the health of our church. That God would show us where to start. Pray for our leaders.

So I want to ask you this morning which person would you say you are?

Are you

• Mr. and Mrs. Wayside

• Mr. and Mrs. Bench Warmer

• Mr. and Mrs. Thorn


• Are you Mr. and Mrs. Christian?