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Summary: How to prosper in a new church plant, start-up, or re-start congregation

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HOW TO PROSPER IN A NEW CHURCH PLANT

Habakkuk 3: 17 - 19

INTRODUCTION: I have the greatest respect for anyone

who can do anything from scratch. It is so easy to go

out and "buy the instant formula" or purchase the

product already made so that all that needs to happen

is a "re-heating process". But, I have the greatest

respect for anyone who can do anything from scratch.

This respect is not only is for those who can develop

things from scratch with a menu but also that respect

is held in esteem for those who can do it in ministry.

Anybody can buy a boat - but - very few people are

called upon to build an ark.

So, I believe God has assigned me to drop by Tree to tell you to BE ENCOURAGED -

because God is developing you from scratch.

And when God develops a ministry from scratch - there

will be times along the way when you will scratch your

head and wonder where is the God who told me to do

this.

When God develops a ministry from scratch - there will

be times along the way when you will have to "scratch

and scrape" in order to survive - but can I give you

some good news that when those times come - You have

to remember that God is developing this ministry from

scratch - and you have not begun to "scratch the

surface" of all the things that God can do and will do

if you would only have the faith to trust Him.

HISTORY OF THE BOOK: Habakkuk is a strange book

because it is one of the few books in the Bible that

starts off complaining

This book does not begin by dealing with the grace of

God

This book does not open by celebrating the sustenance

and strength of our Savior

This book does not open by celebrating the charismata

of our Christ

This book does not open by honing in on the happiness

and health that comes from the Holy Spirit

No! Habakkuk is a strange book because it is one of

the few books in Bible that starts off complaining -

Listen to the complaint of Habakkuk in chapter 1 verse

2 - HOW LONG?

You can sit there pious and sanctimonious if you won’t

to - but I don’t know one person alive that has not

ever expressed that sentiment - HOW LONG? In fact,

this passage was written in the Imperfect tense which

simply means that this kind of feeling is not an ONE

TIME CONDITION.

I don’t care who you are - when everything seems to

happen at the SAME TIME - it can easily become a ROUGH

TIME in your life.

Notice what was happening to Habakkuk:

The fig trees failed to produce AT THE SAME TIME

The olive trees brought forth no olives AT THE SAME

TIME

It was harvest time and seemingly no harvest would be

coming AT THE SAME TIME

Sheep did not begat little sheep, and cows did not

bring forth new calves

Oh, I don’t care who you are - when everything seems

to happen at the SAME TIME - it can easily become a

ROUGH TIME in your life.

How will you deal with it:

When your PROSEPRITY turns into POVERTY

When you GOOD TIMES turn into HARD TIMES

When your ASPIRATIONS turn into ADVERSITIES

When your BLESSINGS begin to feel like BURDENS

How will you deal with the struggles of

"church-a-nity" - when seemingly your hopes have been

dashed and your dreams seem to be deferred.


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