Summary: How to prosper in a new church plant, start-up, or re-start congregation
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
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
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
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
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.
Tow things trouble Habakkuk and it will trouble any
house of worship:
1. Fig trees, grapes, olives, and fields are symbolic
of ANNUAL INCOME
2. Sheep and Cattle is symbolic of ADEQUATE RESOURCES
The hindrance of Habakkuk and the hindrance of most
houses of worship is poor annual income and inadequate
resources. So, how can this new church prosper --
Glad you asked.
Listen will you allow me to unload my little red wagon
because there are some helpful hints in the book of
Habakkuk that I believe with help us so we can know
how to help a new church plant prosper.
1. DEAL WITH YOUR DEFEATED DIALOGUE (Ch. 1)
All throughout the first chapter, Habakkuk is hindered
- because of his defeated dialogue.
(read verses 2 through 4)
The first thing we do when something goes wrong is we
begin to speak with a DEFEATED DIALOGUE - "I don’t
know why they decided to do it like that."
We begin to speak the 7 last words of a dying church -
WE NEVER DID IT THAT WAY BEFORE
In chapter 1, I find more CRITICISM than EVANGELISM
In chapter 1, I find more CRITICIZING than