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Summary: This message was shared with the church as we approach a transitional period through which we will address the needs of the church and add ministries, classes, and outreaches to better enable us to reach our community for Christ

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Introduction

Q. What do you spouse people picture in their minds when we mention Porter Free Will Baptist Church?

• For the unchurched, they may envision a tan brick building which sits on a hill behind Gampps’ BP.

• For the Christian community, they may envision the people that utilize that building for worship.

The Body of Christ is the Church. The local church is the instrument that Christ ordained to reach individuals and help them grow into His likeness.

Q. What is the mission of the church? What is the mission of Porter Free Will Baptist Church?

Matthew 28: 18-20 spells it out pretty clearly (also Acts 1:8)…

o Teach/preach

o Disciple

o Baptize

• What is the bottom line? What should we be striving for as an end-result?

“To present every individual mature in Christ.”

• I am certain beyond any doubt that our church family has been richly blessed.

• God has smiled upon us over and over again.

• We have benefited from His activity in our church, and we must know that.

• We have been blessed with new faces:

o Families

o Individuals

• We have been blessed with new ministries:

o Young Ladies Mentoring

o College Age Fellowship

• We have been blessed with new facilities. I don’t know if we will ever realize the greatness of the manner in which God gave us our Fellowship Center.

o It is used for:

1. Sunday School, weekly

2. Youth Meetings, weekly

3. Open Gym, weekly

4. Young Ladies Mentoring, weekly

5. College Age Fellowship activities (as needed)

6. Porter Women Active for Christ, monthly

7. On and on...

o According to our insurance, it is a building that is valued at over $500,000, and we spent less than $35,000 in the construction of it. The Lord chose to bless us with a building that we couldn’t otherwise manage to build.

o God has chosen to bless what is happening here! And my earnest prayer is that I can stay out of the way, and let Him lead us.

I hope I am conveying my heart adequately to you… you see, I have felt for some time that we were “on the brink” of a “God-thing.”

• The building is a God-thing.

• The new faces and families that we have been blessed with is a “God-thing”.

• But I am talking about something bigger. I really believe that the Lord wants to bless us in big ways. I have a burden for real growth here. And, don’t take this wrong, but I am not just talking about “trading sheep.” We have been blessed with families from others churches, that have chosen to make Porter their home church. I say PTL for that! We are delighted! But GREAT COMMISSION growth is growth that can only occur through reaching men, women, boys and girls – who are not yet saved – and bringing them to Jesus.

o An Acts 1:8 church begins in their back yard to reach those who are not being reached.

o So, how do we do that?

• Preparation: we MUST prepare for their coming. If we really want to reach them, and bring them, where are we going to put them?

o Church Growth Experts have done research, and it has been determined that a church will reach 70 – 85% of the seating capacity, and then it will do one of two things:

1. Grow – this is only accomplished by approaching the growth in a PRO-active way. Churches that are willing to accommodate the guests will retain them. This many times requires building for the growth.

2. Taper –off, and eventually decline. Churches that tend to ignore the need will eventually peak, then after some period of time, maybe a generation, will decline.

• Prayer: we NEED to be praying that the Lord will help us to be aware of the growth potential, and pursue it. We should always be in an attitude of prayer that the Lord will help us to be sensitive to His leadership.

• Partnerships: We should welcome the IDEA of growth in our Worship services, Sunday School, Student & Children’s Ministries, and every other means of outreach. MEETINGS…

I really believe that, with the Lord’s help and through His grace, we are doing many things well.

Q. Can we do some things better? Certainly!

Q. Should we do some things better? Certainly!

1 Corinthians 14:40, “Let all things be done *decently and in order.” * with excellence

Colossians 3:23-24, “And whatsoever ye do, do it *heartily, as unto the Lord, and not unto men; knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.” *from the soul

Q. What are those things that need doing better? Hopefully we can determine that together.

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