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Summary: S.W.O.T. is an acronym for Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. While time this morning does not permit us to expound on an exhaustive SWOT analysis of our church, let us consider some of our major strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and t

As we come to the end of this year and face the beginning of a New Year with a clean slate, we need to good look at our church and ourselves. We need to see where we are and where we should be. In the business world, many companies when planning use a method of business analysis called SWOT analysis. It is a method that if we apply it to the church should help us to “count the cost, to see whether we have sufficient to finish the task before us. S.W.O.T. is an acronym for Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. While time this morning does not permit us to expound on an exhaustive SWOT analysis of our church, let us consider some of our major strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. And having done so let us make the necessary changes, plans, and commitments to be effective in the service of the King of kings, Jesus Christ.

I. Our Strengths

A. What are our strengths? What do we do well? What assets do we possess?

B. Our Faith

1. Romans 1:8 "First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world."

2. Our faith is not in a religion, a denomination, or a philosophy but it is in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ.

a. Charles Haddon Spurgeon said, “I am never ashamed to avow myself a Calvinist; I do not hesitate to take the name of Baptist; but if I am asked what is my creed, I reply, `It is Jesus Christ.’"

b. Romans 10:9-13 "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. [10] For with the heart man believes unto righteousness; and with the mouth, confession is made unto salvation. [11] For the scripture saith, Whosoever believes on him shall not be ashamed. [12] For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. [13] For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."

c. Imagine, if you will, a wire stretched between the Terminal Tower and the BP Building on Public Square in Cleveland. A lone individual stands on the ledge of the 32nd floor of the Terminal Tower and announces his intent to walk across the wire to the other building. Of course, a crowd has gathered below because what he intends is a bit strange. The tightrope walker asks the crowd if they believe he can make it across. They nod in assent (who would be dumb enough to try without a reasonable chance?). Carefully, slowly he teeters his way across almost falling. Reaching the other side he holds up a wheelbarrow and asks the crowd if they think he could push it across before him. Some nod in assent. Some shrug their shoulders in response. The tightrope walker then singles out a man and yells down to him, "Sir, do you think I can make it?” The response is affirmative so the walker says, "Then prove your faith by riding in the wheelbarrow." Christ calls to us personally, saying He will guide us over life with its dangers. Will you ride in the wheelbarrow?

3. Our faith is build upon the solid foundation of the Word of God.

a. Romans 10:17 "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."

b. D. L. Moody, “I prayed for Faith, and thought that some day Faith would come down and strike me like lightening. But Faith did not seem to come. One day I read in the tenth chapter of Romans, "Now Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God." I had closed my Bible, and prayed for Faith. I now opened my Bible, and began to study, and Faith has been growing ever since

c. Acts 17:11 "These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so."

C. Our Love

1. God has given us a group of people who love each other.

2. Colossians 1:3-4 "We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, [4] Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints,"

3. Someone has said, “Meeting the emotional needs of people takes highest priority. They want to know, `Do you like me?’, `Do you care?’, and `Can I find a place here?’"

4. John 13:35 "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another."

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