Summary: This is part 3 in a series that will give our churches some good direction in being the kind of Jesus had in mind. In this message we look at 4 qualities of the kind of church Jesus had in mind.
We are continuing our series today about the kind of church Jesus intended the church to be and we are continuing to learn how we can become that kind of a church.
The church is people. What kind of people? It is made up of all the people throughout history who have accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior.
I hope that you are a part of the church.
For whatever reason, the church is not the same today as it was when it was first conceived.
One of the trends of today’s church that has contributed to that change is that the church today has shifted towards being a consumer driven institution.
What do I mean? In our society today people no longer become a part of the local church to be in communion with God, today the majority of people who attend a local churches do so to consume. They have a “What can the church do for me?” attitude.
Because people started coming to church to consume the church had to adapt to the spiritual consumer.
Church leaders began to look at the church as a business. They started to come up with ways that they could make their product more appealing. They started to come up with ways to improve their customer service. They started to come up with ways they could compete with the church across town.
Today the consumer minded public want churches to be full-service and provide everything they need.
SHOW Ronnie video.
The church exists for one purpose and that is to change the world by bringing them to God.
1000 people were asked, “What is the purpose of the church?” and 89% said that the purpose of the church was to take care of the spiritual needs of the people. 11% said that the purpose of the church was to win the world for Jesus.
1000 pastors were asked the same question. 90% of them said the purpose of the church is to win the world for Jesus.
James, the brother of Jesus said, “Do not just listen to the Word and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” James 1:22
With the numbers of those who claim to be born again Christians falling every year in the United States, one has to wonder if the church is being the church Jesus had in mind.
It seems now that church growth isn’t about growing the kingdom of God any more, to some it is about who can have the biggest church or the best programs.
Should we be worried about church growth?
Yes, I believe we should.
The reason we should be worried about church growth is because when people are not a part of a loving, learning, growing, caring local church body then they are missing out on some important ingredients to the growth of the kingdom of God.
If you are not hearing the Word of God, worshipping with like minded people, and working together with others in the body you are not going to be able to be effective in fulfilling God’s call to multiply.
The church needs to grow and that growth includes two things, bringing the lost to Christ and helping those who are in Christ grow in the Lord.
Churches today need to be larger and they need to be healthier.
We are going to look at a church growth plan today that makes sense. It is a proven church growth plan because it has worked in the past. It is the same church growth plan that the first century church used.
It is a plan that worked.
The first century church didn’t just grow, it exploded with growth.
It wasn’t a perfect church, it had its problems but they knew what to do and why they were doing it.
In Acts 2:42-47 we find four foundational qualities of the kind of church that Jesus had in mind, we are going to look at that Scripture again today.
Open my eyes so I can see Your truth.
Open my ears so I can hear Your voice.
Open my minds so I can understand your Word.
And, open my heart so I may receive all that You would have me receive.
42They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. 44All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. 46Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. Acts 2:42-47 NIV