Summary: This message talks about how we are spiritual drifters and how we can correct that. Communion message, audio & text will be at: www.sermonlist.com - - & your church prayer chain can utilize www.atimeofprayer.com
There was an old man who was very sick. There was nothing more the doctors could do, so they went him home so he could spend his last few days with his family near his bedside.
He awoke the next morning to the smell of newly baked chocolate chip cookies. Oh, how that reminded him of his wife’s good cooking and his favorite food. He was so weak he could barely move, but with every last bit of energy he could muster, he pulled himself out of bed and slowly made his way, inch by inch, down that long hallway – into the kitchen.
After what seemed like an eternity, he got to the kitchen and saw a big stack of newly backed chocolate chip cookies on a platter on the table. He slowly sauntered over and with an old and feeble hand that shook, he started to pick up one and eat it.
That is when his wife turned and smacked his hand with a spatula. She said, ‘Don’t touch them! They are for the funeral.’
Have you ever seen a ship being decommissioned? I saw one and it was a very formal and flamboyant affair. It was in the harbor in Yokohama, Japan back when I was in the Navy. That ship went out in style.
As I look back at that, I wonder if Christians are going to go out in style, too? Or when the time comes, are we just going to go out, kind of like that old sick man did?
I think all pastors read statistics that are pertinent to church growth and church productivity. One of those statistics is that out of every 10 new members, within three years, only one will remain; all the rest will drift away for a variety of reasons.
One pastor had recently baptized 10 new members to his church. After a couple of weeks, he invited all of them to his home for dinner. They were not only excited about their new lives in Christ, but now they were being invited to the pastor’s home for dinner.
It went, as you would expect, all having an enjoyable time all the way through dinner. And after dinner, they congregated in the living room. It was at this point that he asked them an unexpected question. He asked them if they would like for him to predict their future for the next three years. They were puzzled, but all said ‘Yes.’
And this is what the pastor said.
‘According to statistics,
··· 1 of you will drift away from church due to a divorce
··· 3 of you will get your feelings hurt and leave the church
··· 1 will experience a tragedy that shakes your belief and you will leave
··· 2 of you will fall down morally and the shame will make you leave
··· 2 will just lose interest and drift away
··· and only 1 of you will remain, being a happy and productive Christian’
This prediction startled them, and all of a sudden, one of them asked, ‘What can we do to change that?’
The pastor had been praying for them to ask that question, so he replied, ‘You can choose to not let any of you go. You can begin right now to form a bond among yourselves. You can decide to band together to help each other. You can learn how to not only know each other, but to care for each other.’
And from that night on, these people did form a small group. They met weekly at one of their homes, learning about the Bible; finding out what each other’s needs were; and helping each other when a problem came up.