Summary: It’s Jesus who will build His church, not man.
OPEN YOUR BIBLES TO Ephesians 4.11 & 2 TIM 2
1. Monthly, if not weekly, I get some pamphlet, some flier, some invitation to attend the latest CHURCH GROWTH SEMINAR.
a. If I will just attend, they promise my church will grow.
b. As soon as I apply their techniques, poof, instant growth.
c. Some programs even claim to ‘create’ revival in your church just like it has in 1000’s of churches elsewhere.
ALL YOU REALLY NEED TO DO IS BUY THEIR STUFF & APPLY THEM CAREFULLY AND YOU TOO WILL SEE INSTANT CHURCH GROWTH.
THEY OFFER THE METHODS & MATERIALS.
• THEY PROVIDE THE TRAINING & THE TEACHING.
• You need these kind of leaders, these steady programs!
• All of it, they say, will grow the church, grow YOUR church.
NOW: I don’t attend the seminars. I don’t read the books.
• Truly with what the Lord is doing here at Calvary Chapel, I don’t have time to go to a church growth seminar because I’m too busy ministering in this GROWING CHURCH!
And… I’m not opposed to church growth. It’s biblical!
• The Early Church in the book of Acts saw great & quick growth.
• We’ve seen our own church grow tremendously in the last 4 years and it’s continuing to grow as each week goes by.
• NO, It’s not that I’m against CHURCH GROWTH.
• I just disagree with the methodology, the madness of making church growth the only IMPORTANT MOTIVE
• It’s become THE PRIMARY focus of a movement sweeping through 1000’s of congregations a year!
There IS a flip side to the movement… disappointment & despair.
• Let me explain.
• Countless churches and pastors have ordered the materials, used them, applied them and… NOTHING! Nothing happened.
• No growth. No story. No nothing. Then what happens?
• Well you get frustrated & burned out pastors.
• Even more than they were before they tried it out.
• You get disappointed sheep that call that church their home.
• And then the church gets distracted & trained to receive any new wind of doctrine that floats through the church.
• Let’s look at Ephesians 4.11-16
What we’ve seen in the last 25 years is the church being turned into a business.
• There’s been a trend toward FILLING ROOMS rather than FOLLOWING THE LORD!
QUOTE Greg Laurie: At the very time mega churches have sprouted across the landscape, the proportion of Americans who claim to be ‘born again’ has remained a constant 32%. According to Researcher David Dunlap, growth isn’t coming from conversions but from transfers; they account for up to 80% of all growth taking place today. He goes on to quote C. Peter Wagner, one of the leading spokesmen for the movement, who admits, “I don’t’ think there is anything intrinsically wrong with the church growth principles we’ve developed… YET SOMEHOW THEY DON’T SEEM TO WORK. I would suggest that one reason they don’t work is that they tend to approach church as if it were a business. But a business-driven response may make things even worse. In the long run, if we train people to be consumers instead of communers, we’ll end up with customers instead of disciples. It might fill up an auditorium, but it’ll never turn the world upside down for Christ!”
SO WHAT ABOUT TRUE CHURCH GROWTH?
Matthew 16.18 "And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.
SO it’s Jesus who will BUILD HIS CHURCH… not man.
• Whew! What a load off our backs! We follow. He builds!
• And as He builds His church… it turns the world UPSIDE DOWN!
NOTE: I am a little CONCERNED that not too many Christians are not turning the world upside down very much any more.
• Instead we see the world flipping the church over on its head.
• With the world selling SELF as the highest PRIORITY, we have seen so many loose attitudes toward sexuality, marriage, divorce, and friendships shift the movement of the CHURCH.
• Some Churches have left the Word of God and have chased after depravity!
It’s been said that “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for the righteous to remain silent.”
I BELIEVE THE CALL TO HOLINESS & RECKLESS ABANDON TOWARD SPIRITUAL THINGS IS STRONGER THAN EVER BEFORE!
• And God is calling Calvary Chapel, us right here, to a higher commitment to Him, His Calling, & His Mission for this world!
NOTE: True Church Growth is more individual than it is corporate.
• It’s personal. And it’s powerful! It’s lasting and alive!
• We see that in our study this morning in CH2.
I. (1.1-2) PASS IT ON