Summary: There is a number of things that hinders the church from growing.
ACTS 2:41-47 “WHAT HINDERS CHURCH GROWTH?”
A) Church growth is normal ... Standing still and stagnation is not normal for the church!
* The first century church saw believers added daily! * The early church would have kept the
adding machines and the computers going to keep up with it’s growing numbers!
B) Let’s face it, most of our churches today are not growing!
* In fact, many of them are getting smaller! * There must be reasons why we’re not growing as we
should! * If it’s God’s will that none should perish, then what’s wrong?
C) Is it because we don’t have a beautiful, elaborate building, or is it our location?
* There are several reasons or hindering causes as to why we’re not growing as we should:
(1) LACK OF STEADFASTNESS - V.42! * Paul says it this way in 1 Cor. 15:58 “Therefore, ...”
A) Let’s break this verse down ... “Steadfast” means “firmly fixed, determined, purposed, faithful!”
* “Unmoveable,” means “Unyielding, unshaken, undisturbed.” * We are to stand solid as a rock!
* “Always abounding in the work ...” * Work in the work of the Lord with all your might ... Do
whatever He gives you to do, and do it with diligence!
B) There’s a difference between “work” and “labor!”
* Work pertains to what is done, it can be easy and pleasant.
* Labor has to do with the performing of the work, the pains taken, and the strength spent.
* The Greek word for “labor” means “Toiling to the point of exhaustion and fatigue, or collapse.”
* The word always means never cease, never stop, never slacken up, never quit!
C) Many times we know what to do, but when it comes to doing it, we abandon the ship!
* Gal. 6:9 “And let us not be weary .......” * I see too many who have become weary in well doing!
* And because of it, we are not reaping the harvest!
D) Why is it that it’s so hard in keeping people faithful to the cause of Christ and to the church?
* Is it me? * Are you getting tired of my preaching? * It’s like “people are getting so used to my
preaching that they seem to not be listening to me anymore.”
* That could be why many preachers don’t stay at one particular church for long.
* Or are we just living in the time that Paul wrote about in 2 Tim. 4:3-4 where people have itching
ears, and if you’re not scratching them, you’re out of luck!
E) Do we even want a church, and If we do, what are our goals?
* We should know what our goals are, and then we should press toward reaching these goals!
* Are we satisfied where we are?
F) There are many churches who are at ease in Zion! * Simpsonville Church .......
* The tragedy of quitting destroys our testimony, hinders others and finally leads to a manslaughter
of souls! * Murder and manslaughter we condemn .......
G) Why do people quit so easy? * There’s a lack of steadfastness in our churches .......
* Gal. 5:7 “Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?”
(2) LACK OF PRAYER - V.42! * If the church is gonna advance, it must advance on her knees!
A) Every failure is a prayer failure! * We don’t pray as we should!
* James 4:2 “Ye have not .......” * The early church gave us many wonderful examples of prayer!
* Phil. 4:6 “Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with .......”
* When Paul was writing to the church at Ephesus, he indicated in Eph. 6:18 that “praying always”
was God’s plan and pattern for the church!
B) Prayer that never gives up is taught by Jesus - Lk.18:1 “... men ought always to .......”
* Jesus is our example of the necessity of prayer and the power of real prayer!
* Lk. 5:16 “And he withdrew himself into the wilderness and prayed.”
* Lk. 9:18 “... he was alone praying.” * Lk. 11:1-4 “... as he was praying ... teach us to .......”
C) Prayer is necessary to build a church!
* But be sure you can say to every lost person that you’re talking to that you’ve been praying for
him ... Be honest, don’t lie!
* We must talk to God about sinners and a backslidden church, before we can talk to sinners and a
backslidden church about God! * 1 Thess. 5:17 “Pray without ceasing.”
(3) LACK OF WITNESSING TO THE LOST - V.46! * “Breaking bread from house .......”