Summary: The reasons churches are not growing like they should.
ACTS 2:41-47 "WHY IS THE CHURCH NOT GROWING"
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 perish, then what’s wrong?
C) Is it because we don’t have a beautiful, elaborate building?
* There are several reasons or hindering causes as to why we’re not growing as we should:
(1) LACK OF STEADFASTNESS - V.42 * "Steadfast" means firmly fixed!
* Paul says it this way in 1 Cor. 15:58 "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye ......."
A) 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 ......." * I see too many who have become weary in well doing!
B) And because of it, we are not reaping the harvest!
* Why is it that it’s so hard in keeping people faithful to the cause of Christ & to the church?
C) Is it me? * Are you getting tired of my preaching? * Do we want a church?
* 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?
D) 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 .......
E) 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!
* Every failure is a prayer failure! * We don’t pray as we should!
A) 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 ......."
B) 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!
C) 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 ......."
D) 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! * 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 ......."
* There’s no doubt that this awful sin is because the church has failed in carrying out the
great commission! * What is the great commission?
A) Matt.28:18-20 "And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is ......."
* Mk.16:15 "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach ......."
* Acts 1:8 "But ye shall receive ... Jerusalem and in all Judea and in ... and unto ......."
B) Too long we have avoided and disobeyed this command of Jesus!
* Is it any wonder that our churches are not growing!
C) We need to hold up our hands and see if we can say with Paul in Acts 20:26 -
* "Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men."
* I fear that we have become a manslaughter of souls! * Eze.33:8 "When I say unto the ......."
D) Would you sit idly by and let a blind man go over a cliff without warning him?
* I hope not! * There are times when silence is golden, but sometimes it’s just plain yellow!