IF EVERY MEMBER WERE LIKE ME WHAT
KIND OF CHURCH WOULD THERE BE?
Part 1

 

If you will allow it, this lesson will cause you to take a close look at your life as a Christian and you will be able to determine how faithful you are to God. A lot of people donít have any problem looking at others and judging them, but many find it difficult to examine themselves in the same way, but to answer the question posed in the title of this sermon leaves you no choice but to examine your behavior and example as a Christian. You may discover that you are good example in some areas and a positive influence on others as Jesus said we should be,

 

Matthew 5:16 "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

 

On the other hand, you may discover that you are bad example in some areas and are influencing others in a bad way as Paul said,

 

1 Corinthians 15:33 Do not be deceived: "Evil company corrupts good habits."

 

Iím afraid that many today underestimate how their example influences those around them and so they donít pay that much attention to the way they behave because they feel like they are only affecting themselves. But, this is not true because every person no matter who they are has an influence on those around them. As Christians, we should be concerned by how we conduct ourselves and what kind of example we are being.

 

Paul understood this concept and we can see this by looking at what he wrote to the Corinthians in 2 different places as he was trying to correct their sinful behavior.

 

1 Corinthians 4:14 I do not write these things to shame you, but as my beloved children I warn you.15 For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.16 Therefore I urge you, imitate me.

 

1 Corinthians 11:1 Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.

 

Paul told the Philippians and Thessalonians the same thing in his letter to them. He wants them to follow his example because he is following the example of Christ. But, the question becomes, If every member were like me what kind of church would there be?

As you examine yourself, would you want people to be like you and follow in your footsteps? Are you following the example of Christ?

If everyone was to follow your influence, would it be for the better or for the worse?

 

Questions like these will open your eyes to what kind of Christian you are and this is what the lesson is all about. I hope that you will be honest with yourself this morning and will listen carefully and answer all these questions. I promise if you do, you will discover where you need to improve in your example and influence as a Christian.

 

The next question is if every member were like me, what time would they arrive to the services? Would they be on time or would they be late every time? This is one question that should hit close to home for some of you because some have gotten into a bad habit of arriving at our services late just about every single time. I have seen this happen for the last 12 years and I have seen some members that used to get to the services early, but now even they are constantly late. Now I understand that sometimes there are things that can cause to arrive late especially if you have young children, but most of the time we should be able to arrive on time. Since we have become so relaxed in this area, it is influencing others to arrive later and later. Some wait until the last minute to leave their house because they are counting on us starting 5 or 10 minutes late.

 

All this is, is a bad habit and it can be corrected. All you have to do is start leaving your house 10 or 15 min earlier than you do now and even if you have an unexpected delay, most likely you will make it to services on time. If you make to your job on time or make to social events on time, then you already know that you can make it to church on time.

 

Now some might say what is the big deal, at least I showed up, so what if I am 5 or 10 minutes late? Now I would agree with part of this statement and that is I would rather someone be here whether they are late or on time, but to have the attitude that it doesnít matter if your late ever single time shows a lack a reverence for God and concern for your brother and sister in Christ.

 

Let me give you several reasons we should all do our best to arrive at the services on time.

 

When Paul was instructing the Corinthians on how to conduct a worship service he said,

 

1 Corinthians 14:40 Let all things be done decently and in order.

 

When the time on our sign says that worship begins at 10:20 am or 6:00 pm that is when worship is to begin. These times are not suggestions, but they are there to help us know when we begin, so that we can make sure that we can start our worship to God decently and in order. When we do this, we are showing reverence toward God and we are respecting the authority of Elders who agree with the time that is stated on the sign.

 

Instead of trying our best to arrive at the very minute worship starts, we should have the save attitude that David did who said,

 

Psalm 63:1 O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You In a dry and thirsty land Where there is no water. 2 So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, To see Your power and Your glory. 3 Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, My lips shall praise You.

 

Psalm 122:1 I was glad when they said to me, "Let us go into the house of the LORD."

 

David looked forward to being in the house of the Lord because He loved God and he wanted to know everything he could about Him. This is the same attitude that we should have when it comes to assembling with the saints. Instead of rushing around and barely making it on time, prepare beforehand so that you can enjoy entering into the house of the Lord. It is high time that we break our bad habits of being late.

 

Another problem that is caused when we arrive late is it become a big distraction. Those who have stood up here and preached or taught a Bible class know exactly what I am talking about because when people hear the door open some canít help themselves and they do the rubber neck thing. They turn around to see who has come in so late and when they do this they stop listening to the teacher and focus their attention on those coming in. Again, I realize that some are going to be late from time to time for various reasons, but the more people that get into this bad habit it causes more and more distractions, which becomes very disruptive. The more people that stroll in late consistently will influence others to follow your example.

 

So again, ask yourself, if every member were like me, what time would they arrive to the services?

 

My next question is related to the one we just looked at. If every member were like me, how often would we have services? Would we have Worship service every Sunday morning and night? Would we have Bible class Sunday Morning and Wednesday night. Or would we only attend on Sunday mornings? Perhaps if we followed your lead we may only have services once a month or a few times a year.

 

I understand that some folks canít make it to every service because some have to work during the times the services are going on and I understand that some get sick or something comes up thatprevents them from coming. But if we are capable of making it to the service and we choose not to come, then we need to ask ourselves why? Why do I choose to neglect the assembly when I could go? Why would you want to miss out on the opportunity to hear more of Godís Word and spend more time with your brothers and sisters in Christ? Why would you want to miss another opportunity to worship God and sing praises unto Him?

 

Again, I think this is just another bad habit that some have gotten into. They are used to only attending Sunday morning and so that continue to follow that pattern, but if you honestly answer these questions I just gave, most will not be able to give a good reason why they miss the other services.

 

Before I go any further with this, I want to let you know that I have compared our attendance return from Sunday morning to Sunday night with other congregations. From the small sample that I took, our return rate for Sunday night ranks up higher than most and I commend you for that. Many congregations do good to have half of their people return on Sunday night, but we only lose about 35 % of our members on Sunday night.

 

While that is good, we certainly have room to improve in this area. I would like to give you several reasons we should make it to every service that we can.

 

First of all it is a command.

 

Hebrews 10:24- And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

 

These Jewish brethren were having hard time because of those who opposed Christianity and some them were starting to fall away. This is why the writer of Hebrews was trying to encourage them to keep the faith and to encourage each other. The writer understood that assembling with one another was an important part of this. We know from other passages such as Act 20:7 and 1 Cor. 16:1-2 that the churches assembled together on the first day of every week to give of their money and to partake of the Lordís Supper. This is the example that we are to follow. The fact that these 1st century Christians worshipped on an appointed day can be proven from non-inspired writers as well.

 

Pliny, a secular writer about 112 A.D., made a report to the emperor Trajan in which he unconsciously bore witness to certain vital aspects of Christianity. Of special interest was the witness he bore to the tenacity maintained by the Christians in regard to their assemblies. They attended the regular worship services in spite of every hindrance. Legal meetings on a publicly recognized day of rest, as in these days, were impossible. Christians met in the darkness of pre-dawn assemblies; and no impediment whatever was allowed to interfere. As Pliny said, "On an appointed day they had been accustomed to meet before daybreak." He went ahead to relate that their services were nothing of a scandalous or improper kind, that they partook of a meal of the most harmless and ordinary variety, that each sang a hymn to Christ as God, and that they bound themselves with a promise not to commit fornication or theft or any other crime. This witness of Pliny reaches back to within a very few years of the apostles themselves and is a valuable independent testimony bearing upon the faith.

 

We can know that they met upon the first day of every week because that is the only day recorded in the NT when they came together to partake of the Lordís Supper and to give of their money. One thing you will not find, is a specific time they met because this would be decided by the elders of that congregation. The Elders are our spiritual leaders and when it comes to matters of expediency, we are to respect and obey their wisdom in these matters.

 

Hebrews 13:17 Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.

 

Since they are watching out for our souls, the least we can do is to make it to the services that are designed to feed us and keep us spiritually strong. So, when we fail to assemble on first day of the week not only are we breaking the command of Heb. 10:25, we are also breaking the command of obeying our Elders in spiritual matters. This would include Sunday morning worship and Sunday night worship.

 

Bible classes would also fall under the command to obey our Elders. Again, you will notice that the Elders of any given congregation will have to give an account for how they shepherd the flock and that is why they have chosen to have Sunday morning Bible class and Wednesday night bible class. These Bible classes are wonderful opportunities for us to learn more about God and living the Christian life. You can ask questions and spend more quality time with your brothers and sisters in Christ.

 

If you are not attending Bible class when you are capable of doing so, again ask yourself why. Are you opposed to learning more about God? Are you opposed to spending more time with your brethren? If your honest with yourself, you will not be able to come up with a valid reason of why you donít come to Bible class when nothing is hindering you. This is just another bad habit that needs to be broken.

 

When you put things into perspective, our elders are not asking for very much of your time in comparison to the time 1st century Christians spent together. In the first century, many times the brethren met every single day and when they got together it wasnít just for an hour, sometimes it was all night event as the example of Paul shows us in Act 20 when he preached all night long. All that has been asked of us is 3 hours on Sunday and 1 hour on Wednesday. Think about it. Out of 168 hours in a week, we only have to find 4 hrs to worship God and study about Him. That works out to be about 2.3% of the total time in a week.

 

Many of us have no problem finding 4 hrs a week to work around our house or to watch TV or do things that we enjoy. How can we say that we love God with all our heart mind and soul and then only give Him 1 or 2 hours of our time when we are willing to spend countless hours for ourselves? Does that make sense? When we start putting things in perspective like this, it can open our eyes to how selfish we are being with our time.

 

Can we honestly say that we are being a good example and influence when we neglect the worship service and Bible class when we could make it? A very sobering question that can help you break the habit of not coming to the services when you can is what are you going to say to Jesus ifHe comes back at 6:15 on Sunday night and you chose to stay home for no valid reason? What excuse could you possibly give to the person who died for you and purchased the church with His own blood? I donít know about you, but I donít want to find myself in that position and that is enough to motivate me not miss when I am capable of going.

 

Our final question for this morning is if every member studied their Bible like me, how often would they study and how much would they know? Would they study it daily, or several times or week, or would they only study it a few times a year or somewhere in between? Would they be able to teach a person what they need to know to be saved?

 

A young man took some young people down into the basement of their church building and everything was gone except the chairs. He told them there has been a nuclear war and this basement is a fallout shelter. All we have is food and water.

All the Bibles have been destroyed and it up to us to reproduce the Bible. So he asked them, how many Scriptures can you quote to me?

 

This young man wanted these young people to know how important it was for them to know the Bible. This is an area that many Christians are failing at because they are not studying as they should and many donít have the confidence that they could teach someone else about the Word of God. Friends this should not be the case. We should all be striving to learn as much as we can. As Paul said to Timothy,

 

2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

 

Peter says this,

 

1 Peter 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;

 

This command is not limited to preachers, elders or teachers. Itís something that all of us are to do and that all of us are capable of doing. We are all ministers of Christ and Peter says,

 

2 Peter 3:18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

 

Some Christians will grow faster than others, but the most important thing is that you are growing. I can promise if you will make Godís Word part of your life everyday by setting some time by to read and study His Word, you canít help but grow in the knowledge and the grace of our Lord. The more you study the more you are going to know and the more you are going to be able to teach others about the wonderful love of God and what it takes to become a Christian.

 

Paul calls the Word of God the sword of the spirit in Eph. 6:17 and tells the Romans,

 

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.

 

The Word of God is powerful and it is where we learn how to have salvation and to keep it. Itís how we learn to be pleasing to God, and how we learn how to defend the truth. This is why the Word of God should be so important to us and we should desire to know more and more because if we neglect Godís Word we are doomed to fall away from it.

Many times people like to refer to Hosea 4:6 to show what happens when you fail to study Godís Word and that is great verse by itself, but I want us to read more than that one verse.

 

Hosea 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me; Because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.7 " The more they increased, The more they sinned against Me; I will change their glory into shame.8 They eat up the sin of My people; They set their heart on their iniquity.9 And it shall be: like people, like priest. So I will punish them for their ways, And reward them for their deeds.10 For they shall eat, but not have enough; They shall commit harlotry, but not increase; Because they have ceased obeying the LORD.

 

When we fail to study Godís Word, this is what can happen to us. We can have our faith destroyed and find ourselves facing the wrath of God. As Jesus said,

 

John 12:48 "He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him -- the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day.

 

We are going to be judged by the Words that are found in our Bible. According to 2 Thes. 1:8ff, those who do not know God and who do not obey the Word of God, will face the flaming fire of vengeance from the Lord and they will spend their eternity with the devil.

 

I donít know about you, but I want to know what I am supposed to do as a Christian so I donít have any surprises when it comes to the judgment day. I want to be prepared to face my Lord and the only way we can be prepared is by studying His Word and by obeying it.

 

This brings to the end our lesson this morning, but we are going to continue the same line of thought in tonightís lesson. I know that questions like these can make you uncomfortable because they force you to test your faithfulness to God. But it is important that we do this because it will help us to grow as Christians. Again I leave you with the question,

 

 

IF EVERY MEMBER WERE LIKE ME WHAT KIND OF CHURCH WOULD THERE BE?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IF EVERY MEMBER WERE LIKE ME WHAT
KIND OF CHURCH WOULD THERE BE?
Part 2

 

This morning we began a lesson that causes you to examine your life as a Christian and tonight we are going to continue on with this same thought. Again the title of this lesson is ďIF EVERY MEMBER WERE LIKE ME WHAT KIND OF CHURCH WOULD THERE BEĒ

 

The morning I asked you several questions, but 3 main questions we looked at were:

 

1. If every member were like me, what time would we arrive at our services?

2. If every member were like me, how often would we have services?

3. If every member were like me, how often would we study our Bibles?

 

Our first question tonight is, if every member took part in singing like me, what kind of singing would there be? Would everyone be singing or would no one be singing? Would everyone be singing with enthusiasm and meaning or would they be singing like a deadhead?

 

I have known some Christians who refused to sing praises to God and the only excuse they could give is that they arenít good singers, but this is not a valid excuse because Paul says,

 

Ephesians 5:18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit,19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord,20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,

 

Notice, singing is not a option, it is a command and it is a privilege. God wants us all us to sing praises to Him and it gives us a wonderful opportunity to honor and glorify Him through the words that we are singing. Not only do we get to praise Him is song, we teach one another and encourage one another with these same words.

 

David from the OT was a man who understood and appreciated the importance of songs of praise because you can read many of the songs he wrote in the book of Psalms. We should have the same attitude David had when it comes to singing praises to God. It should make us excited to know that God loves to hear us sing praises to Him. Since we want to give Him our best, surely we can agree that we should be singing with our heart and with enthusiasm. God deserves our best.

 

Now some might say, well I canít carry a tune in a bucket, but what is great about God is He doesnít care if you canít sing in tune, all He is concerned about is if your are singing praises to Him from your heart. Now you might make the person next to you cringe a little bit, but so be it because your praises are beautiful to God no matter how bad your voice may sound to others.

 

Our next question is, if every member prayed like me, what would their prayer life be? Would they pray several times a day or would they only pray on special occasions?

 

Paul says,

 

1 Thessalonians 5:17 pray without ceasing,18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

 

Of course this doesnít mean that we are supposed be praying 24/7, it simply means that we are to continue to pray every day. Unfortunately, some Christians donít seem to find the time to pray to God and this is unfortunate because prayer is a wonderful blessing that God has given us. It gives us the opportunity to praise and thank God for what He had done for us. It also allows us to cast all our problems and concerns onto Him and allow Him to help us in the areas. When you have a active prayer life it causes you trust in God and to rely upon Him because He knows best and He will make things work out for the good.

 

When we donít pray as we should it shows a lack of trust in God. We have got to break the habit of only praying to God when we feel like we have exhausted all other options. Yes, God will help in our time of need, but He wants to hear about all of our problems and He wants to help us with them, but you must first reach out to Him in prayer and we must pray in faith knowing that He will answer our prayer as James said,

 

James 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.7 For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord;8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

 

If we pray with the attitude that God is not listening and that He not going to answer your prayer then He will not. We have to pray to God believing and trusting that He will answer our prayers. We need to have the same attitude that Jesus did when He prayed in Garden before He was arrested.

 

Matthew 26:39 He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, "O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will."

 

No one would want to have to go through what Jesus was going to have to endure and Jesus could have avoided facing all this if He chose to, but He chose to do the Fatherís will and accept His way and we must do the same.

 

Our next question is, if every member gave like me, how much giving would there be? Would there be plenty of money to work with or would we have to shut the doors because we couldnít pay the electric bill? Now, when I talk about what you give, I am talking about the percentage that you give because a poor person might give 10 dollars, but for them that might be 15 % while a rich person might give 100 dollars, but it may only work out to be 5 %. I pointed this out a couple of weeks ago about the poor widow lady that gave two mites and Jesus said that she gave more than the rich that were giving out of their abundance. So giving is not about the actual amount, but it more about the attitude we have and the percentage that you are willing to give.

 

Paul said,

 

1 Corinthians 16:2 On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come.

 

2 Corinthians 9:6 But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.7 So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.

 

Giving back to God ispart of every Christianís life and we are commanded to give on the first day of the week, but unlike the OT, which commanded people to tithe God has given us the privilege to choose how much we will give. How much we give is between us and God because He knows if we are giving cheerfully with love in our heart or if we are being greedy. We need to have the attitude of Paul who said,

 

1 Timothy 6:7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.8 And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.

 

When we put God first in our life and we trust Him even in our finances we can learn to be content and not worry about material things. Some Christians get influenced by society thinking they have to have the best of everything and as they try to do this, they spend all their money on frivolous things and they have nothing left to give to the Lord. This should not be the case.

 

Again, ask yourself the question, if every member gave like me, how much giving would there be?

 

The next question you need to answer is, if every member partook of the Lordís Supper like me, how much remembrance would there be? Would we be thinking about what Jesus did for us or would we be thinking about something else?

 

Sometimes our lives are so busy and we have so many things going on that when we get ready to partake of the Lordís Supper, we canít keep our mind on it because our mind wonders to what we still havenít got done. If we continue to have this problem, then we need to free up some of the load that we have put on ourselves so we will be able to remember the Lord as we should.

 

Paul reminded the Corinthians what the Lordís Supper is all about,

 

1 Corinthians 11:23 For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread;24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, "Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me."25 In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me."26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death till He comes.

 

So, when we partake of the Lordís Supper we need to free our minds and focus on how Jesus was willing to die on the cruel cross for our sins. When we do this, it encourages us to stay away from sinful things and it also proclaims His death until He comes again.

 

Our next question is, if every member acted like me, what kind of influence or example would they be? Would they be a good example, and influence people to seek after Christ or would they a bad example and lead people to the devil?

 

Some Christians live a dual life. They act like Christians when they come to church, but outside of church, they act just like every other worldly person. Paul says,

 

Philippians 3:17 Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern.18 For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:19 whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame -- who set their mind on earthly things.20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,

 

Once again, Paul is teaching us to follow his example and to note those that do and to avoid those that donít. Which are you? Are you following in the footsteps of Jesus or the footsteps of the world. If you want to be pleasing to God and be the kind of example and influence that He wants you to be, then you canít live a dual life because Christianity is a life style and not something you just do on Sunday.

 

We must allow Godís Word to be our guide on a daily basis, and as James said we must be doers of the word and not hearers only. Our actions always speak louder than our words as the following poem points this out out.

 

Iíd rather see a sermon than hear one any day;

Iíd rather one would walk with me than merely show the way.

The eyeís a better pupil and more willing than the ear.

Fine counsel is confusing, but examples are so clear.

And the best of all the preachers are the men who do the deeds.

For to see good in action is what everybody needs.

 

Since actions speak louder than our words, Jesus said,

 

Matthew 5:16 "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

 

When people see you living by the Word of God and doing good deeds, you will be a good example and influence on those around you and as Paul said, you are to be noted because you are walking according to pattern that is found in the Word of God. When we live our life for God we become a guiding light for the lost.

 

Another good question that goes along with being a good example is, if every member that is a parent were like me, what kind of example would they be? Itís really easy for Christian parents to leave their kids Biblical education up to the Bible class teachers and they are a great resource, but the Bible says,

 

Ephesians 6:4 And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.

 

As Christian parents, we need realize that we have a great influence on our children and we need to do what we can to make sure that our children understand the importance of God and the authority of the Bible. There are many ways that we can make sure that our kids will get that message from us. While I think its important that we make sure that we teach our children what the Word of God says, I think its even more important that they see that we are living by what it says. Again, this goes back to the idea that actions speak louder than words.

 

You can tell you children all day long what the Bible says and how they should be pleasing to God, but if you are playing the hypocrite and are not conducting yourself in Christian way, then what makes you think they are going to listen to your words. Most likely they will not. Instead, they are going to follow your example. If you tell your children that its important to be at church at every service, but then you miss services when you could make it, your actions are telling them that church attendance is not that important. I could name off a whole list of things like this, but I think you get the idea and that is you must practice what you preach in order to be a good example and positive influence.

 

Our next question has to do with evangelism. If every member invited people to services like me, how much inviting would there be? Would we invite someone every week or would it be once a year. Again, this is area that we can become lax in because it easier not to evangelize then to evangelize, but Jesus said,

 

Matthew 28:19 "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,20 "teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you;

 

There are many ways that you and I can get involved in personal work such as,

        Give a friend a tract

        Invite someone to the services

        Share with a neighbor in need

        Have a Bible study with friends in your home

        Visit newcomers to the community

        Encourage someone to take a Bible Correspondence course

        Encourage new Christians to stay faithful

        Being there for a family who has lost a loved one

 

There are more things I could list, but whatís important for you to realize is that personal work begins with you. Every Christian has a responsibility to reach out to the lost and to help encourage those that are young in the faith.

 

Out of these things I listed, the most effective thing that you can do that will help the church grow that will lead more people to Christ is by inviting people to the services. I have read several books on this topic, and all them come to this same conclusion. In fact, I want share an article with you the backs this up.

 

Why Churches Grow

 

††††††††††† How does the Average American go about choosing a Church? In their book, ďThe Search for Americaís Faith,Ē George Gallup and David Poling find an amazingly simple answer to that question. When their pollsters put that question to thousands of Americans, the answer which came again and again was: ďI was invited to the church by a member and I liked the people.Ē

††††††††††† That short statement says so much which is important to the growth of the Church. We can say ďeveryone is welcomeĒ until our throats are dry, we can write it on our marquee, print it in our bulletins and our tracts, but the fact remains that few non-members will come who are not personally invited. This is the way people are. Most of us donít like to go where we feel like strangers. No need to kid ourselves! If we want people to come, we must bring them with us or be at the door to meet them when they arrive.

††††††††††† Many people will accept an invitation to come at least once with a friend, but whether or not they come back will depend upon the impression the congregation makes. It was said of the Jerusalem church, ďÖthey were taking their meals together in gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God, and having favor with all the people.Ē Little wonder it enjoyed such rapid growth. It naturally and spontaneously demonstrated those qualities Ė gladness, sincerity, reverence, warmth, gratitude, closeness Ė which attract strangers and awakens in them the desire to belong.

††††††††††† You can read a stack of books on ďChurch GrowthĒ and not know that simple statement: ďI was invited to the church by a member and liked the people.Ē (Tom Turner)

 

This article shows how it important it is that you and I invite someone to the services and how important is that we as church make every effort to reach out to that person and make them feel welcome. I want to encourage you to start inviting more people to our services because your invitation may lead someone to their salvation.

 

I have one last sobering question for you to think about, If every member were like me, where will they spend eternity? On that glorious day when Jesus comes again and the final judgment day happens will Jesus say,

 

Matthew 25:34 Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

 

Or will He say,

 

Matthew 25:41 Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels:

 

Only you can know the answer to this question because only you know whether you are living your life for the Lord or for yourself. Your fate is in your own hands. You can either be a faithful servant of God or a servant of the devil. I hope that you will choose to be a servant of God.

 

All of the questions I have asked today were designed to get you examine your life as a Christian. Many times we are so focused on what others are doing that we donít take the time to examine ourselves, but its important that we do because that is only way we are going to be able to see what changes we need to make in our life to make sure that we have our priorities straight by putting God first in our lives. If we see that we are failing in our Christianity, then we need to make the proper changes in our life. One last time, I want you to ask yourself the question.

IF EVERY MEMBER WERE LIKE ME WHAT KIND OF CHURCH WOULD THERE BE?