Skubalon
I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus and count them but rubbish.

It Starts on the Inside

I receive a weekly newsletter from Preaching.com. They have some good articles and helpful illustrations.

This week there was an article from the baptist press I thought was worthy of passing on. It talks about what the baptist press has seen as the reasons that churches go from slow to growing and doing the will of God.

Now I know that a church that is not growing might be vital and healthy. I understand that but for most churches if there is a health and vitality there will be growth to some degree be it numerical or spiritually already existing members growing. But if a church is a healthy church there will be growth in these areas.

I want to paste in a brief section of the article for you. The article addresses many areas and you can see them all by clicking on the baptist press above. I want to touch on just a few.

Leaders of the revitalized churches stopped focusing on their own preferences and began focusing on servant-hood. According to Stetzer, the successful leaders began exhibiting the attitude of Jesus found in Philippians 2:5-11. And they focused on seeking God’s direction through prayer.

“They prayed. They heard from the Lord. They got on mission,” Stetzer said. “There were a lot of structural changes, but we need to start with the spiritual things. Leaders lead people to spiritual changes.”

Comeback churches renewed their evangelistic efforts, and for many churches, this means learning to love the lost, Stetzer said.

The churches illustrated their love for the lost by actively witnessing. Stetzer said each successful church used a variety of evangelism methods. While some church members excelled at traditional door-to-door outreach, other members developed relationships with the lost as an avenue for witnessing. None of the comeback churches in the Stetzer survey used only one evangelism method, but each created an environment where both spontaneous and planned evangelism could take place.

“Most churches love their traditions more than they love the lost,” Stetzer said. “We lock ourselves into a self-affirming subculture.”

Two Spiritual concepts here:

  1. Less about me more about others.

Once a church began to look and be passionate about the spiritual and physical needs of others they began to see a change. When the focus stopped being on carpet colors, name plates for the donated items, and preference of songs and started to shift over to the simple fact that many suffer and many are destined for hell the church had a new passion. Never does it work for a church to grow when the focus of the people is on what they need or want. Churches that see their existence as for themselves will not be focused on the outside world. When a church stops asking, “Whats in it for me?” or “How do we grow our church,” and starts asking, “How do we reach the lost for Jesus Christ,” and “How do we take the love of Jesus Christ to the poor and sick,” that is when a church takes off.

  • Philippians 2:4, Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

      2. I must be Spiritually changed.

Another thing that the article points to is that spiritually the church must be changed. They must be growing and being made solid in Jesus Christ. A church that is made up of short sighted Christians cannot properly grow and change. This is especially true in the area of leadership. If a church has leaders who are shaky or core believers within a church that are not solid there will be a breakdown.

  • 1 Thessalonians 1:3, We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

In the end it starts on the inside. Only by changing the insides will one be able to have the exterior things in proper place. If your greedy and self absorbed you’ll see it in your life and in your church. If your spiritually dead you will see it in how passionate you are to do the things of God. To spread the message of salvation and reach those with hurts and needs.

  • Jesus said very clearly, “Out of your actions proceeds the heart.”
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