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The State of the Church

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State of the Church

Acts 2:47 KJV 1900
47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
Acts 2.
THE 2017 STATE OF THE CHURCH ADDRESS
THE 2006 STATE OF THE CHURCH ADDRESS
1. 1,400 pastors in America leave the ministry monthly.
1. 1,400 pastors in America leave the ministry monthly.
2. Only 15% of churches in the United States are growing and just 2.2% of those are growing by conversion growth.
3. 4,000 church close each year
4. Only 45% of the U.S. population attends church regularly.
5. The number of people in America that do not attend church has doubled in the past 15 years.
6. No more than 38% of the population attends church at all and that’s in the Bible belt. The next highest is the Midwest at 25%, West 21% and the Northeast 17%.
7. Though the Bible Belt still boasts the highest percentage of church attendees, many of those churches are filled with legalism or extreme liberalism.
8. The vast majority of churches have an attendance of less than 75.
9. There are almost 100 million unchunched Americans making the USA the fourth largest mission field in the world., 11-20% of them claim to be born-again. They have either left the church or never connected for some reason.
10 Only 65% of Americans donate to a place of worship. Of Evangelicals, however, 85% donate to their church, yet only 9% tithe.
11. Only 1/5 of the adult population attends Sunday school or some sort of Christian training.
12. Only 65% of Americans donate to a place of worship. Of Evangelicals, however, 85% donate to their church, yet only 9% tithe.
11. One in four have a place in the church where they serve.
14. Only 60% of Christians say they are deeply committed to their faith, yet 85% of evangelicals make this claim.
15. One in four have a place in the church where they serve.
16. Less then 50% say that the Bible is totally accurate, yet 60% of those that claim to be born-again.
17. Just 1/3 of church attendees believe that they have a personal responsibility to share their faith with others.
18. 56% of the population believes that salvation can be earned and shockingly, 26% are among evangelical churches.
19. Giving to charities increased in the past decade yet giving to local churches is declining.
20. Out of 100,000 churches in America less then 2% are considered mega-churches, (1,000 or more).
21. 1 out of 4 church attendees are considered church hoppers.
Folks, that is the state of the church here in America! As you can see, the church as a whole is in a mess, and it is a long way from what it was at its inception.
These verses we have read today tell of a vibrant, growing, worshiping church that was filled with glory, power and love for God. The early church was marked by:
Unity;
Mutual Concern;
Community Spirit;
Evangelistic Zeal;
The Manifest Power and Presence of God;
Purity of Doctrine;
Profound Growth;
Social Separation. My, but things have changed, and not for the better! We need a touch of all they had in our day!
Normally, I would take a text and move through it verses by verse. Today I want to do things just a little differently. If you will allow me, I want to spend a little time talking to you about the state of Walnut Creek Baptist Church. I am concerned about the church as a whole. I wish every congregation was everything it should be for the glory of God. I am, however, more concerned with our congregation.

I. THE EXPERIENCES OF THE PAST YEAR

A. We Have Experienced Grace

– We have seen the Lord save some souls this year. Not as many as we would have liked, but praise God for every soul that has been truly converted over the past year.
Revival - Jan Hebsters
Race - 1,000 on the property hundreds of gospel booklets given out
VBS - Reached many in the community
AWANA - program now is operating and new people in the community
Christmas program - 200+ for both services

B. We Have Experienced Growth

This past year saw our church grow.
New members have been added.
Both Sunday School and worship service attendance are up.
We undertook and completed an extensive renovation of the third floor the downstairs.
Resurfaced our parking lot
Upgraded sound equipment and digital outreach
Hired consultants to come up with a building expansion for new classrooms

C. We Have Experienced Glory

C. We Have Experienced Glory – God has moved in our presence more than once this past year. We have enjoyed the precious ministry of His presence and Spirit time and time again. There have been seasons of prayer; praise and worship that refreshed and blessed us.
– God has moved in our presence more than once this past year. We have enjoyed the precious ministry of His presence and Spirit time and time again. There have been seasons of prayer; praise and worship that refreshed and blessed us.

D. We Have Experienced Giving

– This past year saw unprecedented financial contributions to this church. Money is not the main thing here, but there must be money coming in if missions are to be supported, salaries paid and obligations met. You folks have been faithful to give to the needs of the church. We have also taken up and given thousands of dollars in love offerings to those in need. It has been a good year financially.

E. We Have Experienced Grief

– Sadly, not all of the events of this past year were positive. Some of our number have had troubles this past year
I. The Experiences Of The Past Year

II. THE ESSENTIALS OF THE PRESENT YEAR

II. THE ESSENTIALS OF THE PRESENT YEAR

A. We Need More Compassion Among The Saints

Acts 2:44–45 KJV 1900
44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common; 45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.
Galatians 6:2 KJV 1900
2 Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
How many meals did you take to a family this year?
Who in our church family did you call or visit - Wednesday night we list them all
We don't need clicks
We are a family
We talk about caring one for another, our talk needs to be given feet, hands and heart, Ill. ; ; .
v. 44-45 – I touched on this thought this morning, but one of the things lacking in our society is love in action. We talk about caring one for another, our talk needs to be given feet, hands and heart, Ill. ; ; .

B. We Need More Concern For The Sinner

Acts 2:47 KJV 1900
47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
v. 47 – Again, I mentioned this earlier today, but there is a lost world around us. Many folks in this church have family members that are lost.
v. 47 – Again, I mentioned this earlier today, but there is a lost world around us. Many folks in this church have family members that are lost. We need a burden for them and a desire to reach them for the glory of the Lord. (Ill. Try to remember what it is like to be lost. May the Lord help us to see their need; to realize that we hold the solution to their problem; and that it is our responsibility to tell them about Jesus. We pray, but we do not tell!)
We need to be less inward focused and more outward.
Our programs are great but we are not a country club. How are we impacting our society and who have we shared our faith with.

C. We Need More Conviction In The Sanctuary

I realize that conviction is the work of God and that we cannot produce it. But, we can hinder His ability to work in this place. We can work to ensure that Walnut Creek Baptist Church is a place that encourages the Spirit of God to do His work among us. If we would see God move, we need to consider four things.
I realize that conviction is the work of God and that we cannot produce it. But, we can hinder His ability to work in this place. We can work to ensure that Walnut Creek Baptist Church is a place that encourages the Spirit of God to do His work among us. If we would see God move, we need to consider four things.
1. Atmospherev. 41-42
This place is to be a place of worship! Nothing wrong with talking before the service, but when that music begins, it is time to be in your seat setting your heart on the things of God.
Acts 2:41–42 KJV 1900
41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. 42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
This place is to be a place of worship! Nothing wrong with talking before the service, but when that music begins, it is time to be in your seat setting your heart on the things of God.
This place is to be a place of worship! Nothing wrong with talking before the service, but when that music begins, it is time to be in your seat setting your heart on the things of God.
Singing and participating
Everyone can help by limiting your movements, your bathroom visits and things of that nature; especially during the invitation.
Everyone can help by limiting your movements, your bathroom visits and things of that nature; especially during the invitation.
2. Attitudev. 42-43
Acts 2:42–43 KJV 1900
42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43 And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.
If we can condition ourselves to come to the house of God anticipating God to do something special, we are more likely to see Him do something special. Come praying; come worshiping; come excited and watch the Lord move. After all, you get out of it about all you really want out of it!
If we can condition ourselves to come to the house of God anticipating God to do something special, we are more likely to see Him do something special. Come praying; come worshiping; come excited and watch the Lord move. After all, you get out of it about all you really want out of it!
3. Actionv. 42 & 46
Acts 2:46 KJV 1900
46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,
acts 2.42
Come to the house of God determined to be obedient to the Holy Spirit. One of the problems in the modern church is that the altars have been forsaken; praise has been neglected and worship has been relegated to the ash heap of the past. Obedience to the voice of the Holy Ghost would create an atmosphere in which it is more likely that God will move, .
Come to the house of God determined to be obedient to the Holy Spirit. One of the problems in the modern church is that the altars have been forsaken; praise has been neglected and worship has been relegated to the ash heap of the past. Obedience to the voice of the Holy Ghost would create an atmosphere in which it is more likely that God will move, .
4. Attendance
v. 46 – Just being in your place and being ready to worship the Lord is an encouragement to everyone else. Attendance at church is not an option, . Habitual absence is a vote to close the doors!
Doing these things will not make the church perfect, but it will help us to develop a church in which God can move more easily and in more power.
D. We Need More Confession Of Sinv. 42
Like David, God’s people need to keep short accounts with God. We need to be very familiar with the path to the altar. There is a great need for the people of God to get honest with Him about the condition of their hearts and their need for forgiveness. There just aren’t enough sinners around today!
E. We Need More Commitment To Service
Everybody pulls the cart!
v. 42 & 46 – Ill. “continuing steadfastly & continuing daily” – Again, I mentioned this in the morning service, but we need a fresh commitment from each member of this church that every one of us will pull our own load. The task is too large for a few. But, if we all work together, we can see God do things in this church that we cannot even begin to imagine today.
v. 42 & 46 – Ill. “continuing steadfastly & continuing daily” – Again, I mentioned this in the morning service, but we need a fresh commitment from each member of this church that every one of us will pull our own load. The task is too large for a few. But, if we all work together, we can see God do things in this church that we cannot even begin to imagine today.

III Elements Necessary for Breakout Year.

a. Unity

John 17:20–23 KJV 1900
20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; 21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. 22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: 23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.
1 Corinthians 1:10 KJV 1900
10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
We must stop shooting our own. This tragedy is related to the entitlement mentality. If we don’t get our way, we will go after the pastor, the staff member, or the church member who has a different perspective than our own. We will even go after their families. Don’t let bullies and perpetual critics control the church. Don’t shoot our own. It’s not friendly fire.
We must pray for church unity Many churches fail to have a gospel witness because of infighting, self-serving behavior, and tepid commitment. The breakout churches prayed, sometimes for a year or more, for unity in the church.

b. Marriage Commitment

Ephesians 4:2–3 KJV 1900
2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; 3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
eph 4.2
We need to learn to learn our faults rather than list our spouses

c. We Must Increase our efforts by Focusing Outward

Matthew 28:19 KJV 1900
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Z
We must understand that the days of easy growth and cultural Christianity are over. As a consequence, we must increase our efforts, and spending, to reach their community
hey made a concerted effort to abandon the entitlement mentality. Too many congregations have become religious country clubs, where the members pay their dues and get their expected perks. The breakout churches made intentional efforts to abandon that mentality. And though it’s self serving for me to say, I am grateful nearly 1.5 million church members have used my book, I Am a Church Member, to guide them in these intentional efforts.They prayed for hearts that would be willing to accept new paradigms. Please hear me clearly. Your church will either change or die. I know. You don’t change the truths of God’s Word, but many of the methodologies and paradigms that describe the way we “do church” today will not be here tomorrow. The breakout churches deemed themselves mission churches, and they knew sacrifice and change was critical to the mission heart.
We must abandon the entitlement mentality. We are not a religious country clubs, where the members pay their dues and get their expected perks.
Breakout churches made intentional efforts to abandon that mentality.
They prayed for hearts that would be willing to accept new paradigms. Please hear me clearly. Your church will either change or die. I know. You don’t change the truths of God’s Word, but many of the methodologies and paradigms that describe the way we “do church” today will not be here tomorrow. The breakout churches deemed themselves mission churches, and they knew sacrifice and change was critical to the mission heart.
Don’t seek to get your way with the music, temperature, and length of sermons. Here is a simple guideline: Be willing to die for the sake of the gospel. That’s the opposite of the entitlement mentality.
d. We must become houses of prayer. Stated simply, we are doing too much in our own power. We are really busy, but we are not doing the business of God.
Don’t seek to get your way with the music, temperature, and length of sermons. Here is a simple guideline: Be willing to die for the sake of the gospel. That’s the opposite of the entitlement mentality.
This
I. The Experiences Of The Past Year
II. The Essentials Of The Present Year
III. THE ELEMENTS OF THE PONTENTIAL YEAR
(Ill. The Lord has big plans for Calvary Baptist Church. If we are going to be all that He desires and see all that He has planned for us, there are a few basic things that we must have.)
A. There Must Be An Acknowledgement – We must acknowledge the fact that we cannot do what God has called us to do on our own. We must confess our need of God and His power. We must acknowledge our utter dependence upon the Lord for everything. He is looking for people willing to bow. The Lord cannot and will not bless our pride; but He will honor our humility, , ; .
B. There Must Be An Appetite – If we would see the Lord move like we need Him to, we must possess a desire to see that happen. We must refuse to be satisfied with the way things have always been and we must seek His face and the fullness of His Spirit, ; .
C. There Must Be An Awareness – We must also have our eyes open to the possibilities of service that exist all around us. If we have a heart to serve the Lord, He will reveal His will and His business to us. The Father did it for Jesus and He will do it for you and me, . Let the same thing be said about us that was said about the Mary who anointed the feet of Jesus, .
D. There Must Be An Attention – We must give our attention to becoming everything God saved us to be. We must remember that the Lord did not save us just to deliver us from Hell. He saved us so that we might be an example of His grace and a mighty tool in His hand, ; .
E. There Must Be An Advancement – That is, we need to get up and get busy doing the things God has already revealed to us and birthed into our hearts. Is there something you already know you should be doing? If so, get at it! He showed you so that you could be busy for Him. He has given you a task to accomplish for His glory. Ill. “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest,.
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