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CHURCH GROWTH-10 SUREFIRE WAYS TO GROW YOUR CHURCH



Posted: 07/27/07

Church Growth-10 Surefire ways to grow your church

By Shane Idleman

[scroll down past #10]

  1. "And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved."[Acts 2:47].
  2. "And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved."[Acts 2:47].
  3. "And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved."[Acts 2:47].
  4. "And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved."[Acts 2:47].
  5. "And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved."[Acts 2:47].
  6. "And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved."[Acts 2:47].
  7. "And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved."[Acts 2:47].
  8. "And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved."[Acts 2:47].
  9. "And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved."[Acts 2:47].
  10. "And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved."[Acts 2:47].

All too often I hear more about gimmicks than God's Spirit, plans more than prayer, promotions more than repentance; very little is said about the Holy Spirit today. The power of the Holy Spirit is NOT a mystical or personal force; it's God's power working in and through us. The power of the Holy Spirit is like dynamite that ignites a hunger for God so intense that every aspect of life is changed-we become bold, not passive; stable, not fanatical; and committed, not wavering. In the early years of American history, during the First Great Awakening, Pastor Jonathan Edwards said that a true work of the Holy Spirit would be evident: it would elevate the truth, exalt Christ, oppose Satan, point people to the Scriptures, and result in love for God and others.

Unfortunately, many confuse a Spirit-filled life with sheer emotionalism. Emotions aren't necessarily a reflection of a changed heart, but a changed heart should be reflected in our emotions. When truth penetrates the heart, excitement and enthusiasm often follow; these emotions can be good and God-given. I'm not suggesting that extreme fanaticism and weird behavior are marks of someone filled with the Spirit-as D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones said: Never interpret Scripture in the light of your experiences, but rather, interpret your experiences in the penetrating light of Scripture.

As Christians, we are given the Holy Spirit [the third Person in the Godhead], but what we do with Him is largely up to us-we can quench and grieve Him, thus causing Him to withdraw, or we can truly surrender our life to His influence. (Read I Thessalonians 5:19 and Ephesians 4:30.) Often, the only thing standing between the work of the Holy Spirit and us is our will. The Holy Spirit will not empower you to do what you want to do; He will only empower you to do what God wants you to do. Pray for the Spirit's influence, desire it above all else, and continually live a life that glorifies Christ-the Holy Spirit is given to those who obey God (Acts 5:32).

Spiritual maturity is not a prerequisite for the filling of the Spirit. You can be filled when you submit your life to His power. "We are leaky vessels, and have to be kept right under the fountain all the time in order to keep full" (D.L. Moody). Stay under the fountain.

Without a shadow of doubt, the difference between "saying" that we belong to a church and actually living a life empowered by the Holy Spirit, is as different as night and day. The Christian life can be exciting and full of passion when the Holy Spirit reigns in the believer, but boring and dull when He does not. The reason why so many lack peace, joy, and contentment is often because they are not listening to the inner promptings of the Holy Spirit. These promptings confront wrong attitudes, destructive habits, and certain tendencies that damper our spiritual life. The Scriptures make it clear that God's power will not flow until sin is dealt with-obedience empowers!

When I think of the power of the Holy Spirit, I sometimes think of the time when I worked as a heavy equipment operator. On one particular day, I forgot the key. There I sat behind the wheel with all this potential power, but this enormous machine was powerless without the key. In the same way, the Holy Spirit is the key that unlocks and releases spiritual power within our lives. As a matter of fact, many go from relationship to relationship, drug to drug, or religion to religion searching for someone or something to fill a need. As a result, their lives are often filled with depression, anxiety, and fear simply because they fail to embrace the work of the Holy Spirit. I wish that more time could be spent on this topic because I sincerely believe that the power of the Holy Spirit is a wonderful gift from God, don't take it for granted. God wants you to be filled with the Holy Spirit.

This excerpt was taken from What Works for Young Adults-Solid Choices In Unstable Times, © 2007 by El Paseo Publications (www.elpaseopublications.com); Shaneidleman@roadrunner.com.

Distributed by www.worldviewweekend.com

By Shane Idleman

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READER FEEDBACK


Re: Re: Church Growth—10 Surefire ways to grow your church
Posted On: 08/02/07 09:46:54 AM Age 38, CA
Check out the article again; you missed the last half.



Re: Re: Church Growth—10 Surefire ways to grow your church
Posted On: 08/02/07 09:45:38 AM Age 38, CA
You may want to check out the last half of the article; you only saw the first half.

Re: Re: Church Growth—10 Surefire ways to grow your church
Posted On: 08/01/07 12:44:15 PM Age 57, TX
And just imagine...you could be living "Your Best Life Now"



Re: Re: Church Growth—10 Surefire ways to grow your church
Posted On: 08/01/07 08:59:34 AM Age 28, TX
It is clear to the readers that the above commentor really has no sense of the context of Mr. Idleman's article.

Re: Church Growth�10 Surefire ways to grow your church
Posted On: 08/01/07 02:09:16 AM Age 21, AR
Someone behind on their quo??? LOL. Beside the point... Josh McDowell's book "The Last Christian Generation" illustrates a point that needs to be driven home pretty hard in the American church. We are losing our youth! If the trend continues 9/10 of our young people will fall away and not return. We've got our priorities all wrong. We are first called to be priests of our OWN households. Our ministry to others comes in at priority number three at best. 1. Minister to God 2. Minister to Family 3. Minister to Others Let's try turning our attention to retaining the believers we have for a while. Let's keep witnessing and sharing the Gospel with non-believers, but we need a serious priority shift. Check out "Men of Honor, Women of Virtue" by Dr. Chuck Stecker. His book diagnoses the problem and implements a cure quite well. in love, >>zack



Re: Church Growth—10 Surefire ways to grow your church
Posted On: 07/31/07 05:02:49 PM Age 38, CA
I apologize...this should have been added to the article: All too often I hear more about gimmicks than God's Spirit, plans more than prayer, promotions more than repentance; very little is said about the Holy Spirit today. The power of the Holy Spirit is NOT a mystical or personal force; it’s God’s power working in and through us. The power of the Holy Spirit is like dynamite that ignites a hunger for God so intense that every aspect of life is changed—we become bold, not passive; stable, not fanatical; and committed, not wavering. In the early years of American history, during the First Great Awakening, Pastor Jonathan Edwards said that a true work of the Holy Spirit would be evident: it would elevate the truth, exalt Christ, oppose Satan, point people to the Scriptures, and result in love for God and others. Unfortunately, many confuse a Spirit-filled life with sheer emotionalism. Emotions aren’t necessarily a reflection of a changed heart, but a changed heart should be reflected in our emotions. When truth penetrates the heart, excitement and enthusiasm often follow; these emotions can be good and God-given. I’m not suggesting that extreme fanaticism and weird behavior are marks of someone filled with the Spirit—as D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones said: Never interpret Scripture in the light of your experiences, but rather, interpret your experiences in the penetrating light of Scripture. As Christians, we are given the Holy Spirit [the third Person in the Godhead], but what we do with Him is largely up to us—we can quench and grieve Him, thus causing Him to withdraw, or we can truly surrender our life to His influence. (Read I Thessalonians 5:19 and Ephesians 4:30.) Often, the only thing standing between the work of the Holy Spirit and us is our will. The Holy Spirit will not empower you to do what you want to do; He will only empower you to do what God wants you to do. Pray for the Spirit’s influence, desire it above all else, and continually live a life that glorifies Christ—the Holy Spirit is given to those who obey God (Acts 5:32). Spiritual maturity is not a prerequisite for the filling of the Spirit. You can be filled when you submit your life to His power. “We are leaky vessels, and have to be kept right under the fountain all the time in order to keep full” (D.L. Moody). Stay under the fountain. Without a shadow of doubt, the difference between “saying” that we belong to a church and actually living a life empowered by the Holy Spirit, is as different as night and day. The Christian life can be exciting and full of passion when the Holy Spirit reigns in the believer, but boring and dull when He does not. The reason why so many lack peace, joy, and contentment is often because they are not listening to the inner promptings of the Holy Spirit. These promptings confront wrong attitudes, destructive habits, and certain tendencies that damper our spiritual life. The Scriptures make it clear that God’s power will not flow until sin is dealt with—obedience empowers! When I think of the power of the Holy Spirit, I sometimes think of the time when I worked as a heavy equipment operator. On one particular day, I forgot the key. There I sat behind the wheel with all this potential power, but this enormous machine was powerless without the key. In the same way, the Holy Spirit is the key that unlocks and releases spiritual power within our lives. As a matter of fact, many go from relationship to relationship, drug to drug, or religion to religion searching for someone or something to fill a need. As a result, their lives are often filled with depression, anxiety, and fear simply because they fail to embrace the work of the Holy Spirit. I wish that more time could be spent on this topic because I sincerely believe that the power of the Holy Spirit is a wonderful gift from God, don’t take it for granted. God wants you to be filled with the Holy Spirit. This excerpt was taken from What Works for Young Adults—Solid Choices In Unstable Times, © 2007 by El Paseo Publications (www.elpaseopublications.com); Shaneidleman@roadrunner.com.

Re: Church Growth—10 Surefire ways to grow your church
Posted On: 07/31/07 03:57:44 PM Age 54, OK
Is that the whole article? Quoting Acts ten times? It is clear from Scripture that "no man seeketh after God" so, left to ourselves there will be no believers. And equally clear, it is the work of the Spirit that brings people to a regenerate faith, not man's methods or gimmicks. God's work is to be done God's way, through the power of proclaiming the gospel, not through "1001 schemes for all occasions." Filling pews with people is no assurance of genuine conversion.



Re: Church Growth—10 Surefire ways to grow your church
Posted On: 07/31/07 01:20:40 PM Age 58, PA
Simple truths are often times the most profound. Unfortunately, I have witnessed some churches attempting to increase their numbers by wooing Christians from other churches with special programs, creature comforts, and pleasing platitudes, while ignoring the basic purpose of our existence...to win souls for Christ!

Re: Church Growth—10 Surefire ways to grow your church
Posted On: 07/31/07 12:26:04 PM Age 52, OH
All fine and good . . . WHEN taken in the context of the preceding text detailing the actions of the Believers. To quote this verse solely by itself does injustice to God's commands and power of the Holy Spirit, and what we as Beleivers are to be doing. Granted, "we" in and of ourselves cannot change one single heart . . . for it is indeed of the Holy Spirit that hearts are changed. However, to not accept responsibility and accountablity for our daily actions -- OR LACK of actions -- by thinking/saying ONLY God can do it falls short of what the verse is saying. I would not publish this verse in our church newsletter as published here for I know there are those who would actually use it to "explain" the lack of church growth . . .



Re: Re: Church Growth—10 Surefire ways to grow your church
Posted On: 07/31/07 03:24:42 AM Age 53, IA
...long flowing black, scarlet and white cassocks, mitres, pomp and ceremony, a sense of mystery and a magic show...

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