Ephesians 3:21: "THE IDEAL"--perfect conditions for the church:
Jesus Christ is glorified, given all preeminence, placed #1 in our preaching, and
resides in the hearts of the believers.
January 7th, 2001, Sunday Morning
How to Kill a Church Without Trying
A preventive maintenance course
OPENING: Revelation 3:1 and Ephesians 3:21, KJV
- Acts 17:10-11: We call ourselves (our church, specifically)
Berean (Independent Baptist Church of Alamogordo, NM) because
we want the Word of GOD and to search the Bible to see if what our pastor says is true.
- It is GOOD to cross-reference your pastor with the Bible. It's not a sign
of distrust, rather, a desire to search the scriptures--which is what GOD wants (2
- Ephesians 4:11: GOD wants us to have the truth.
Revelation 3:1,20: "THE ACTUAL"--man, whether in his singing
or preaching, is the center stage of attention. In the end of the church age (which
we're in), Jesus Christ is knocking outside the church doors trying to get in.
- We're living "THE ACTUAL" right now, which is to say
we're living in the church age of (spiritually) dead churches/Christians.
- Those who are dead in spirit and use the body, not the soul, to "bring
praise to GOD" (i.e., shouting, laughter, dancing) is animation because it brings
attention and praise to that individual by others and is not directed toward GOD.
This is what our pastor calls "cartoon Christianity."
- What our ministry needs is to be enriched
and enhanced through preaching. Else, the
church will die.
SIX THINGS THAT YOU CAN DO TO KILL A CHURCH WITHOUT TRYING
- #1/6: Delinquency in attendance to church services can kill a church
- It is very difficult to get consistent church-goers--especially young, single
- Demands: too many other worldly issues take priority--they grow in number
or in priority (like sleep).
- Only one hour of preaching and we're all worn out! Paul, in the New Testament,
would preach all night and then the next morning proceed on a missionary trip!
- ASIDE: Interesting how one hour of preaching wears us out and an entire
day of the Superbowl--from hours of pre-game info to game to post-game playbacks--keep
people on their edge of their seat from sun-up to sun-down?
- Hebrews 10:24-25: Not attending church is inconsiderate to
the church family and pastor. The pastor, even when you don't think or see it in him,
is ever encouraged to see more and more people attending.
- Consider the number of hours: of study by the pastor, of singing practice by
the choir, by preparation to witness to a lost friend...
- You're only one person ... but so is everyone.
- Hebrews 10:25: We should always be
exhorting each other in studying the Bible and
attending church ... and we should be sense the need to do so more and more as we see
increased wickedness and sickness approaching.
- The LORD knows we need food, sleep, and recreation. He wants us to have this.
But the delinquency comes when you acquire so much of any of these that it crowds church and
because of human nature, the flesh will win and church becomes an inconvenience because it
is against the flesh.
- Delinquency = failure of duty = "I don't feel like going to church." Unless
providentially hindered (i.e., GOD keeps you from attending). GOD understands if you have
work, a longsuffering job, sickness, etc...
- #2/6: Being indifferent to church programs can kill a church
- EXAMPLE: When you sign up with a firm or business, that business wants
you to be concerned with its success.
- Some people don't care about the rules--they have neither a hot/cold attitude.
- They're not for or against soulwinning, visitation, preaching, the building
program ... but Jesus says if you're not for Him, you're against Him
- "You don't need a baby to be concerned about the church nursery."
- #3/6: Being insensitive to the church needs can kill a church
- Stop and consider what your church would be like if every church member was just
- Many don't wish the responsibility that comes with being called "sir" or "mister."
A church member may wish to be called by their first name but it shouldn't be that way.
- When the pastor says "the church needs cleaning this weekend," it usually
enters the ears but not the heart. This also applies to soulwinning, singing, and giving.
- But when it comes to our personal needs, we are very sensitive!
It's a double-standard ... not a reciprocal relationship.
- If church financial needs are lacking, the church dies. No one member's finances
can keep a church afloat but together we can.
- #4/6: Being indignant--not being concerned for--other church members can kill
- If any church members are not present, we should all be concerned as to why.
- A concerned pastor doesn't call/visit to bother you or preach to you; he's
concerned for your well-being. That's called old fashioned love.
- Ephesians 4:32: You're not just church members at church--you're
a family. Care, love, and forgive one another.
- Galatians 5:13: And not only care for each other, but help each
- Galatians 5:15: For if you do not respect one another, you will
"reap what you sew."
- Because we are so blessed as Americans, we've forgotten GOD and as such, have
become a greedy, selfish, self-centered people.
- #5/6: Being inconsistent with church standards can kill a church
- Deuteronomy 22:5: Always wear clothing and your hair to tell
what sex you are. If your pastor walked down the street wearing a flowing blue dress and
an earring, what impression would that make? Not a one that reflects GOD's commandment, here.
- Revelation 3:1: To say things but not do them ... to not
walk the talk ... to preach and not pray ... to love some but not all.
- #6/6: Not following the church's standard for leadership/followership can kill
Your entire church can be judged upon just one member's actions
Be one who sustains the church through consistent prayer, soulwinning,
and dedicated Bible reading.
Hebrews 10:25: If you could get all you need from personal Bible
study time, the church would not be needed. However, we conclude this is not true because
GOD told us to go to church.