Invited to stay: Acts 28.14

“There we found some brothers and were invited to stay with them seven days. And in this way we came to Rome.”

Acts 28.14

In Roman custody, on his way to appear before the emperor in his defense, Paul and his companions were shown hospitality by brethren in Puteoli.

Hospitality was above all a missionary activity in the first century. Homes of saints were a major factor in church growth. Let them become so again!

#votd #hospitality #Acts #church-growth

October 2016 Issue of Christian Worker (The Need for Strong Churches)

Here’s a link to the latest PDF issue of the Christian Worker.

Here are the topics that you will find:

  • The Need for Strong Churches (Mike Vestal)
  • Strength Through Adversity (Cody Westbrook)
  • Through Fellowship (Kevin Rhodes)
  • Through Worship (Wayne Jones)
  • Through Preaching (Clay Bond)
  • Through Love (Ross Haffner)
  • Through Service (Johnie Scaggs, Jr)

Christian Worker is an edification effort of the Southwest church of Christ in Austin, Texas.

You can subscribe to the email version of the Christian Worker paper by clicking on the publications link on their website and then following the given instructions…or by clicking on the link provided here in The Fellowship Room under the “Friends” category to your right.

Copyright © 2016 Southwest church of Christ, All rights reserved.

#adversity, #christian-fellowship, #christian-love, #christian-service, #christian-worker, #church-assemblies, #church-growth, #preaching, #spiritual-strength, #strong-churches

Hugh's News & Views (Growing A Church . . .)

GROWING A CHURCH GOD’S WAY

“Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self-abasement and the worship of the angels, taking his stand on visions he has seen, inflated without cause by his fleshly mind, and not holding fast to the head, from whom the entire body, being supplied and held together by the joints and ligaments, grows with a growth which is from God” (Colossians 2:18-19, NASB, emphasis mine, hf).

Having been a preacher of the gospel for some sixty years, and having served as a local minister for over forty years (but still busy preaching every week), I believe I have some qualifications to address the subject of church growth. Since I am a preacher, I will write primarily from the preacher’s viewpoint. Thus, what I say could be viewed as my philosophy of preaching and church growth. Continue reading

#church-growth, #hughfulford, #preaching

Growing Churches or Saving Souls?

Church growth is the LORD’S business. “The Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved” (Acts 2:47). Let not man assume control of the Lord’s business. “Church Growth” experts do not know as much as our Lord knows about who should be added to His church.

The church’s role in church growth is to preach the saving gospel to the lost. “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16). There we have Jesus’ own word for that. Since He is the saved’s Savior, He will know who should be a member of His church.

The church must focus on its role in saving the lost. Jesus Christ said, “Go.” The modern “progressive church” says, “Come.” To obey the Lord, the church must—

1. Love the lost. Jesus, our example, loved the sinner Zacchaeus of Jericho and invited Himself over to Zacchaeus’ house to spend the night. He converted Zacchaeus that night. Read about it in Luke 19:1-10.

2. Seek the lost. Jesus said, “The Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Jesus had to leave His heavenly home to come into the world to save the lost. Why would we think we can reach the lost without going into the world? God forbid that we are on a “church growth” mission rather than a “soul-saving” mission.

3. Teach the lost. They may not know they are lost. It is easy to be lost in the woods and not know it. It is as easy to be lost in sin and not know it. As we would show the person lost in the woods the way out, we must show the person lost in sin the way out. Christ is the way. Social services will not do it, friend. Neither will polite pleasantries about nothings do it. The gospel is God’s power to save the lost (Romans 1:16). Let’s be sure it’s the gospel we’re preaching to the lost. – Mack Lyon

Mack Lyon, speaker for the successful television ministry In Search if the Lord’s Way, may be contacted through their website: http://www.searchtv.org/

#church-growth, #evangelism, #preaching-the-gospel, #salvation

Good story to illustrate why it’s important to serve within the church

Here’s a neat story called “A Growing Church” that was passed along to me in an email. The email originated with a brother named Dave Hart, but the illustration itself was marked as “Author Unknown” so I don’t have any other “credit” to pass along for it. Also, the word “bus fare” may be a little “dated” or “out-of-place” depending upon where you live but it can be updated or changed easily to make this a very applicable illustration for any congregation today when it comes to church growth and the importance of serving our brothers and sisters in the church:

An elder called on a member of the church for a social visit. The conversation turned to the work of the church. They talked of the progress that had been made and how the Lord had blessed their efforts through the past years. Yet both agreed that other things were needed.

“It seems to me,” said the member, “That the church is always needing something. Every time we meet, there is a plea for more giving and more workers.”

“You are right, my brother,” replied the elder. “The church is always needing something. I had a little boy who needed something. One week it was shoes, another clothes, then lunch money, bus fare, spending money. I thought he asked too much. He hasn’t asked for anything for years now. He quit needing anything from me. You see, he died one night. And there are times when I would give anything to hear him ask for something just once more. I realized after it was too late, how much happiness I found, even in his begging. Perhaps you have never missed the church. It has always been there when you needed it, and you have taken it for granted. Frankly I confess I did not know how little I did for my son until it was too late.

So it is with the church. As long as the church stands, it will have needs. When it quits needing something, it will be dead. A dead church cannot offer a living hope to a dying world. The church that has no needs fills none.”

#church, #church-growth, #illustration, #ministry, #service

Pray: a new church start?

This just in from our good brother José Antonio in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil (my translation):

My student from the city of Itaberaba, Bahia state, requested we go there and said that he has many people interested in the truth. He also said that he has been a city councilman for a long time and the people there respect him a lot, since he never mixes politics with his religion where he serves as a deacon. I am planning a trip there next week, where we will teach them, and since he asked for the true baptism, with others there, I will try to start a church there also, and plan several trips there to teach them. The distance is almost 300 km, I will leave material there. Pray for this trip also.

#brazil, #church-growth, #evangelism

Church losses article hits nerve, tops list of most popular

This article hit a nerve, apparently, because it’s by far the most popular on my personal website over the past 30 days, and it’s been up only 12 days. “Why the church stops growing” is my take on recent news of church losses. It’s gotten amens and condemnations.

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#church-growth, #evangelism

Who knows what it means to prime a pump?

Prime the pump

A hand pump, like we had on our back porch

Another little poem’s up on the Christian Poets website, “Thought, Deed, and Motive.” I thank John H. for his TFR plug of the last one. No poem was planned for today, but sometimes they just pop out. A statement here, a rhythmic line there, and off goes the mind to register its flow.

• Its’ called priming the pump. Probably nobody under 50 knows what that means, has ever poured the last bit of precious water into a hand pump to draw the cool liquid from the depths of the cistern.

For me, priming the pump is reading broadly, wildly, even. Finding a phrase to match the mood, to strike the match to catch a flame.

Oops, I switched metaphors on you. But what’s a metaphor for, if not to use and drop and swap?

• Let me get on my soapbox for a minute. Unlike churches, religious institutions are often self-perpetuating, with their “development” departments to raise funds and provide a constant stream of income. That’s why they’re especially dangerous, with their tendency to stray from their original purpose and compromise their commitment to truth. I’ve found them to be like presidential candidates: they show lots of promise, but ultimately disappoint. Continue reading

#american-elections, #church-growth, #poetry, #religious-institutions, #republican-party

Rick’s article, “Peas in a barrel”

Rick gave me the go-ahead, so here is his article, “On our way to peas in a barrel?” Our thanks to him for letting us reprint.

#church-bulletin-articles, #church-growth, #church-newsletter

U.S. church numbers decline

Why have churches of Christ declined in numbers? What are solutions to reverse the decline? How to implement the solutions? Don Petty addresses these questions in the study of the decline of the membership of the church of Christ, done in 2006.
In the zip file are three Word documents:
  • Reasons for the Decline
  • Solutions to the Decline
  • Implementing the Solutions

See on his website HERE.

#church-decline, #church-growth, #evangelism, #mission

Where the church can improve

We should kiss more. This and six more points on what I’d like to see more of in the church make up my editorial for Forthright Magazine yesterday. It seems to have been well received. I’d be interested in hearing the Fellows’ reactions to it.

You might want to add to the list, also.

#church-growth, #church-maturity

Law of Moses Brings Law of Grace

This is Don Petty’s email/papers to a select group of saints. I’m throwing him a couple of proposals to either place it here or on a blog. Let’s see which he likes. Am sending this by email to the TFR, by the way. Neat, no? –Randal

UPDATE: Not all text made it into the post. Apparently, WP doesn’t like lines made with dashes. Nor did Don’s bragging photo with great-grandchild. … Have appended the text.

“PLANTING THE ORIGINAL SEED”

July 11, 2010

Striving to plant the word of God as widely
as possible and working to teach the word
as Sound Doctrine to all who will hear

Since 2003 the membership of the church in the US
has experienced a significant decline. That is what
inspires me to compose these papers to the “70.”
Let us study our preaching and teaching methods
for opportunities to improve to save members.

To the 70 & Six,
Well, good to see all of you. We today returned from California, where we have been visiting our (now) 8-day old first great grandchild, Teagan. She is as cute a little one as you might hope to see (having MY genes and all).

Great grand Parents
Sylvia and Don Petty
with Teag in San Diego

During the time I have been away (Yeah, I know. Some of you thought I was in a ‘padded’ cell somewhere, but I wasn’t) I have thought about PtOS and have also gotten some input from you about the format and writing. Thus, with that having been said, I want to ask for your input on a three point survey. Here ’tis…

1. Do you think the articles that have been in the PtOS Online paper are too long?
2. Do you think they are about right?
3. Do you think I should divide the paper into two parts – one with the brief, pointed articles and one with longer, feature-type articles?

All right, depending on your answers I will adjust…or not. If I do not hear word strongly that you want change I will stay with the format; otherwise, I will modify. Or…if it is truly one that indicates I need an overhaul to the paper, I will just pick up my dolls and go home!! I play as well alone, anyway, my momma used to tell me. Ha.

Starting this month of July, PtOS will return to distribution, but instead of a weekly online publication, it will now be a monthly online publication. This is to make possible my writing I have in the queue. Along with my weekly writing for an upcoming website, I will now get back to some writing I have had underway for a good while now. I have missed the grind of early morning/late night writing. I will resume the work I began literally years ago of writing on the following books… Continue reading

#church-growth, #law-of-moses

Ideas to Revive a Church

I missed yesterdays Daily Nudge, but want to say Amen to all of those that responded. I have no ideas, because if I had I would be putting them into practice. Our congregation has dropped from a one time 200 + to an average of 55-60. Some of the highs had to do with some preachers that had charismatic personalities. We do not even have enough young people of any age to have anything but adult Bible classes on Sunday night and Wed. night. On Sunday mornings there will be around ten 18-25 year olds. But the majority of the congregation ranges from mid-forties on up. What I am trying to say is that we are an old peoples congregation. I’mafraid that some day it won’t be but a small handful.

#church-growth, #rvival

The Recent Comment section is showing me…

The Recent Comment section is showing me bad links that go nowhere. Anybody confirm that? I’d hoped somebody back in the WP system had fixed that.

We’re in between meetings of SJCampos and Taubate churches, heading out to the latter in a few minutes. Takes 40 minutes from our house to the hotel conference room where we meet.

Have been talking with the SJCampos about new meeting place to rent. So much bureaucracy to wade through. Laws have become stricter for churches after some Pentecostal buildings caved in. Almost so much so that it’s nigh to impossible to find a good spot.

If the Gospel of Mark was written to Romans, as some suppose, it would be no coincidence that the writer has a Roman centurion exclaim in front of the cross, “Truly this man was the Son of God.” The gospel is for Romans too!

And Mark finds his voice. If he’s the cowardly young man who leaves his clothes in the authorities’ hands and runs, and the man who abandons Paul and Barnabas in mid-journey, he’s probably no dynamic public speaker or synagogue teacher. But he knows how to write a gospel to usher Romans before the cross and have them confess Christ. That’s a good evangelist.

I hope you’ve found your voice on this rainy, stormy Sunday.

#church-growth, #gospel-of-mark, #housekeeping

Church growth

Much church growth literature today is how to make your #church bigger rather than how to spread the #gospel in the world. Big difference.

That’s the little blurb about church growth that I put on Twitter and, through that service, on Facebook that has garnered a number of positive comments. More than I usually get, anyway. When I studied church growth back in 1982-83, it was a missionary enterprise. Today it has turned inward, into a 1-2-3 step-by-step American-flavored recipe to bake a bigger church.

The American church is influenced by its surrounding culture: bigger is better; money solves problems; build it and the people will come; volunteerism never gets the job done, so the more salaried people the more gets accomplished.

There is much to love in the American church, but there are points where she is blind as a bat. And the denominational literature on church growth, today, is one part Tony Robbins, one part Peter Drucker, two parts Roger Ailes.

Whatever happened to Donald McGavran?

#church-growth, #missions