Bulletin / Prayer List 2-3-19

Prayer List
Charles Counts is home, having gout and a rash. He will see his Cardiologist next week to see if ablation is needed.
Ruby Slone is receiving shots for back pain - 1 more to go.
Florene Griffin had surgery Jan. 30. Will have about 4 months of rehab.
Monty Randallph is taking radiation and chemo treatments.
Angel Johnson’s surgery is scheduled for Feb. 20.
Cathy Painter (Wolfe City) will get a kidney transplant Feb 7.
Robert Courtney is home; he has been diagnosed with lung,liver and brain cancer. He is waiting on results of biopsy to determine course of action.
Kathy Hill had a port installed and is taking chemo treatments.
Robert Fields had a stroke and was fired from his job.

Don Hickerson, Don and Dannie Baker, James, Florene and Tabitha Griffin, Billie Phillips, Billie Bradford, Leona Brown, Betty Clark, Les Hamel, Gary Hickerson, Dorothy Hodges, Bobbi King, and Beryl Miller.

Serving in the military: Cody Blomstedt, Tyler Davies, Josh Van Duren, Kirklynn Hance and Kirk Johnson. All are in the U.S. at this time.

Men’s Business Meeting will be held next week Feb 10 after evening Worship. All men are invited and encouraged to attend.

    Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
    James 5:16 (KJV)

Pantry Item: canned corn or any other non-perishable item

Men Serving Next Week February 10, 2019
Morning Prayers Robert Embry, Walter McMillen
Evening Prayers Kerry King, Jerry Harris
Scripture Don Harrington

What About Church Growth?

Almost every religious journal carries an article about church growth. Seminars are conducted about it. Experts on church growth have become as numerous as fleas on a dog. There are many misconceptions about church growth as well as mistakes as to what real growth is. Many err in regard to what it takes for a congregation to grow.

The Amount Of Contribution
The general consensus seems to be that if the contribution is above average or exceeding the budget, it is an indication of church growth. While it is true that if a church is to grow properly each member must give liberally and cheerfully -

2 Corinthians 8:2-KJV
How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality.

2 Corinthians 9:7-KJV
Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

a big contribution is not the determining factor in church growth. Some “big givers” in the church are such because the preacher doesn’t “step on their toes”. Should he begin to “crack down” on their sins, they cut down on their contribution. A church is not growing much if an above average contribution depends on sanctioning sin.

The Incorrect Assessment Of Numbers
Another false measurement of church growth is an incorrect assessment of numbers. A mere shift of members from one place to another is no growth at all. The Lord’s instruction is “Go make disciples”

Matthew 28:19– ESV
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
rather than “compete for what you already have”. New carpet, air conditioning, comfortable pews, or size and beauty of a building do not determine growth. Millions of dollars have been spent on the concept that such are indications of church growth.

Indications Of Real Growth
What then are indications of real growth? Let’s ask ourselves, how God conscious are the members? Do they put Him first in their lives?

Matthew 6:33-KJV
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Are they seeking to present His image in daily conduct?

2 Corinthians 3:18-KJV
But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

James 1:23-KJV
For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:

How do the members treat one another? Do they “rejoice with them that do rejoice and weep with them that weep”?

Romans 12:15-KJV
Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.

What about indications of concern for the needy?
James 2:14-18-KJV
14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?
15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,
16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?
17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

1 John 3:17-18-KJV
17 But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?
18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.

Is there an earnest desire that the lost hear the gospel? If members are faithful in true evangelism and real benevolence as they should be, church growth will take care of itself, all the church growth seminars being conducted not withstanding.

Most members say they want the church to grow. But church growth is a lot like the weather – everybody talks about it, but no one does much about it. Ask yourself, how long has it been since I invited a non-Christian to attend a service and hear the gospel preached? It might be surprising how many people in your city or community have never been personally invited to attend the services of the Lord’s church. What are you (and I) doing to help the church grow?

Trivia Question
What much-loved and much-quoted prophet was active in the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, and according to tradition, was executed by Manasseh?
Answer and scripture reference next week.