March 31st, 2011
GROW “We Grow” Believers Statesboro 04-03-11
As “You Grow”, mature and become healthy in the Lord, “We Grow”. We, as a church, grow together as the Body of Christ. The Church is not an organization, but rather a living organism. All living organisms grow naturally. They don’t grow when they are diseased, sick, or unhealthy. They grow when they are healthy. Healthy plants grow, healthy children grow, and if a church is healthy, it will naturally grow.
Growth Comes from God.
1 Corinthians 3:6 “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow.” (NIV)
Col 2:19 “He has lost connection with the Head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow.” (NIV)
Since May 6, 2001, we have been growing. The fact that we are still growing is an indication that we have maintained a certain amount of health. Our challenge is to maintain a healthy church environment as we continue to grow. Sometimes, you may find yourself saying, “It’s getting crowded in here!” Well, Jesus had the same problems to deal with, because…
You Can Expect the Gospel (The Good News) To Draw a Crowd.
Jesus’ ministry attracted enormous crowds! Matt 4:25 “Great multitudes followed Him– from Galilee, and from Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and beyond the Jordan.”
- Mark 12:37 “The large crowd listened to him with delight.” (NIV)
- Luke 8:41-42 “Then a man named Jairus, a ruler of the synagogue, came and fell at Jesus’ feet, pleading with him to come to his house because his only daughter, a girl of about twelve, was dying. As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him.”
- Matt 14:21 “Now those who had eaten were about five thousand men, besides women and children.”
- Jesus’ Numerical Goal John 3:14-17 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. (NIV) The world – 6.91 billion
- John 12:32-33 But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself. He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die. (NIV) All men!
General principle: Where two or three are gathered in My name I am with them. I will show up! Matt 18:19-20 "Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them."(NIV)
NEXT STEP: This week, besides Sunday morning, I will meet with others on official Jesus business
Jesus Expects Growth.
- The fruit of a believer is another believer. John 15:2, 5 “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.” “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.”
· Matt 28:19-20 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations.” OF ALL NATIONS!
· The Lord Desires for His House to be Full! Luke 14:15-24
· Lost People Matter To God. Luke 15; John 3:16-18
· Jesus Came To Seek and Save The Lost. Luke 19:1-10
As long as there are lost people, the church still has room to grow.
A church that has no interest at all in increasing its number of converts is, in essence, saying to the rest of the world, “You all can go to hell.” Rick Warren
You Can’t Stop What Jesus is Building!
You can’t stop growth. You can’t stop the church that Jesus is building.
- Matt 16:18 “And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” (NIV)
- 1 Corinthians 3 If anyone destroys God’s temple (the church), God will destroy him; for
God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple.
Jesus is Constantly Adding to His Church.
- Acts 2:42-47 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.
- Acts 2:41 (3000 in one day!) “Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.”
- Acts 4:4 “However, many of those who heard the word believed; and the number of the men came to be about five thousand.”
- Even with 8,000 plus members: Acts 5:12-16 And believers were increasingly added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women, Theologians believe the church in Jerusalem grew to 100,000, half of the city population.
Expanding Our Grow Capacity
Luke 5:4-7 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, "Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch." Simon answered, "Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets." When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink. (NIV)
There were plenty of fish in the sea. The problem was breaking nets and sinking boats.
The problem was the lack of capacity. Even though God causes growth, we have a part to play as well. We must increase our capacity to grow!
How did the New Testament Church increase their capacity so that the Lord could add to the church daily? Acts 2:42-43 “They devoted themselves to:”
- The apostles’ doctrine. Stay true to the Word of God. DISCIPLESHIP
- Fellowship with one another and the breaking of bread in the church and in homes. (Hebrews 10:23-25) Church attendance and life groups.
Support the testimony of our church by attending faithfully. FELLOWSHIP
- Prayer – Share the responsibility of my church by praying for its growth. WORSHIP
NEXT STEP: This week commit to pray, once a day, for the growth of Believers Church.
- Verse 43 “Many wonders and signs were done through the apostles.” MINISTRY
- Jesus’ name was being lifted up! No man was taking the glory for what Jesus had done on the cross, was doing among them presently, or what He would do in the future. EVANGELISM
March 31st, 2011
Hey Life Group Leaders (Past and Present)
Believe it or not it’s time to get ourselves prepared for Life Groups in the Summer Session 2010.
Spring Break is May 1st – May 15, 2011.
Summer Life Groups begin May 16 and end on July 31st, 2011. That is an 11 week window to work in and there will be some blackout dates for Summer Explosion 2011 (Family VBS).
Hey, I would love for your Life Group to be in our Newsletter! Send me your complete information by Monday, April 11, 2011. That’s only a week or so away.
If you have anyone in your Life Group that needs to be a LIFE GROUP LEADER, encourage them to come to Life Group Orientation, also on Monday Night, April 11, 2011, at 06:30 p.m.
Summer Life Groups will actually help us grow, even during the vacation season. Let me share with you some encouraging and enlightening words from Nelson Searcy, the Pastor of Journey Church in New York City.
Summer means many things. We get longer days, luminous weather, leisurely vacations…and lasting church growth. Okay, maybe that last one seems a little out of place. As church leaders, we all know that summer is the worst time of the year for church growth, right? When the temperature rises, we stare down a slump that’s as inevitable as a breaking wave. We’ve been taught by those who have gone before us that summer is a time to strap in and make the best of what we’ve got, while we look forward to the tide’s turning in the fall… But what if that thinking is all wrong? What if it is actually possible to grow our churches through the summer?
Since its launch in 2002, The Journey Church in New York City has seen growth each and every summer. How? By discovering what it takes to use the tricky months of June, July and August to our advantage. If you know how to maximize summertime, you can continue to be effective throughout the season and set yourself up for a huge growth spurt in the fall. The key is to keep your attendance consistent when your regulars head out for their vacations by using the summer to reach new attenders. While you may not see actual numerical increase over the summer, you will see consistency and you will set yourself up for a strong start when school is back in session. So, the onset of warmer weather means that you have a decision to make.
You have two options before you as you pack away those jackets and sweats: You can either choose to plant in the summer or beg in the fall. We recommend planting, planting and planting some more. Plant the seeds of the gospel in the summer sun by making an intentional decision to be creative and invite people to belong in your Life Groups.
Summer is one of the best times of the year to reach out to the community around you. The weather and the relaxed mindset open doors that stay closed during other months – literally. Everyone is out and about. Your potential attenders are throwing Frisbees in the park, making small talk at baseball games and mingling on the closest beach. You have unprecedented opportunities to make connections with people you may never see in another season. So plan some creative outreach. The possibilities are endless.
In the summer, people are much more open to doing something that doesn’t fit with their normal routine. They are more willing to attend an event that sounds like fun, even if they may not know anyone there. So expect increase in your Life Groups.
As far as planting seeds in the summer, I would love to see some Outreach oriented Life Groups this summer. I am praying that someone will do a Servant Evangelism Life Group that will do at least one random act of kindness each week.
Summer is also a time for family oriented Life Groups. “Days in the Park”, just grab the kids and show up at the playground. “Splash Group”, what could be better than a Life Group at Splash in the Boro?
“Frisbee Groups, Softball Groups, the summer fun opportunities to group together are unlimited!
March 29th, 2011
The Excitement is Growing!
Join us for a great experience of sharing the love of Jesus with others. You and your family will want to be a part of this event!
During One Hour on Wednesday on March 30th, Pastor Mike will be sharing how outreach events make a difference in our community
as well as reviewing the scheduled ministry opportunities during Servolution 2011.
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Friday, April 1st: Meet in the parking lot of the downtown Sea
Island Bank @ 5 pm for the Believers “First Friday” events.
¨ Water/Candy Distribution
¨ Face Painting
¨ Kids Games
Saturday, April 2nd: Meet at Believers @ 8:30 am for team
prayer before leaving for ministry locations. Meet back at
Believers after the events for lunch and a time of sharing
¨ Food Distribution through the local Food Bank
¨ Car Wash
¨ Water/Coke Distribution
¨ Grounds Clean up @ Believers Church
March 24th, 2011
The life in Christ is all about “Growing”. When we receive Christ Jesus, the Bible refers to us as being “born again”. We get a fresh new start, babies drinking the pure milk of the Word. That’s ok for a while, but then we are exhorted to grow up and mature so that we can eat solid food.
All through Scripture, we see that we are not only to grow up, but we are to grow to be like Christ Jesus.
So, I need to grow, and you need to grow. But, how do we grow?
We will discover the answers to that important question in an exciting three week sermon series called “Grow”. This week in “You Grow” we will realize that maturity in God is more than head knowledge. It also involves using what we have learned to serve others.
Next week in “We Grow” you will understand how using your gifts and talents will cause the church to grow. And as a result of growing people and a growing church you will expect that “They Grow”. Our friends and family will begin the wonderful journey of growing in Christ Jesus as well.
GROW “You Grow” Believers Statesboro 03-27-11
Eph 4:11-16 … Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. (NIV)
Growing Requires Work!
“By every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.”
· WORK at loving God. How? Work at regular church attendance, reading the Bible and prayer.
· WORK at loving others. This is equally important! Serving – GROWTH Be others oriented.
Growth Comes Through Diet and Exercise.
Growth comes from feeding on the Word of God and growing in your knowledge of God, having a healthy diet. But, growth also comes by stretching and exercising your muscles, applying what you have learned. That’s one of the reasons we have two services here at Believers Church so that you can “Attend One and Serve One”. You can attend a service and be feed a healthy diet. Then, you can exercise as you serve others in the other service.
Christians are called to minister to or serve ‘other people’ so that we can experience abundant life.
I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. Jn 10:10 (NKJ)
After Jesus demonstrated how to use a servant’s towel by washing the disciple’s feet, He said in John 12-17 “Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.” (NIV)
If you do what? If you do acts of service, acts of kindness. If you serve others, you will be blessed.
What Is Required of Believers Church Members?
One Requirement: Serve in ministry, Discover your gifts and talents, Be equipped, and Develop a
servant’s heart. (1 Peter 4:10, Eph. 4:11-12, Phil. 2:3-7)
1 Pet 4:10 Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. (NIV)
WHY? The reason we require this of our members, and encourage attendees to serve as well, is because we know this is the key to a fulfilled abundant life. It is the only way that we are going to grow up!
Serving is Our Created Purpose.
Eph 2:10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (NIV)
NEXT STEP – Sign up to participate in SERVOLUTION 2011 on April 1st and 2nd.
Do you remember the fear, the anxiety, the uncertainty, and the apprehension the first time you jumped off of a diving board? Now, it’s one thing to accept this truth about who you are created to be. It’s quite another thing to actually step out to the end of the diving board and jump in.
It’s one thing to accept the fact that God has called you to serve. It’s quite another thing to step out with your knees knocking and your stomach turning and actually take the leap to jump in.
Concerns about Jumping
Now, when you do jump in, when you take that leap, there are several things you have to be concerned about.
How are you going to jump?
Where are you going to jump?
Your Gift Mix
For many of you, the area you might be passionate about is something you would expect based on your background, skills and natural gifting. For others of you, it might be something you wouldn’t expect at all. God could call you to do something totally out of your gift mix. Sometimes, the area you’re passionate about is something you would expect. Sometimes, it’s something you wouldn’t. You’ll never know, or should I say grow, until you begin to serve.
At Believers, we offer you First Serve, short-term serving opportunities offered at a variety of times and tapping into a wide range of skills and areas of interest. Take a ministry on a “test drive”. Come check it out and see if you like it. No strings attached.
Serve in one of our ministries for 30 days or 4 meeting periods to see if it’s your “fit”. After that, you may volunteer to continue to serve or FIRST SERVE in another ministry of your choice. Every ministry has a different rotation schedule; therefore, a scheduled serving time can be worked out with the ministry leader.
Four Important Questions
After each serving opportunity, we encourage volunteers to engage in a process of self-assessment by asking themselves a series of questions.
- Did the work feel meaningful?
· The answer is purely subjective, but vitally important.
- Was your emotional energy higher or lower after you served?
· Were you energized or drained.
· Serving can be exhausting physically, but still deeply satisfying.
- Do you really enjoy serving with the people you served with?
· Is there a comfortable relational dynamic on the serving team?
· For some people, the relational component is more important than any other factor.
- Looking honestly at your schedule, does this serving opportunity fit your timeframe for ministry opportunities?
· No matter how much you might enjoy a given opportunity, if it doesn’t fit realistically into your schedule, you’ll never be able to engage in it consistently.
Some of you will experiment with First Serve and immediately discover the perfect ministry fit.
Others may find that one dimension of a serving opportunity feels great while another part doesn’t.
So, they use what they learned – both negative and positive – to inform their next experiment.
If a person has to experiment with ten First Serve opportunities before they discover a “fit” that motivates them to make a longer commitment, we think that will be well worth the effort and have lasting Kingdom value. Just continue to serve and experiment until you get it right.
As a result of serving… You Grow!
NEXT STEP – Sign up to FIRST SERVE in one of the ministry opportunities listed on the First Serve Handout.
March 23rd, 2011
March 23rd, 2011
Would you like to learn more about the Biblical Expectations of a Christian Marriage? Then join us tonight for “One Hour on Wednesday” at 7p.m. Pastor Scott will continue our study in 1 Corinthians. Tonight, Chapter 7! Hope to see you and your family here!
Children’s Ministries: Available during service for infants through 5th grade.
Merge: Our middle school ministry meets @ 7 p.m.
March 17th, 2011
Join us this Sunday, 3-20-11, at 9 or 11 a.m. at Believers Church for Deal or No Deal Wk 3
“Are You Ready to Risk It?”
This will be a special Sunday, which will also include baptisms.
If you would like to be baptized, contact the church office as soon as possible!
Also, this is the day of THE ONE WEEKEND, ONE TIME, EVERYONE TITHE CHALLENGE!
What if one church, on one given day, would all be obedient and see the flood gates of heaven opened.
What will God do if one church, one time, all honored God one time? Let’s find out!
Deal Or No Deal Are You Ready to Risk It? Believers Statesboro 3-20-11
Some of the contestants on Deal or No Deal are offered deals by the banker that is more than many will ever have at one time. They have been given plenty. They are blessed, but they want to be more blessed so they are ready to risk it.
Who would say that God has blessed them? Who would say that they would like to be even more blessed? (Jesus’ words) It is more blessed to give than to receive. Acts 20:35
People think that, in order to be more blessed, you must get more. But, the secret to being more blessed, to experiencing the Blessed Life, is to give more.
2 Cor 9:6-8; 11
6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. (farmer; a few seeds…a small harvest).
7 Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. What happens to you when you are generous?
8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. (NIV)
11 You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. (NIV)
1) THE BAG: NOT ENOUGH
Hag 1:6 …You eat, but do not have enough; You drink, but you are not filled with drink; You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm; And he who earns wages, earns wages to put into a bag with holes. NKJV
· Judas had a bag mindset. Mark 14:3-4, 10
· People do the same thing today. The Bible says the tithe belongs go God. It is returning to God the 10%. People don’t do that today because they are more concerned with what’s in the bag than they are with obeying and honoring God. I would love to give, but the bag has holes in it. I would love to give, but things are tight, the economy is bad. I would love to give, but I’m still paying for Christmas. We would love to give, but we can’t because we have college coming up for the kids.
2) THE BASKET: MORE THAN ENOUGH
Deut 28:4-6 The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock… Your basket and your kneading trough will be blessed. You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out.
· Jesus gave an interesting teaching on the basket one time in Luke 6:38 Give, and it will be given to you. (Proverbs 11:24-25 One man gives freely, yet gains even more) A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you
use, it will be measured to you." (NIV)
· A little boy with a Basket Mindset. He had a lunch basket.
John 6:9 "Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?" (NIV)
Proverbs 11:24 One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.(NIV)
3) THE BARN: INFINITELY MORE THAN ENOUGH.
Deut 28:8 The Lord will send a blessing on your barns and on everything you put your hand to…
· Joseph was faithful with the bag, and God gave him the barn.
· Not only was the nation of Egypt delivered from famines, but his family, the nation of Israel, was as well.
· When you are faithful in a similar way, God will use you to bless many because your barns will be overflowing.
HOW MUCH CAN GOD BLESS YOU?
· Are you going to be a bag person who never has enough?
· Are you going to be a basket person, a funnel who is blessing others out of your overflow?
· Are you going to be a person of such great faith that you say, “You know what, this stuff isn’t for me. I will give generously and will have a barn mindset.”
Luke 16:10-11 Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. 11 So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? Proverbs 3:9-10 Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops; 10 then your barns will be filled to overflowing…
God wants you to know how much He can bless you.
Proverbs 3:9-10 shows how God is actually watching us and testing us.
9 Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops; (That’s the first 10%. We return to God the first 10%, the tithe belongs to God.)
10 then your barns will be filled to overflowing…
The beauty of the tithe is that it teaches us to trust God.
It teaches us that God can do more with the 90% that is blessed than 100% that is not blessed. A common problem in America is that we have barn blessings with bag mindsets.
NEXT STEP: Pray and ask God if you have barn blessings but a bag mindset.
I believe that God wants to bless your life, but the key to a blessed life is a heart of generosity.
It is more blessed to give than it is to receive.
NEXT STEP: Today, I will take:
THE ONE WEEKEND, ONE TIME, EVERYONE TITHE CHALLENGE
March 16th, 2011
This is it! This weekend at Believers Church, Sunday March 20, 2011!
THE ONE WEEKEND, ONE TIME, EVERYONE TITHE CHALLENGE
One time, one weekend, every man and every woman tithes. Take your yearly income divided by 52 and determine that this one time I’m going to tithe 10%.
I don’t believe that this has ever been done in any church in America on any given day, a 100% tithe day!
I’m not interested in the amount of money that will come in on this one weekend. It’s got nothing to do with that. I’m looking at it from the obedience factor. What if one church, on one given Sunday, all at one time, obeyed God? Jesus said, “Seek first the Kingdom of God and He will provide.” So what if we all put God first and gave Him our first and best? What would happen then? God said He would open the flood gates of heaven and pour out such a blessing that we will not be able to contain it!
What if one church, on one given day, would all be obedient and see the flood gates of heaven opened? What would God do if one church, one time, all honored Him at the same time?
It would be like an M and M factory! M and M’s would be falling from the sky!
God is trustworthy. God can be trusted. He said put me to the test! Test my integrity and see if I will not keep my word and bless you in ways that money cannot buy.
Pray about it and take the challenge this Sunday!
THE ONE WEEKEND, ONE TIME, EVERYONE TITHE CHALLENGE