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Archive for the ‘revival’ Category

What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? – Luke 5:4 (NKJV)

Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it?. . .  – Luke 5:8 (NKJV)

“And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours.  It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.’” – Luke 15:31-32 (NKJV)

It’s hard getting people back into church.  It is certainly no easy work. 

You can lose things along the way.  You can lose focus.  You can even lose some degree of faith.  Unfortunately, you can also lose people.
There is a way to get some people back into church.  You can get them back with some effort. 

Recover those who you lostGet men back into church.  Keep youth engaged in service and Sunday school.  Turn those hangers-on into holly rollers.

If you fail to make the effort, you can hardly expect them to return.  Make the effort.  Get people back into church.

 
Here are some simple starting points for getting them back into church:
  • Develop a Hit List:
    • Identify those who signed up and have never shown up
    • Identify those who no longer show up
    • Identify those who show up every now and then
  • Make Contact
    • E-mail the group with an appeal to return to church
    • Phone those who no longer show up or who show up every now and then
    • Schedule a home visit for those who signed up and never showed up
  • Measure Your Progress
    • Measure your contacts
      • Who
      • When
      • What resulted from the contact. . . message, conversation, etc.
    • Make connections
      • See who shows up (measure over a month or two)
      • Follow up with those who said they would but never did
Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence
of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.
– Luke 15:10 (NKJV)

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Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? – 1 Corinthians 3:16 (NIV)

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; – 1 Corinthians 6:19 (NIV)

In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord.  And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit. – Ephesians 2:21-22 (NIV)

You ought to know who you are in Christ Jesus.  The Word should give you an indication of who you are as His chosen and elect people.  He offers us so much as Christians that we should be immersed in knowledge of what He has prepared for us, not intimidated by what others think we are or how we should act.

The Bible provides us with the visible temple in the Old Testament.  Even throughout the Gospels and Acts, we see the temple as a meeting place where the people of God still came together and united in worship and prayer.  However, we learn that the temple is just a shadow of what and who we are in Christ Jesus. The temple provides imagery of what all should occur within and among us as believers.  We get a glimpse at what the Lord intends for us when we study of the ark, the tent of meeting and the holy of holies.

Jesus offers us a new identity.  He gives us new life as well as eternal life.  He shares with us through the Holy Spirit of God.  We have been bestowed the gift of God through grace and by faith.  We did not work for it.  He gave us this precious gift so that we may live just as He intended for us to live; in Him, for Him, and with Him.

We are Christ’s body.  We are His holy house.  We are His church.  We are bound together by His saving grace and covered by His shed blood for our salvation.  We are who we are because of the sacrifice of the suffering Lord and Savior of the world, Jesus Christ.

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5For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. 8For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins. 10Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, 11and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
2 Peter 1:5-11 (NIV)
Peter: Apostle for the Whole Church (Personalities of the New Testament)

I had to take a much-needed break.  I needed the time off.  I was going in all sorts of directions at a perilous pace.  At some point, I had to realize that I needed to regroup in order to continue effectively and ensure that my work contributed to the kingdom of God.  I was drifting into doing more than being.

Have you ever been there? I mean the lonely space where you are knowing what’s the truth, speaking the truth and doing the truth, but not necessarily having the truth as your mainstay.  It is a place where what you have been upholding has to become what holds you up after everything is said and done.

I was there.  God captured my attention.  He had me arrive at a simple resolution. 

… be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure… 1 Peter 1:10 (NIV)

Make a turnaround at this turning point.

Did God provide me with this audible announcement? No, I should dare not say so.  He helped me come to the realization that the statement summarizes all that He has placed before me and on my heart.  Even as I preached this past week on Peter’s confession of the Lord as the Christ, the son of the living God, and shared a simple Bible lesson on thankfulness, I reckoned with the fact that God called me to do more than simply preach and teach among those who already believe.

I will continue to blog.  Starting Monday, November 29th, I will continue with the series From Eden to Egypt.  I return to the blogosphere renewed and revived.  The Lord has recharged me, energizing me to forge ahead in faith with even greater fire burning within me.

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