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THE 2006 STATE OF THE CHURCH ADDRESS
Intro: The following statistics are adapted from a web log entitled: The Condition of the Church in America.” They were compiled by Andy McAdams. 
1. 1,400 pastors in
2. Only 15% of churches in the
3. 10,000 churches in
4. Only 45% of the
5. The number of people in
No more than 38% of the population attends church at all and that’s
in the Bible belt. The next
highest is the
7. Though the Bible Belt still boasts the highest percentage of church attendees, many of those churches are filled with legalism or extreme liberalism.
8. The vast majority of churches have an attendance of less than 75.
9. There are almost 100 million unchurched Americans, 11-20% of them claim to be born-again. They have either left the church or never connected for some reason.
10. The median adult attendance per church service in 1999 was 90 people, which is slightly below the 1998 average of 95 adult attendees and in 1997 it was 102. There seems to be a slight gradual decline.
11. Only 1/5 of the adult population attends Sunday school or some sort of Christian training.
12. Only 65% of Americans donate to a place of worship. Of Evangelicals, however, 85% donate to their church, yet only 9% tithe.
13. 20-25% read their Bible consistently, 59% attend church weekly, 16% listen to Christian radio, 7% watch Christian TV, and 11% are held accountable to someone.
14. Only 60% of Christians say they are deeply committed to their faith, yet 85% of evangelicals make this claim.
15. One in four have a place in the church where they serve.
16. Less then 50% say that the Bible is totally accurate, yet 60% of those that claim to be born-again.
17. Just 1/3 of church attendees believe that they have a personal responsibility to share their faith with others.
18. 56% of the population believes that salvation can be earned and shockingly, 26% are among evangelical churches.
19. Giving to charities increased in the past decade yet giving to local churches is declining.
20. Out of 100,000 churches in
21. 1 out of 4 church attendees are considered church hoppers.
We may wonder what this has to do with Calvary Baptist today. After all, we are not the early church. Yet, these verses do have some application to us today. I have read this as my text because this passage shows us what a church should be and can be if it is totally sold out and dedicated to the Lord.
I would take a text and move through it verses by verse. Today I want to do
things just a little differently. If you
will allow me, I want to spend a little time talking to you about the state of
year, at the end of January, the President of the
I. THE EXPERIENCES OF THE PAST YEAR
A. We Have Experienced Grace We have seen the Lord save some souls this year. Not as many as we would have liked, but praise God for every soul that has been truly converted over the past year.
B. We Have Experienced Growth This past year saw our church grow. New members have been added. Both Sunday School and worship service attendance are up. We called a Youth Pastor and started a new children and youth ministry. We undertook and completed an extensive renovation of the third floor of our educational building. Now, there are classes meeting us there for the first time in decades. We started two new Sunday School classes. It has been a year of growth.
C. We Have Experienced Glory God has moved in our presence more than once this past year. We have enjoyed the precious ministry of His presence and Spirit time and time again. There have been seasons of prayer; praise and worship that refreshed and blessed us.
D. We Have Experienced Giving This past year saw unprecedented financial contributions to this church. Money is not the main thing here, but there must be money coming in if missions are to be supported, salaries paid and obligations met. You folks have been faithful to give to the needs of the church. We have also taken up and given thousands of dollars in love offerings to those in need. It has been a good year financially.
E. We Have Experienced Grief Sadly, not all of the events of this past year were positive. Some of our number have been called off to Heaven during the past twelve months. Others have experienced problems with sickness and suffering, heartache and sorrow.
I. The Experiences Of The Past Year
II. THE ESSENTIALS OF THE PRESENT YEAR
We Need More Compassion Among
The Saints v. 44-45 I
touched on this thought this morning, but one of the things lacking in our
society is love in action. We talk about
caring one for another, our talk needs to be given feet, hands and heart,
We Need More Concern For The
Sinner v. 47 Again, I mentioned this earlier today, but
there is a lost world around us. Many
folks in this church have family members that are lost. We need a burden for them and a desire to
reach them for the glory of the Lord. (
We Need More Conviction In The
Sanctuary I realize that conviction is the work of God and that we
cannot produce it. But, we can hinder
His ability to work in this place. We
can create an atmosphere in which the Lord will have a hard time moving. Or, we can work to ensure that
1. Atmosphere v. 41-42 This place is to be a place of worship! Nothing wrong with talking before the service, but when that music begins, it is time to be in your seat setting your heart on the things of God.
Parents can help by keeping the small children quiet and by taking them out when they get loud. By the way, don’t keep them out! Settle them down and bring them back. If you take them to the nursery to play you are teaching them to act up so they can have fun.
Everyone can help by limiting your movements, your bathroom visits and things of that nature; especially during the invitation.
2. Attitude v. 42-43 If we can condition ourselves to come to the house of God anticipating God to do something special, we are more likely to see Him do something special. Come praying; come worshiping; come excited and watch the Lord move. After all, you get out of it about all you really want out of it!
3. Action v. 42 & 46 Come to the house of God determined to be obedient to the Holy Spirit. One of the problems in the modern church is that the altars have been forsaken; praise has been neglected and worship has been relegated to the ash heap of the past. Obedience to the voice of the Holy Ghost would create an atmosphere in which it is more likely that God will move, 1 Thes. 5:16-20.
4. Attendance v. 46 Just being in your place and being ready to worship the Lord is an encouragement to everyone else. Attendance at church is not an option, Heb. 10:25. Habitual absence is a vote to close the doors!
Doing these things will not make the church perfect, but it will help us to develop a church in which God can move more easily and in more power.
D. We Need More Confession Of Sin v. 42 Like David, Gods people need to keep short accounts with God. We need to be very familiar with the path to the altar. There is a great need for the people of God to get honest with Him about the condition of their hearts and their need for forgiveness. There just aren’t enough sinners around today!
We Need More Commitment To
Service v. 42 & 46
Let me encourage each one that is working to keep working. I appreciate your efforts and I challenge you to keep on keeping on for Jesus, Gal. 6:9. Let me encourage each one who needs to get busy, take up the burden and get to work for the glory of the Lord.
I. The Experiences Of The Past Year
II. The Essentials Of The Present Year
III. THE ELEMENTS OF THE PONTENTIAL YEAR
A. There Must Be An Acknowledgement We must acknowledge the fact that we cannot do what God has called us to do on our own. We must confess our need of God and His power. We must acknowledge our utter dependence upon the Lord for everything. He is looking for people willing to bow. The Lord cannot and will not bless our pride; but He will honor our humility, James 4:6, 10; 1 Pet. 5:5-6.
B. There Must Be An Appetite If we would see the Lord move like we need Him to, we must possess a desire to see that happen. We must refuse to be satisfied with the way things have always been and we must seek His face and the fullness of His Spirit, Matt. 6:33; Eph. 5:18.
C. There Must Be An Awareness We must also have our eyes open to the possibilities of service that exist all around us. If we have a heart to serve the Lord, He will reveal His will and His business to us. The Father did it for Jesus and He will do it for you and me, John 5:19-20. Let the same thing be said about us that was said about the Mary who anointed the feet of Jesus, Mark 14:8.
D. There Must Be An Attention We must give our attention to becoming everything God saved us to be. We must remember that the Lord did not save us just to deliver us from Hell. He saved us so that we might be an example of His grace and a mighty tool in His hand, Eph. 2:10; James 2:17-20.
E. There Must Be An Advancement That is, we need to get up and get busy doing the things God has already revealed to us and birthed into our hearts. Is there something you already know you should be doing? If so, get at it! He showed you so that you could be busy for Him. He has given you a task to accomplish for His glory. Ill. “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest, Eccl. 9:10.
Conc: I thank God for the year He gave us in 2005. I think we are in good shape, as a church, especially when we look at the condition of the church as a whole. I look forward, however, to what the Lord has for us in the days ahead.
If He has touched your heart about your church, then I challenge you to get before Him and talk to Him about. You might want to thank Him for all He has already done for us. You might want to pray about where we are today. You might want to seek the Lord for His power and grace to face the days ahead. Has He spoken to you about your church and your role in it? Do you want to come and talk to Him about it? Let’s mind Him!