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2931 Murphy Street
Life-Cycles Of A Church

The Lord’s church often passes through different stages of spiritual development. For example, the church at Thyatira was improving, though plagued with false teaching (Revelation 2:19-20). The church at Sardis was past its prime – it was already dead, spiritually speaking (Revelation 3:1-3). Paul does brings out some good points regarding the church at Corinth (1 Corinthians 1:4-7, 1 Corinthians 11:2; 2 Corinthians 8:7), yet they were plagued with church problems due to their carnality (1 Corinthians 3:1-3) and a failure to follow through on their promises regarding giving (2 Corinthians 8:7; 2 Corinthians 8:10-11; 2 Corinthians 9:2-5). Paul taught that the ideal path of a church is ever onward and upward (1 Corinthians 15:58). A vibrant life-cycle in the church comes from the renewal of a firm commitment to the Lord and to the spiritual mission to which we as the church have been called (Ephesians 3:9-11). The Lord’s soul-saving work is the most important work in the world, and as such, it deserves and demands our best effort, both individually and collectively.

It has been observed, by those who study organizations, that most of them go through three stages in their life-cycle. In this article, let’s make application of these observations to the church of our Lord.

1) Risk-Taker Stage – In this stage, church members are willing (by faith) to take risks to advance the cause of Christ, or as Jesus put it, to “launch out into the deep” (Luke 5:4). They gladly volunteer their involvement in the Lord’s work by being active and aggressive in evangelism, knocking on doors, and inviting others to the assembly (cf. 1 Thessalonians 1:8). Launching out in this kind of daring faith means a church has the willingness to face the possibility of failure, problems, rejection or difficulty in doing the Lord’s work. The Thessalonian church had this bold devotion for Jesus, because of their idealist, vibrant spiritual traits – an active faith, loving service, and steadfast hope in the Lord’s second coming (1 Thessalonians 1:3). This is why the gospel grew and was glorified among them (2 Thessalonians 3:1). The adventure of faith means commitment to work hard and sacrifice to build up the local church in doing the Lord’s work. Such characterized the church at Philippi in zealously supporting gospel preaching (Philippians 4:15-16). The Lord’s church in Rome was widely known for their active, aggressive and encouraging faith (Romans 1:8, 12). The churches of Macedonia were materially poor but rich in dedication and sacrifice that even the apostle Paul marveled (2 Corinthians 8:1-5).

2) Caretaker Stage – The church at Laodicea thought they had “arrived” because they smugly thought, we “have need of nothing” (Revelation 3:17). Yet the Lord evaluated them accurately by saying, “You are lukewarm” (Revelation 3:16). His sobering warning to “repent” (Revelation 3:19), would apply to all congregations today who are smug and self-satisfied. Lukewarm churches literally make the Lord sick! (Revelation 3:16). The caretaking church loses it vision of ever expanding growth, thereby missing its sense of mission and spiritual urgency. After a church has spiritually developed, it is so easy to drift into a “comfort zone.” A nice building is built; a good preacher is hired who will do the work for the members. Maintaining the status quo suddenly becomes a rut. This church seeks to “hold its own” but doesn’t look for new spiritual challenges within its membership. Members become weary of work and sacrifice (cf. John 4:35; Matthew 16:24). In this stage, religion becomes more of a “convenience” instead of a “conviction.”

3) Undertaker Stage – If a church remains in the caretaker stage long enough, it will soon be ready for the undertaker! The Lord, speaking of such a church in Sardis said, “You are dead” (Revelation 3:1). They were existing on their past reputation – “You have the reputation of being alive” (Revelation 3:1 – ESV). The rut they were in had become “a grave with both ends knocked out.” A member of such a church might say, “The church here is at peace.” This means that someone needs to come and preach their funeral so they can “rest in peace.” There’s not enough life to cause a stir about anything, either good or bad. A church in the undertaker stage lives in the past. It’s possible they may think they are a good church because they have much potential that could be developed, if they really put their mind to it. Also, they may think they are a sound church mainly because they have good intentions and theoretically stand for the truth on “all the important issues.”

Conclusion

As a member of a local church, how do we fit into that church’s life-cycle? Brethren, let us help the local church to renew itself in following Christ by “speaking the truth in love” that we may “grow up in all aspects into Him” (Ephesians 4:15 – NASV). Let’s be like the churches described in Acts 9:31 (NASV), “So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria enjoyed peace, being built up; and going on in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it continued to increase.”

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Saint Augustine Missionary Baptist Church
2931 Murphy Street | Shreveport, LA 71103 | Phone: 318 221-2306 
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"As we grow into maturity" (1 Corinthians 15:1-7, 58; Acts 6:7)

I love the way Peter says it: "Add to..."  (2 Peter 1:5-9)

Make every effort to add to your faith (Philippians 1:27)

Add "Goodness"  (Romans 2:10; Ephesians 6:8)

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The Upcoming Church Events2018:

January 2018

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday -- January 14, 2018

(Actual Date: January 15, 2018)

Church Council Meeting -- January 27,  2018  at 10:00 a.m.

Youth and Children Leadership in Action -- January 28, 20178  at 11:00 a.m.

Re-Dedication of Workers -- January 14, 2018  at 12:30 p.m.

February 2018

Black History Celebration -- Month of February 2018

Church Council Meeting -- February 24, 2018 at 10:00 a.m.

Youth and Children Leadership in Action -- February 25, 2018 at 11:00 a.m.

March 2018

Loyalty Day -- March 11, 2018  at 2:30 p.m.

Palm Sunday -- March 20,  2018

Youth/Children Revival -- March 21 - 23, 2018  at 7:00 p.m. each evening

Good Friday -- March 30, 2018

Church Council Meeting -- March 31, 2018 

(The Lord's Supper will be served) During the Ressurection Worship

Youth and Children Leadership in Action -- March 27, 2017 at 6:30 a.m. ??

April 2018

Easter/Resurrection Sunday (Sunrise Services)  -- April 1, 2018 at 6:00 a.m.

Senior Citizen Recognition Day -- April 8, 2018  at 12:30 a.m.

Senior Mission's Anniversary -- April 10, 2018  (Tuesday)  at 7:00 p.m.

Church Council Meeting -- April 28, 2018  (Saturday) at 10:00 a.m.

Youth and Children Leadership in Action -- April 29, 2018  at 11:00 a.m.

Pastor's Aide Fellowship  -- April 29, 2018 at  2:30 p.m.

May 2018

Mother's Day Recognition -- May 13, 2018

Women's Day Fellowship -- May  20, 2018  at 2:30 p.m.

Youth and Children Leadership in Action -- May 27, 2018 at 11:00 a.m.

Church Council Meeting -- May 26, 2018   (Saturday) at 10:00 a.m.

June 2018

Annual Church Luncheon -- June 10,  2018  at 2:00 p.m. (Optional)

VBS --  Monday thru Friday -- June 11 - 15, 2018 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

VBS Fellowship -- June 16, 2018  10:00 a.m.  (Optional)

Father's Day Recognition -- June 17, 2018

Church Council Meeting -- June 30, 2018   (Saturday) at 10:00 a.m.

Youth and Children Leadership in Action -- June 24, 2018 at 11:00 a.m.

Men's Day Program Fellowship  -- June 24, 2018  at 2:30 p.m.

July 2018

Annual Choir Musical Fellowship -- July 15, 2018  at 2:30 p.m.

Church Council Meeting -- July 28, 2018  (Saturday) at 10:00 a.m.

Youth and Children Leadeship in Action -- July 22, 2018  at 11:00 a.m.

Pastor's Aide Program Fellowship -- July 29, 2018  at 2:30 p.m.

August 2018

Church Council Meeting -- August 25, 2018  (Saturday) at 10:00 a.m.

Church Anniversary, Family and Friends Day Fellowship -- August 20, 2017 at 2:30 p.m.

Youth and Children Leadership in Action -- August 26, 2018  at 11:00 a.m.

September 2018

Grandparents Recognition Day -- September 9, 2018

Senior Mission's State and Bench Rally Fellowship -- (Tuesday)  September 11, 2018 at 7:00 p.m.

Annual Useher's Day Fellowship -- September 16, 2018  at 2:30 p.m.

Night Sunday School -- Thursday_September 20, 2018  at 7:00 p.m.

Youth and Children Leadership In Action -- September 23, 2018 at 11:00 a.m.

Youth and Children Round-Up Fellowship -- September 23, 2018 at 2:30 p.m.

Church Council Meeting -- September 29, 2018  (Saturday) at 10:00 a.m.

October 2018

Annual Fall Revival -- October 24 - 26, 2018  at 7:00 p.m. each evening

Church Council Meeting -- October 27, 2018  (Saturday) at 10:00 a.m.

Youth and Children Leadership In Action -- October 28, 2018 at 11:00 a.m.

Annual Musician's Appreciation Day Fellowship -- October 28, 2018  at 2:30 p.m.

November 2018

Annual Church Anniversary/Homecoming/Family and Friends Fellowship Day -- November 11, 2018 at 2:30 p.m.

Feeding of the Needy -- November 17, 2018  at 9:00 a.m.

Thanksgiving Day -- November 22, 2018

Church Council Meeting -- November 22, 2018  (Saturday) at 10:00 a.m.

Youth and Children Leadership in Action -- November 25, 2018  at 11:00 a.m.

December 2018

Deacon's Anniversary Fellowship -- December 9, 2018  at 2:30 p.m

Youth and Children Leadership in Action -- December 23, 2018  at 11:00 a.m.

Christmas Day Fellowship -- December 23, 2018

Acutal Christmas Day -- December 25, 2018 -- (Tuesday)