Body of Christ

The Church is on a mission with Christ, the head of the Church (not Pastor Bill, the elders, or lay leaders) i our world to carry out the Father’s redemptive kingdom purposes.

No one individual has the total vision of God’s will for a local church.
When the Church comes together, it is vital that the counsel of everyone is included.
God places members in the body as it pleases him. God made us mutually interdependent.
Apart from the body, I cannot know God’s will for my relationship to the body.
Every believer has direct access to God and the church comes to know God’s will when the whole church is on the same page and understands what Christ, the head of The Church is saying and asking. Not just what a pastor is saying.
A spiritual gift is a manifestation of the Holy Spirit at work in and through a person’s life for the common good of the body of Christ.
The Holy Spirit decides to give assignments and enables spiritual leaders to accomplish His work.
God puts spiritual leaders and members in the body where he wants them to be.
The body is not complete without all the spiritual leaders and members God has given the body.
Members of the body should have equal concern for one another.
Spiritual leaders and members of the body have different assignments from God for the good of the whole body.
Right relationships with God are far more important than anything else. God does not add members to the body by accident. He builds the body to match the assignments.

Every single person at Cross Pointe has a place in the church. Every single person at Cross Pointe has a spiritual gift that the Lord has given you through the Holy Spirit.
As a member at Cross Pointe, we love you and we need you at Cross Pointe. You are essential for the common good of the entire church, because together as a whole we can know the Lord’s will together if our relationships are right with God.
One body part cannot function properly away fro the rest of the body. An eye without a mouth or eyes is useless.
Similarly a body without an eye makes life incredibly difficult. That is why every member is so important. God puts each person in a local church for a mighty purpose to use the Gifts he has gifted each with.

Scary statistics

Some upsetting statistics from my Seminary Evangelism class. I do not recall the exact source but I believe these numbers are from Barna Research Group and the Southern Baptist Convention :

USA total population increased 11% in last ten years; church membership declined 9.5%

Church attendance is declining 10% over the past 7 years

Evangelical Church failed to gain additional 2% of population in the past 50 years.

No county in America has a greater percentage of churched people since a decade ago.

Half of all churches in America last year did not add one new member via conversion.

Churches are closing their doors….

1900 -27 churches for every 10,000

1950- 17 to 10,000

2004- 11 for every 10,000

We lose 72 churches per week or 10.27 per day

Gain 24 churches a week, 3.4 a day

Net loss of 48 week and 6.85/ day

USA is the Largest post-Christian nation.

It is the 3rd largest unchurched nation.

USA Lead world in all crime categories

North America is only continent where Christianity is not growing, in fact other Countries have sent Christian missionaries to us, when we once sent Christian missionaries to them!

13th (some ranked us even as high as 4th) highest receptor of missions nation

Fastest growing affiliation is “not religious”

(Canada + US) is only 3 t o5% truly evangelical

Bill Easum-estimates that in American churches 60% median age of 60 or higher

The body of Christ: We are a team!

God has given us each talents and abilities and spiritual gifts! We each have a role to play within the church. Modernism has brought on an extreme amount of individualism in American culture. One thing the church has got to get back to is being a community of believers. The church of Acts 2, that Bill preached on this morning is the example. Every person played a role in the church. When one of us is not correctly functioning in the role that God has for us, then the rest of the body is handicapped and suffers.

Another problem in American church today is “Ministry misplacement” which is the problem of 20% of the members doing 80% of the work in ministry. I pray our church does not fall into this trend.

Other reasons for meeting once a week for a worship service are:

1. Bible Commands it: “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful… Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:23, 25)

2. Learn and grow together Proverbs 27;17, “Iron sharpens iron, So one man sharpens another.”

3. A place for regular Confession. God cannot have anything to do with sin. Sin blocks our spiritual eyes and ears from understanding God.

4. Opportunities to serve/ use gifts that God has given us

5. Serves purposes of God/Bible: Worship, Fellowship, Evangelism, Discipleship, Ministry!

6. Helps us follow God’s Will together as we share together

7. Leads to discipleship

The Importance of discipleship and mentoring:

A disciple is a learner and follower. The first disciples followed Jesus Christ. Discipleship is the intentional training of disciples, with accountability, on the basis of loving relationships. All Christians are disciples of Christ. We are to become complete and competent followers of Him.

I am super excited about the vision for our church! Soon we will be launching a church 0wide discipleship program. The idea is to get everyone in a one-on-one intentional relationship for the glory of God with a mentor. The relationship is about multiplication: both to increase and deepen your own faiths respectively but also for the purposes of prayer, evangelism, and service together. By focusing our time on building into each other and serving the community, not only will your faith grow but also the church will expand.

one of the toughest things about the state of discipleship in America right now:

Time:

Discipleship is a process, it takes time. It is not meant to be transformation quickly. (2 years, 40 days, 12 weeks, etc)

Our Spiritual formation and relationship with God is on-going and matures slowly. We are to be investing our lives into learning more about God.

Churches that are becoming more effective in discipleship have 2 or 3 year processes of learning the general worldview of Christianity, they also encourage and hold other classes for more mature Christians who want more training…(which all this is fine and great)

On one hand, it is difficult to but all of the Christian worldview in a 2 or 3 year program.
On the other hand, American Christians today need some sort of structure:

because we (as Christians) are losing out in discipleship and in spiritual formation and our Christian worldview. Americans have prioritized everything else in conquering their American dreams and have lost their worldview. They have lost their faith to secular world.

So I am encouraging these two-year processes but I am also saying that is not the end! Do not stop when the program is over because our faith is a process. It is a relationship of maturity. We continue learning more and more about God and being transformed more and more every day.

But even these “weak” and shallow structured programs are not enough. Because Christians will not make time for them The problem is no the program, this is a starting block.

The problem is in priorities. Christians say they have a time problem, but I beg to differ. They have a love problem and are not making time for their first love. 😦

How new people come to church for the first time

How new people come to church for the first time

Now Crandall’s original study was done in the 10 years ago, when church growth scholarship was really studying the impact of such advertising. From research done some time ago and still in print from Amazon (Source:The Inviting Church, 1987 p. 44), here is what was found:

  • 2% by Advertisement
  • 6% by the Pastoral Invitation
  • 6% by organized evangelism campaign
  • 86% by friends or relatives

from: http://www.evangelismcoach.org/2009/15-strategies-to-increase-first-time-visitors/

Cricket County Colorado Christmas

“A Cricket County Colorado Christmas”

Dessert and Drama
at Cross Pointe Church
657 E. Main Street Lancaster, Ohio 43130

Saturday, December 13th 2:00pm or 5:00pm

Tickets are $5.00 each for adults and
$2.00 each for children 10 & under

Join the Country Cousins and the City Cousins on a wacky adventure to celebrate Christmas in Colorado.

Advance ticket sales only! No tickets will be sold at the door.

Contact Mariruth Gilman at 740-503-4891 or
Alex Dolin at 740-590-3598 for tickets.

This is a non-profit ministry of the Cross Pointe
Free Will Baptist Church.