I said that growth must be a choice. In the final analysis, the greatest asset we have to grow this church isn't something we purchased, remodeled or replaced. It's us. We make the difference, if we choose to do so. So what makes churches grow?
Our attitude! I love this church! I hope that you do to! But if we communicate to people that just "like" it - they will move on. Most people are smart enough to perceive the difference and prefer to be around people who are committed with their whole heart.
Our presence! Ever drove by a restaurant and observed people standing outside? Did you wonder what was going on or what was so special about it? Did you go and find out? Now have you walked into a restaurant during the lunch hour rush to find it almost empty and think to yourself, "What's wrong here?" People do the same thing with church. They look at the church that is 2/3rd's empty and say, "What's wrong here?" Bottom line, your presence here helps this church grow and when your missing - it doesn't help.
Our support! If we don't do our best, then others will not do their best either. I've seen people attend church because they believed they didn't have to give a dime. Why? Because they observed others doing the same. FYI - Whether you like it or not, someone is watching you put (or not put) anything in the offering. It makes a difference!
Our actions! If we do nothing, we cannot ask others to do something. When people ask me, "Where is everyone?" "Why didn't anybody come?" "Don't they believe in this church?" (Believe me, I've heard these questions one too many times) My honest answer is, "I don't know." Because I don't know!
Some have said to me, "Pastor, just pray and God will grow the church!" No, He will not. Should we pray? Yes! But prayer is just part of a package deal of God's plan for church growth. Read Acts 2:42-47. God's church growth plan is there in black and white. They prayed, in a Jewish Temple!! Yes, they were Jewish but they were praying to Jesus!! These Christian Jews were taking their faith to their people! They gave, liberally to each other. They fellowshipped, they were discipled, they built a koinonia community of believers. They enjoyed the favor of the people (the city of Jerusalem) now read verse 47. They grew!!
Remember my sermon from Sunday. We are responsible to live our lives out loud for Christ! Doing so prepares others to meet Jesus. When we do that then the Lord will be able to add to the number of those being saved.