Archive for June, 2006

Church Marketing 101

Thursday, June 29th, 2006 at 7:15 am

When businesses want to grow – when they want to attract new customers, they develop a marketing program. Churches are supposed to grow. What should the marketing program be?

And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. John 12:32

Jesus told us very plainly what our marketing strategy should be: lift him up. Proclaim to the lost that judgment is coming and the only way of escape is through the Lord Jesus Christ.

And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved. Acts 2:47b

When we lift up the Lord, our churches will grow. We don’t need gimmicks and games and slick brochures. We don’t need billboards and newspaper ads. We just need to be obedient. Leave the attracting and adding to the Lord.

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by gahammerle

The gospel according to Oprah

Wednesday, June 28th, 2006 at 2:40 pm

Oprah thinks there are many ways to Heaven. Watch for yourself:

Oprah’s gospel

Praise God for those in the audience who were not intimidated by Oprah!

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by gahammerle

Better than 20:20 vision

Monday, June 26th, 2006 at 6:49 pm

Many Christians use Acts 20:20 and say we need to get 20:20 vision.

And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have showed you, and have taught you publicly, and from house to house, Acts 20:20

The 20:20 vision they want us to have is going house to house. Going house to house is good and we should do that, but even the Mormons and Jehovah Witnesses do this. They have the same 20:20 vision. How should ours be different? Notice there is a comma at the end of the verse which means we have to go on to the next verse to get the complete thought. We should not just pull verse 20 out all by itself. We need to have vision better than 20:20. We need to have 20:21 vision. Look at what verse 21 says:

Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. Acts 20:21

We do indeed need to go house to house, but the message we take is the important part: repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. The Mormons and Jehovah Witnesses do not have that vision. The message they take is a false gospel that cannot save anyone.

Sharpen your vision better than 20:20. Strengthen it to 20:21. Go house to house with the message that people need to repent and have faith in Christ. Do that, and you will see things you’ve never seen before.

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by gahammerle

What does your field look like?

Saturday, June 24th, 2006 at 12:11 pm

God has given each of us a field to work where we are to win people to Christ, baptize them, and disciple them. What does your field look like?

I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding; 31 And, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down. 32 Then I saw, and considered it well: I looked upon it, and received instruction. 33 Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: 34 So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth; and thy want as an armed man. Proverbs 24:30-34

This field has been neglected because of laziness and ignorance. God wants us to study his word so we will be workmen that need not to be ashamed. Notice this field was grown over with thorns. In the parable of the sower, the seed that fell among thorns was choked and became unfruitful. We are told to break up the fallow ground. We are to work in our field, preparing the ground for sowing the seed. If there is no preparation, we will be sowing among thorns. Take the law of God and prepare the hearts of the lost so they will be ready when we sow the seed of the gospel.

Time is short – don’t waste it by getting a little more sleep. Go and work in your field.

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by gahammerle

Why do you do what you do?

Friday, June 23rd, 2006 at 9:29 pm

What motivates you? Do you work in a ministry or do a job in the church in order to get attention for yourself or to please someone or to please God?

Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; 6 Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; 7 With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men: 8 Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free. Ephesians 6:5-8

Those who are servants to men are not to serve in order to please men; they should do it as servants of Christ in order to please God. Whatever it is that you do, as long as you please God, it matters not what Mrs. Wigglejaws thinks or what Suzy Pharisee thinks. Don’t worry if everything you do is judged by someone else. Worrying about pleasing God is enough to worry about.

And for Suzy Pharisee who thinks it is her job to judge how others behave:

Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand. Romans 14:4

When you judge another in the church, you are putting yourself in God’s place. You don’t want to do that, do you?

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by gahammerle

Why is gambling wrong?

Friday, June 23rd, 2006 at 9:24 am

When you win, your profit and pleasure come from someone else’s loss and pain.

He that is greedy of gain troubleth his own house; but he that hateth gifts shall live. Proverbs 15:27

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by gahammerle

Which one are you?

Thursday, June 22nd, 2006 at 2:05 pm

We need to be humbly grateful, not grumbly hateful.Adrian Rogers

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by gahammerle

Does water baptism save?

Tuesday, June 20th, 2006 at 1:49 pm

For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: 19 By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; 20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. 1 Peter 3:18-20

Some say that verse 20 shows that water baptism saves. After all, it does say that eight souls were saved by water. But if you think about it, that same water that saved eight souls also killed the rest of the earth.

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by gahammerle

Is the father of lies the most deceitful?

Monday, June 19th, 2006 at 8:56 pm

Since Satan is the father of lies (John 8:44), one would think that he is the most deceitful on all the earth. Is that what the Bible says?

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? Jeremiah 17:9

What is more deceitful than Satan? According to scripture, your heart is. That should give you pause for thought.

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by gahammerle

Innoculated towards the gospel

Monday, June 19th, 2006 at 11:10 am

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves. Matthew 23:15

Have you ever heard of soul-winning contests or contests to see who could baptize more? The participants in these contests “compass sea and land to make one proselyte” (convert) doing everything they can just to get another notch on their belts. A lot of these so-called converts are made by asking leading questions such as “Wouldn’t you like to spend eternity in Heaven rather than in Hell?” Who in his or her right mind would answer “No” to that? These “converts” are induced into praying the sinner’s prayer and then are given the assurance that now that they’ve “asked Jesus into their hearts” they are now saved. Most of these prayers are induced without any godly sorrow or conviction.

The gospel is not a contest! It is not about who can “do it better” or who can use the best high-pressure sales tactics to extract more professions. I recently read a short book on soul-winning by a Baptist pastor and in it he explains how he could not get a couple to pray the sinner’s prayer so he went about it by asking if they would like to have a home dedication service. Of course the couple said that would be great. This pastor went on to have them repeat after him a prayer for God’s blessing on the home, but it was no more than the typical “sinner’s prayer.” How foolish is that? Saying a prayer never saved anyone. The Bible is clear that repentance and faith saves. No repentance, no salvation. No faith, no salvation. Just because one verse says whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved, people mistakenly believe that if you ask Jesus into your heart, you will be saved.

When a lost person is led in a sinner’s prayer without there being any conviction – without any repentance, that lost person thinks his prayer saved him and thus is innoculated against any future attempt at witnessing to him. This person, the scripture says, is made twofold more the child of hell.

Our churches are filled with false converts – victims of high-pressure soul-winning techniques. Paul knew the gospel was not a contest. He did not glory in how many people he won to Christ. He said he planted, Apollos watered, and God gave the increase. The “sinner’s prayer” method of soul-winning relies too much on the “soul-winner’s” ability to “close the deal” rather than on old-fashioned Holy Ghost conviction. When a person comes under conviction by the Holy Spirit, he will give his own invitation. The Jews did that in Acts 2 and the jailer did it in Acts 16. We need to just get back to what the Lord commanded us to do: preach the gospel. We need to plant the seed. We need to water. Let God do his part and convict the sinner. When the sinner sees himself guilty and condemned before a just and holy God, he will – without any prodding or leading – call out for mercy. And if you have done your job correctly, he will know that mercy is found at the foot of the cross.

Please, don’t innoculate any more people. Let us go and let us preach the gospel. Leave the high-pressure sales tactics to the vacuum cleaner salespeople or the water-softener salespeople.

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by gahammerle