The Link Between Church Attendance and Youth Retention

https://bellatorchristi.com/2018/10/08/the-link-between-church-attendance-and-youth-retention/

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Why a Lot of Professing Christians Never Attend Church

“Forsake not the assembling of yourselves together”—unless, of course, the Lord reveals to you that you are the church, as one lady said to me. Or, that you are smarter than the preacher, the deacons are trying to run the church, or no one in the congregation will speak to you. Hebrews 10:25, sort of.

When you don’t want to do something, you shouldn’t have to have an excuse.

If you do not want to go to church, for instance, if you can skip church for a whole year and never miss it, you should “man up” and admit, “I’m not a Christian and don’t believe all that Bible stuff. Church is for people who take the Lord seriously. Not me. So, I don’t go.”

Hmm. That felt ‘mean,’ didn’t it? But it’s dead on accurate.

Please read on.

https://churchleaders.com/outreach-missions/outreach-missions-articles/310666-lot-professing-christians-never-attend-church-joe-mckeever.html

Francis Chan: If All You Had Was Scripture, What Would Church Look Like?

https://www.christianpost.com/news/francis-chan-if-all-you-had-was-scripture-what-would-church-look-like-227393/

12 Reasons Your Church Doesn’t Produce Spiritual Growth

https://churchleaders.com/pastors/pastor-articles/161973-12-reasons-your-church-doesnt-produce-spiritual-growth.html

You Can’t Love Jesus Without Loving His Church

Have you ever heard someone say, “I am into Jesus, but not the church”?

My first encounter with “Jesus, yes; church, no” theology came as a newly-minted pastor. My wife and I were hosting an open house in the church parsonage. About half-a-dozen young families attended, and all was going as planned until I began to talk about church membership. One gentleman in attendance pressed me on the topic, arguing the concept was unbiblical. I squirmed and tried to answer. Undaunted, he continued to press his case.

The conversation caught me a bit flat-footed, and forced me into an on-the-spot apologetic for the local church. For a moment, I felt uncertain and embarrassed by my lack of a clear answer.

And yet, what I intuitively knew then, and have come to understand more fully, is that Christianity is inextricably linked to the local church. In fact, the local church is the New Testament’s expression of Christianity. The New Testament depicts the Christian and the local church together, like hand in glove.

AVOIDING EXTREMES

Read more: https://churchleaders.com/pastors/pastor-articles/332220-you-cant-love-jesus-without-loving-his-church-jason-allen-9-marks.html

Why It’s Dangerous to ‘Build a Church on the Bible’

This past Sunday First Baptist Dallas celebrated it’s 150th anniversary, a historic milestone of longevity and influence however you define it. But in an interview with the Christian Post preceding the anniversary, Pastor Robert Jeffress made a statement that on the surface seems doctrinal, but I believe is in fact dangerous. Here’s a printed portion of the interview between the Christian Post and Pastor Robert Jeffress:

CP: At a time when many churches are in decline or closing, how is it that First Baptist Dallas is celebrating its 150 anniversary and still going strong?

Jeffress: I think there’s one simple answer to that. We are a church that’s not built on a denomination or a church built on tradition or a church built on popular opinion. We are a church built on the Bible. The fact is, denominations change, culture changes, opinions change, but God’s Word never changes. I think the reason God has blessed First Baptist for these 150 years is, this is a church that has been dedicated to proclaiming the unchanging truth of God’s Word.

So, what’s so wrong with the statement? I’ll ask it this way: if you would have sat down with the Apostle Paul, the Apostle Peter, perhaps even some early church fathers like Clement of Rome or Tertullian, and asked them what the church was built on, they wouldn’t have said ‘the Bible,’ and for a very good reason. ‘The Bible’ didn’t exist yet as we now know it, not being finalized in its canonical form until the 4th century. In the decades immediately following the resurrection of Jesus, even before the letters of Paul were written and the eyewitness Gospel accounts recorded, the church thrived and flourished not because of a book but because of an event.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/newwineskins/why-its-dangerous-to-build-a-church-on-the-bible/

Life in the Early Church

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. Acts 2:42-47

Luke abruptly shifts the scene from Pentecost to a summation of the period that followed in which he tells us what they did and how they lived during this early time. What is there for me to add to this picture?

Not much. There is one thing: For me at least, there are two references here that are easy to miss: First, notice that during this period they are said to have enjoyed “the favor of all the people” and finally, the Lord “added to their number daily”. When the love of Christ shines through the Body of believers into the larger community, amazing and wonderful things happen.

That should give us something to ponder…

Comment at: https://lifereference.wordpress.com/2018/01/16/life-in-the-early-church-2/