Thursday, March 19, 2009

Numbers Added Daily

“And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved” (Acts 2:47).

This verse is a delightful and hopeful reflection from Luke regarding the primal Christian church. “Every day the Lord added to their number those being saved.” Wow.

Sometimes we ask, “Why isn’t that happening today”? What’s wrong with the Free Methodist Churches in the North Central United States? We don’t see the Lord adding daily to our number those being saved. Many of our churches seem to struggle from day to day, month to month, year to year reaching out to share the gospel in deed and word yet seem to find the scattered seed repeatedly falling upon rocky, thorny, bird-infested ground.

But listen to this... The 2008 Annual Reports from the North Central Conference show that IN FACT “the Lord [still adds] to their number daily those who were being saved!”

Nearly 4,000 people worshiped Christ in Free Methodist Churches every Sunday in the NCC.
231 youth gave their lives to Jesus in the NCC. Through the ministry God entrusted to YOU!
627 adults gave their lives to Jesus in the NCC. Through the ministry God entrusted to YOU!

That’s nearly 1,000 souls saved last year. Friends, that’s something to write home about.

Just last month, 43 conversions were reported (and 99 discipleship decisions!). In some important ways, God is allowing you to be “Bringing Jesus” to your community!

Consistently, church plants are on the forefront of soul winning. In February, LifePointe (which leads the NCC in conversions this year to date) saw 5 conversions, Resolution Church saw 4, Clinica de Alma, 2 and Betel, 1. For this reason, the NCC must continue to see church planting as JOB #ONE for Kingdom expansion. But many churches regularly see souls won to the kingdom, and then discipled. Here’s the breakdown for February (which does not include “the Chapel at Olive Branch,” a consistently powerful and life-changing ministry):

Motley FMC (MN) ... 8 more souls.
LifePointe FMC (IA) ... 5 more souls.
Wesley FMC (IL) ... 4 more souls.
Resolution (IL) ... 4 more souls.
New Berlin FMC (WI) ... 3 more souls.
Hillside FMC (IL) ... 3 more souls.
New Life FMC (IA) ... 2 more souls.
Lighthouse Fellowship (IA) ... 2 more souls.
Pine Grove FMC (IL) ... 2 more souls.
LaFarge FMC (WI) ... 2 more souls.
Clinica de Alma (MN) ... 2 more souls.
Toddville FMC (IA) ... 1 more soul.
St. Charles FMC (IL) ... 1 more soul.
Peoria First (IL) ... 1 more soul.
New Hope FMC (IA) ... 1 more soul.
Park Street FMC (IA) ... 1 more soul.
Betel FMC (MN) ... 1 more soul.

This is good news. It’s worth shouting from the mountaintop. The overall picture of the Free Methodist Church in the North Central Conference is that the Lord IS adding to our number daily.

Still, there is so much more God wants to do through YOU. In 2008, 25 churches (of 67) did not see the Lord add any to their number. That can’t continue, can it? And while nearly 1,000 people were led to Christ, most of our churches posted no net growth, which may point to inflated numbers, a poor network of discipleship or unhealthy body life that may sometimes repel or bore rather than nurture and inspire new believers. There’s so much more to do! We must improve upon the continued work of “Bringing Jesus to the North Central United States through planting and growing healthy congregations advanced by boldly apostolic leaders working synergistically together.”

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