Hold the Ball (1 of 4) by Jeff Strite

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Hold the Ball (1 of 4)
Series: The Successful Church
Jeff Strite
Titus 1:1-16

OPEN: Several years back, John Brodie, a former quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, was used by his team to hold the ball for field goals and extra points after the touchdown.
A reporter once asked why a million-dollar player like him would have to do such a menial task.
''Well,'' said Brodie, ''if I didn't, it would fall over.''

A successful team is one that pays attention to the basics.
And, if you watch much sports, you'll often hear athletic comments like:
1. Keep your eye on the ball
2. Hang on to the ball
3. And - if you're holding the ball for the kicker - don't let the ball fall over.

In short - pay attention to the basics.
Don't drop the ball

APPLY: This month, we're focusing on what makes for a successful church.
Now, there're all kinds of books on the market designed to tell us how to make our church successful. And many of them are very good and can help churches like ours do our job better. They all attempt to get us focused on some fundamental truth that we may have overlooked.

But of all the self-help books out in the stores, today we are reading from one of the few that is actually divinely inspired.
Titus is God's self-help book for the church.
If we read this portion of Scripture and pay attention to what it says then we'll know what God believes it takes to have truly successful congregation.

BACKGROUND: The book of Titus is written to a young preacher whose job is to lay the proper foundation for the churches on the isle of Crete. There are apparently several churches on Crete and they all need more structure than they presently have.

A few years before this letter was written - on the day of Pentecost - Peter preached to a crowd of Jews in Jerusalem. And on that day, 3000 repented and were baptized for the forgiveness of their sins. Among that large crowd of people - were believers from the Isle of Crete.

Acts 2 tells us ...

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