STATE OF THE CHURCH--1997
DR. NELSON PRICE
JESUS CHRIST, the resurrected Lord met Saul on the road to
Damascus and said, "Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice
saying to him, 'Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?'" (Acts
The impressive word in that quote is "Me." Saul was "breathing
threats and murder" against the church and yet Christ said, "Me."
That should alert us to how personal the church is to Christ. If we
love Christ we should love the church. It is so much His that it is
In Ephesians 1: 22, 23 the church is called "the body of Christ."
Let's collectively resolve to be "body builders."
The function of the "body" is noted in our text, Eph. 4: 16.
It is ---
I. UNIFYING "JOINED AND KNIT TOGETHER"
This term has a variety of usages in the New Testament era. In one
usage it meant to be cognate. Like the cogs in a machine each cog
has to fit with every other one for it to work. This requires the grace
of God. All the people and all the programs must fit.
At a recent Mega Metro Pastor's Meeting a startling statistic was
revealed. After two years 50% of those who join a church can't be
found. Why? Two categories of reasons.
1. They feel they don't match the social type: too rich, too poor,
too intellectual, too uneducated, etc.
2. The church has inadequate organizational structure. They are
too assimilated and nurtured.
Theoretically this can be cut to 20%. To cut this everybody has to
have a place to plug in. We must work and enable this. Sunday
School is the means. Care Groups must be established and
maintained. New member assimilation should be a priority.
We must constantly provide points at which people can plug in. A
classic example occurs in December. Noting the large number of
persons who are gratified by participating in the "Living Christmas
Tree," we announced last year at this time the instituting of the
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