Happy-New-Year-fireworksI saw a recent article that listed the five most popular resolutions made most every year. #5 was to take up a new hobby. #4 was to make more money. #3 most popular resolution was to improve relationships, and #2 was to stop smoking. The #1 most popular New Year’s Resolution was to lose weight.

A woman walked into her bathroom at home one New Year’s Day. As she did, she saw her husband weighing himself on the bathroom scales, sucking in his stomach. The woman thought to herself, ‘He thinks he will weigh less by sucking in his stomach.’  So, the woman rather saracastically said to her husband, ‘That’s not going to help.’  Her husband said, ‘Sure it will. It’s the only way I can see the numbers.’

It is time for a new year!  Here we are, on the first day of a new year. How did last year go for you? Was it a good year? Do you wish you could live it over again? Are you just glad it is over?

I do not know about you, but I am looking forward to the New Year. It is not that 2014 was bad. It was a great year for me. But I am looking forward to the New Year as an opportunity for our church to build on the past year. It is a chance to maybe do some of the things that we let slip by in the past year. Somehow the words “New Year” have a fresh ring to them.

Whether you are part of the Faith Baptist family or not, I believe your church is on the verge of doing even greater things for the kingdom of God. What is it going to take to be able to do that? Why is it important for your church to be successful? Because every day people in your community, your family and your friends are living and dying without Jesus. Your church must be successful; the world is depending on you.

We can gain some insight into ‘church success’ from the early church.  According to Acts 2:42, ‘And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.‘  We can find 3 keys to a successful year for your church.

1. They made prayer a priority.  

When you read through the book of Acts, the early church spent a lot of time in prayer. Every revival in the Bible and in history was accompanied by prayer.  Your church will never be successful until you spend much time in prayer.  I hope you will pray for your pastor, church leaders and our church family in 2015. If church members prayed for others as often as they complain and gossip, maybe the world would be better place.

2. They built on the foundation of God’s Word. 

The early church did not have the New Testament, so they depended on the apostle’s doctrine. We now have the completed Word and we would do ourselves and our church some good to spend a lot of time in it. I encourage you to read it through in 2015.  Get in a Sunday School class or small group to learn the Bible with others.  Let’s make the Bible our most read book this year.

3. They built a strong sense of community (fellowship). 

The early church spent a lot of time together. Today, so many things try to keep us from church and Christian gatherings. I hope you will make your church and Christian fellowship a priority in your life.

Make this a year your church will look at as one giant step forward for the kingdom of God.