"Striving to increase membership and bring the message of Jesus Christ to a changing world, South Carolina's Southern Baptists are trying new ways to market themselves."[/b]
These both sad and appalling marketing ploys toward increased membership used by so much of Church leadership today would certainly have by now sent me to the "weary in well doing" bench/sideline in this kicking against the pricks position our Lord has me playing, if it were not for my dogged belief in His promise that (no matter how bad it may look right now) "the gates of hell shall not prevail against His Church" ... Just last week i heard Him say to me, "Son, pray to Me for the positives in my Church to be elevated, and pray for the negatives in My Church to be eliminated" ... i've been doing that ever since, and it's become my adage to pass along to anyone else bemoaning the state of the Body of Christ
The membership/church our Lord has me assigned to is caught up in this very thing, how to increase the membership? ... But an even more important and telling question to ask is "Why do so many pastors/churches need to increase their membership"? ... Sad to say but in many cases it's "all about the Benjamins" ... There are a lot of pastors who've moved their churches into living way beyond their means (fat mortgages and heavy expenses toward their empire building) by increasing themselves
by worldly means instead of allowing God the Holy Spirit to lift up Christ thru them/us that He might add to the church (supernaturally) daily such as should be saved ...
There's a God given formula for increasing the flock that just doesn't set well with to many of todays pastors and pew warmers, and it's found here
 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.[/b]
 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
[b] And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.[/b]
[b] And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak[/b] with other tongues, [b]as the Spirit gave them utterance.[/b]
[b] Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded,[/b] because that every man heard them speak in his own language.
[b] And they were all amazed and marvelled,[/b] saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?
 And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?
 And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?
[b] Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.[/b]
[b] But Peter,[/b] standing up with the eleven, [b]lifted up his voice, and said unto them,[/b] Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:
 For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.
[b] But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;[/b]
 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God,I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:
[b] And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:
 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
[b] Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?[/b]
[b] Then Peter said[/b] unto them, [b]Repent[/b], and [b]be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.[/b]
[b] Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
 And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.
 And all that believed were together, and had all things common;
 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.
 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,
 Praising God, and having favour with all the people.[/b]
[i][b][size=medium][color=FF6600]And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.[/color][/size][/b][/i]
One of these good old days (and i pray soon!) Christ Church will have beaten itself out on this (hell spawn) man made modes of "perspiration" and REPENT back to our first love and work via our only true source of inspiration and power toward getting the King's business done ... The devil knew exactly what he was doing when he slighted the opening book of the dispensation of the third person of the Godhead from "The Acts of the Holy Spirit" to "The Acts of the Apostles" ... But bless God Christ is about to wake up His Bride to our blatant disregard (quenching), and disrespect (grieving) of His Spirit for the harvest is great, and we've got to be transformed into His body without spot or blemish ...
By any means You deem necessary Lord God please snap we your Bride out of our stupor ... Amen[/b][/i]