How the Church Loses Ground – Pastor Stacey Shiflett

How a Church Loses Ground

1 Timothy 3:15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

               A. Paul’s Aspiration – that thou mayest know (Paul was a teacher)

               B. Paul’s Admonition – how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God…

               C. Paul’s Analogy – which is the church of the living God…

He called the church two things:

  • The Pillar – speaks of strength
  • The Ground – speaks of stability

I. The Mandate is Disregarded

A church that fails to win souls and fulfil the Great Commission will soon cease to be.

  • Acts 5:14 And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.
  • In Acts 2:41, 3,000 people got saved.
  • In Acts 2:47, they were getting saved daily.
  • In Acts 4:4, about 5,000 got saved.
  • In Acts 5:14, multitudes of men and women were added. (How many do you think that was?)

Believers were the more added to the Lord.

I believe we fail to understand just had important it is to God that believers are the more added TODAY!

It was given to every believer.

It was given to reach every person.

It was given to extend to every nation.

Not one town, village, city or farm on the planet is exempt from the Great Commission.

Not one Christian is exempt from the Great Commission.

Not one church is exempt from God’s mandate for more souls.


  • “Only as the church fulfills her missionary obligation does she justify her existence.” — J. Harold Smith
  • “Missions is not the ‘ministry of choice’ for a few hyperactive Christians in the church. Missions is the purpose of the church.” — Unknown
  • ” ‘Go ye’ is as much a part of Christ’s Gospel as ‘Come unto Me.’ You are not even a Christian until you have honestly faced your responsibility in regard to the carrying of the Gospel to the ends of the earth.” — J. Stuart Holden
  • “A congregation that is not deeply and earnestly involved in the worldwide proclamation of the gospel does not understand the nature of salvation.” — Ted Engstrom, World Vision

II. The Message is Disputed

2 Timothy 4

  • 2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
  • 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
  • 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

III. The Membership is Divided

  • Mark 3:25 And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.
  • Romans 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
  • 1 Corinthians 1:10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

IV. The Morals are Discarded

  • Hebrews 12:14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:

V. The Ministries are Disbanded

Many churches just stop trying to make a difference.

  • Colossians 4:17 And say to Archippus, Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord, that thou fulfil it.
  • 1 Timothy 1:12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;
  • 2 Timothy 4:5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.

Lack of Vision

Lack of Workers

Lack of Training

Lack of Growth in Christians

Lack of desire to be used of God.

We should all say with Paul:

  • Acts 20:24 But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.