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Incline, Recline, or Decline?

October 27, 2019 Speaker: Dan Morrison Series: Joshua

Topic: Be strong, Be Courageous, Inhabit the Land Scripture: Joshua 23:1–23:24

NOTE: The first minute or so of the sermon was not recorded. The missing sermon portion is below in text:


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"Incline, recline, and decline.

"That’s the shorthand description of the lifecycle of a church according to the Rev. Dr. Ken Priddy of our denomination’s GO Center.

"Incline, recline, and decline.

"Maybe you heard him talk about this when he was with us here at HVPC for a GO Center weekend a couple of months ago.

"In the incline stage, a church is focused on its mission. It’s pushing hard, it’s pushing out, into the community. Its capacity to minister to people is growing both in quantity and quality. This is a stage is filled with energy and momentum and enthusiasm. This is the stage of entrepreneurial launch.

"Some people love this stage in the lifecycle. They want to be part of a startup. They want to be in on the ground floor. They want to be a part of something that’s growing and taking off.

"This stage in the lifecycle appeals to creative people and to risk-taking people. But it’s not for everyone.

"Because, let’s tell the truth, the incline stage, the launch stage, is always a little messy, a little chaotic, a little risky. Not every startup becomes Google. Not every church plant becomes Saddleback.

"Before I came here to be your pastor, I was a member of the Anchor Presbyterian Church in Bucks County. It was a startup, a church plant. We met in a renovated barn. Our pews were plastic patio chairs. We had no sound system, no pulpit, no organ. We didn’t even have a piano...."

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