The Day I Quit Church

Audio from Associate Pastor Josh Carpenter on Sunday morning October 7th, 2018.

These sermon notes are made available through the YouVersion free Bible app.

+During the last 20 years we've seen "frequent" church attendance drop from 3 times per week to 3 times per month.
+Still 73% of Americans identify as Christians
+55% of Americans still attend church to some degree

 My own early ideas of church:
+Only what pleased me (the dynamic styles of teaching and worship)
+Knowledge without depth or surrender
+Commitment was earned through entertainment

Instead of going to church we need to be planted in the House of God.

 Psalm 92:12-15 NIV
12 The righteous will flourish like a palm tree,they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; 13 planted in the house of the Lord,they will flourish in the courts of our God. 14 They will still bear fruit in old age,they will stay fresh and green, 15 proclaiming, “The Lord is upright;he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.”

 To Flourish
Hebrew used here: parach
The idea: a primitive root that breaks forth into a bud; To fly, like eagles wings spread out

The Palm and the Cedar


+The Palm was widely used in the decoration of the Temple; a symbol of uprightness; a symbol of victory (Roman games); a symbol of victory over oppression (Jesus' Triumphal Entry)

Cedar Lebanon.jpg

+The Cedar was highly sought after in ancient woodworking; naturally resistant to insects and rot; a pleasant look and smell; used for longevity; Used extensively in Solomon's temple

+Both are evergreens

A planted person is compared to trees that produce year round

2 Corinthians 4:16 NIV
16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.

What happens to a seed that goes unplanted?
+goes dormant

A seed can only grow if its planted

Matthew 13:1-7 NIV
1 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. 2 Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. 3 Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants.

Going to church is not the same as being planted.

Matthew 13:8 NIV
8 Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.

What does it look like to be planted?

1. Your roots grow down deep

Jeremiah 17:7-8 NIV
7 “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,whose confidence is in him. 8 They will be like a tree planted by the waterthat sends out its roots by the stream.It does not fear when heat comes;its leaves are always green.It has no worries in a year of droughtand never fails to bear fruit.”

Two types of trees come to mind when reading this passage:

The Acacia and the Redwood

Acacia Tree.jpg

The Acacia Tree
+Long root depth gives the ability to survive in the deepest deserts with little rainfall


The California Redwood
+Can be 30 stories tall
+Lateral roots can spread over 100ft from the trunk
+Roots intertwine with other Redwoods for stability

2. You produce fruit

Jeremiah 17:8 NIV
8 They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream.It does not fear when heat comes;its leaves are always green.It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”

Galatians 5:22-23 NIV
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

A tree doesn't grow in month.

The best time to plant a tree: 20 years ago!

The best time for you to be planted in God's house: right now!

Thanks for spending some time in the Word with us.

If you feel like you've been consuming church rather than being planted, today is the day to get on God's path.

We're here to pray for you and walk with you. You can send in a prayer request on our website as well: There are so many great opportunities to plug in at Joy.

If you feel that Joy isn't the home for you, we are happy to help you find where God wants to plant you. We're all on the same team and we want God's will for you life!

For your week
Take a look at this 7 day devotional about serving:

Jesus came to seek and to save the lost. He came to serve, not to be served. As His followers, we know we've been called to do the same. In a culture that is plagued with consumerism, we believe that when we give our life away, we actually find life. Read below to hear more about what the Bible says about serving.