What is Church Growth?
What is Church Growth?
...(W)e are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the Head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by that which every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.
These words, written by the apostle Paul in Ephesians 4: 14-16, can only be understood to mean one thing concerning the body of Christ, which is the church. The church is supposed to grow! The church which was established by Christ; is led by the Spirit; and is powered by God, the Father, should be a continually growing church. We are no longer to be children. God expects us to grow up. But, what exactly is the kind of growth that God expects from us? What is the Biblical example of church growth?
Lets think about it...
1. Church growth does not mean build a bigger church building.
Acts 2:46-47 - And day by day, continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved. There were no church buildings at that time! They met in the temple and in each others homes. Yet, God was adding to their number. They were growing! So, growth has NOTHING to do with a church building.
2. Church growth does not mean just increase your attendance numbers.
Acts 20:29-30 - I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them.
2Thes.3:11 - For we hear that some among you are leading an undisciplined life, doing no work at all, but acting like busybodies.
2Pet.2:1 - ...just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master that bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves.
If just increasing our attendance numbers becomes our sole objective in church growth, we will not only go out and bring wolves and false teachers unknowingly among us, but we will tolerate undisciplined and destructive behavior among us in order to keep those precious attendance numbers high. This is deadly foolishness! The strength of any church is God's power, and Gods power is the same whether its given to two people or two hundred people! It is not the quantity of people in a church that makes it grow! It is the quality of the love between themselves and God that makes a church grow, no matter how many people are in attendance! So, what is church growth?
Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. 2Pet.3:18
...the building up (growth) of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith(love), and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man,... Eph. 4: 12-13
Church growth means that
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