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Church Growth

What Does The Bible Say About Church Growth?

If you ask this question of members from various churches, you would get many different answers. So we will seek our answer from another source, the Holy Bible.

In this tract, we will look at two kinds of church growth. First, we will consider numerical growth, without which churches will eventually dwindle and die. Under this heading there are three sub-divisions: (1) Members inviting people to attend their church and worship with them. (2) Members praying for God to add new members to their church. (3) Members nurturing other members of the church. Finally, we will consider spiritual growth in the members themselves, who in time will become spiritually mature and more like our Lord, Jesus Christ.

Inviting Others To Church

First, we need to understand that we should invite others to attend our church. Most view this work as the duty of the pastor, but in reality it is the duty of every member of the church too. It is to be done in the spirit of Biblical evangelism. But why should we take time to talk to others about attending church. Many reasons could be cited, such as, children of God need the fellowship of other Christians and often do not feel welcome if not invited. Need another reason? Think about this, Jesus is worthy of the worship and praise of all for whom He died. Now, if you still doubt the importance of inviting others to worship Jesus, consider this fact - the Bible teaches us to fill God's house.

Think about what Jesus taught in "The Parable Of The Great Supper" recorded in Luke 14:15-24. In verse 23 He said, "...Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled." Did you realize that Jesus was interested in church attendance? We should be too! If we take time to invite others, like those in the passage; some will refuse but some will come. The presence of God's children engaged in His worship must surely please our blessed Lord.

Statistics have shown that the greatest growth in American churches comes from the personal contact of members, touching the lives of people in their families and where they work or play. But remember to pray for God to bless your efforts to be fruitful. But if no one in your church invites others to attend, it is very unlikely that your church will experience substantial growth.

Praying For Additions

Second, when people are invited and attend on a regular basis, hopefully they will find a spiritual home in the church. But how do we get them to join. Most churches have people who attend regularly but have not asked for membership and been baptized. Some have maintained this status for so long that many actually give up hope of them becoming members. What can be done about such situations?

There is a Biblical solution to such dilemmas. I have heard it said, "Preacher, don't expect Brother so and so to ever join." My response is, "We can carry the problem to someone Who can change his mind and heart." I have seen God's solution work time and time again. The answer to this problem is found in Acts 2:47. We read, "...And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved." Proof that God can add to the church is given in the preceding verses where we are told He added about three thousand souls on the Day of Pentecost.

When God stirs the heart and gives a desire for membership and baptism, people are more likely to become happy and good members. So if we want numerical growth, invite people to church and unite in prayer for God to add them to the church. When He does, it will unquestionably be to His glory and everyone can rejoice together at His goodness. Think about it, if we do not want and ask God to add to our church, why should He put His saints where they are unwanted and unappreciated?

The Love Connection

Third, once we have invited people to attend and God has added them to the church, our duty does not end. There is another problem that can prevent the church from growing, even though new members are being added. It is the problem of members growing cold and gradually becoming inactive. What good is accomplished, if we are losing as many members as we gain? So what can we do to help maintain our membership? The obvious solution is to make all members feel they are a part of the church. If after they have been in the church for a while, they feel like an outsider, they are likely to leave in search of a place to worship the Lord where they can love and be loved.

Jesus placed upon us a very special obligation when He said, "This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you" (John 15:12). When we love others as Jesus loved us, then we will willingly initiate the loving bond, love them in spite of their shortcomings and love them with no thought of personal gain. When we give such unconditional love to every member of the church, we will be bound so tightly by love that we cannot be separated by Satan.

Here are some ways we can strengthen the ties of love. (1) Take time to converse with and fellowship other members, showing a genuine interest in them. (2) If they do not attend for a while, call or send a card to reassure them of your love and desire for their fellowship. Love will do more to reactivate a member than anything I have ever witnessed. (Every member needs to feel loved by the church.)

Growing In The Lord

Finally, once we have invited others, prayed for God to add them to the church and manifested love towards them; another kind of growth will be needful. Up to now, we have focused on numerical growth, now let us consider spiritual growth. Every object of God's amazing grace, should desire to grow in the knowledge of God's truth about our Saviour, Jesus Christ. The Bible says we should "...grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and for ever. Amen" (2 Peter 3:18). Our knowledge of the Lord should grow continuously as we worship and give glory to Jesus.

However, we should also desire to become more and more like Christ. In the church, the ministry of the word of God enables us to "...come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ" (Ephesians 4:13).

So where are you? Do you often invite others to attend church and worship with you? Have you prayed for God to add members to the church? Are you taking time to stay in touch with members who do not attend as they should? You should and if your church has members who are willing to do so, I genuinely believe the church will grow. May we glorify God for all His gracious blessings.

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This page last updated on June 17, 2014