Church Growth

This is a topic of keen interest to church leaders.  Church growth is seen by some as an indication of God’s favor, doing church right, and/or that the preacher is effective.  Various leaders offer advice and books at conferences promoting church growth.  I’ve seen Christian businessmen propose various organizational strategies intended to facilitate church growth.

The Seeker church movement was a product of this type of analysis and thinking.  The idea was to conform the church service to accommodate people with worldly habits, expectations, and desires, but whom it was thought had an interest in church or religion.  It was an utter failure and denial of the good news of Yeshua, His saving power, and Spirit-filled supernatural life.  The intention of the Seeker service was considered kind, by eliminating things that might make unbelievers uncomfortable.  It increased attendance for a while and gave people something to talk about, but it was contrary to the basic tenets of scripture and the working of the Holy Spirit. (2 Cor. 14: 4).  It’s biggest problem was that it was a work of man trying to accomplish what only God can do. (John 6: 28-29, 44; Gal. 3: 3, 5; Philippians 3: 3).

Thirsty people are drawn to fountains of water and springs where drinking water may be found.  They do not respond to being drenched by people with hoses spraying water in their face.  Of course, this is just an illustration, but the point is the presence of the Lord and His goodness is what draws people.  Moreover, the presence of the Lord is revealed in the Holy Spirits indwelling presence of His people. (1 Cor. 14: 24).  These same people who populate the church are also hungry and thirsty for the Lord, although, from a deeper reference point.

Gifted pastors, evangelists and prophets are unconcerned with this idea of Church growth.  Pastors shepherd the flock to whom the Lord has assigned them.  Evangelists express their gift of evangelism in the workplace, streets, and as the Spirit directs them.  I have know gifted evangelists who were not even recognized by church leadership because they were not clergymen by profession.  Prophets speak and share God’s message of encouragement with those to whom they are sent and who will hear, but very few churches even accept that there exists a prophetic gift.  It is the prophetic gift that causes unbelievers to say, “God is really among you.” (1 Cor. 14: 24-25).

Today, in the church we need to have more of the Holy Spirit and less of the ideas and plans of men.  It is the Lord’s church and He has some stern judgments for the churches in Revelation, but makes no mention of church growth. (Rev. 2, 3).  Luke described the booming growth of the first century church very accurately saying, “… And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” (Acts 2: 47).  The old hymns expressed faith in God’s ability to prosper His Church.

There is Power in the Blood

Would you be free from the burden of sin?

There’s power in the blood, power in the blood;

Would you o’er evil a victory win?

There’s wonderful power in the blood.

Chorus:

There is power, power, wonder-working power

In the blood of the Lamb.

There is power, power, wonder-working power

In the precious blood of the Lamb.

Such words are foolishness to the worldly, but to those called by the Lord they speak of a miraculous saving power through the blood of Yeshua, Messiah.  All glory and praise be to Him alone.

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