EVER HEALTHY THING GROWS
*STORY: Science Project*
Three containers with soil and bean seeds: One was given only water. The other was given coke and sun light. The third was given both light and water. The one with water didn’t grow. The one given coke and water grew, but very little. The third that was given both coke and water, grew and grew and grew.
When you look at the story of my science project there is one thing that should stand out to you and that is: That Every Healthy Thing Grows! I don’t care whether it’s a tree, a dog or a cat a flower or a human all healthy things grow. The church is and should be no different. The church is an institution created by God and for His purpose and He has called us to grow.
*Read Matthew 13:31-33*
I don’t know about you, but when I read those words, I can’t help talking about Growth. Growth is the very nature of the kingdom of God. When we read that passage what do you see. We find Jesus talking about the church starting off as a tiny mustard seed, but it grows to become one of the largest trees. He goes on to talk about yeast which by its very nature keeps growing until it raises the entire lump of dough. For that reason the church was made to grow. God wants it to grow and it will keep growing unless we do something to make it stop. You see once things stop growing for very long, they begin to die. If we want to be strong, healthy, and alive we must continue to grow in every way.
I know some of you might be asking well we want to grow, but we don’t how. I would tell you, there is only two ways to grow an that brings me to my first point.
I. QUANTITY--A Growth in Numbers
Whenever anyone gets together and they start talking about what church they attend the first question without fail is how big is your church? People have a fascination with numbers and the size. Why do they do this? They do it because in their minds if the church is big, some good things must be happening. I would say to some degree that is true. I would say to some degree growth and quantity go hand in hand.
Well then we need to ask ourselves what causes people to come into the church? Some would say it’s a strong contemporary worship service others it’s a strong Youth program and still others it’s a strong Preacher. While I agree that people will be drawn to church for these reasons, they will not stay, if they don’t feel that their lives have been changed for the better. They won’t stay if they don’t feel that they are better people and enjoy a superior life to the one they had before. Programs are good, but they are not the answer! The true answer to church growth as it relates to numbers or quantity is this: Each One Must Reach One. Until God’s people get on fire and start bringing the lost in, the church will not grow. Not to say, God can’t make it happen, but He has called us to carry the gospel to the lost, He has called us to “GO”. If you want to see quantity sky rocket in the church, only look to your next door neighbor.
I know some of you may be saying that sounds good, but we live in Tilden, NE. All our friends go to church, then maybe your church growth won’t come by way of Quantity but rather by way of Quality! And that leads us to our second point.
II. QUALITY--A Growth in Maturity
How can a church that has no quality, grow in quantity? How can a church that has no maturity grow in numbers. In most cases it doesn’t happen. Like I said before, people can be fooled by smoke and mirrors and programs for a while, but only when life changes are evident will people be willing to stick around. What do we do? What we do is get back to the basics. We need to get back to solid Christ centered teaching. We need to examine our hearts and see, if we are truly portraying the passion of Christ in our daily lives. We need go get back into the Word and apply those words to our lives. We need to Pray that God will give us boldness to speak the truth plainly to others we come in contact with. We need to remember that God is the one who makes things Grow!!!
The magnitude of the present opportunity cannot be clearly seen because most church people have labored under the false premise the church growth will be slow and rather disappointing and often feel that rapid growth is somehow discreditable. The church must take command of a major idea valid in the New Testament that of going everywhere and preaching the Word expecting the Lord to confirm His word with miraculous growth. God is the one who makes things grow.
Do you think Jesus was pleased with: Fishing without Catching; A tree that bears no fruit; A lost coin not found; A Empty banquet table; Lost sheep that are not recovered; Harvest fields not reaped?
Both Quantity and Quality play a role in church growth, both quantity and quality are essential to the advancement of the church, because the very nature of the church is growth and growth is the very definition of life. God has called us to Grow but not only to grow, but also to Go. I pray that the passion of Christ will flow into your lives and that you will take Christ passion and make it your Mission.