Summary: This is a teaching about how to grow a church. It is not based purely on personal experience and not based on others’ successful stories but based on a friend’s personal experience in growing a church with biblical principles and causes it to be still gro
Church Growth is a very popular topic that even non-Christians heard of this term before. In the past, people looked to the west for examples of growing a church. Recently however, people shifted to the east as well for examples of church growth.
In church growth, we should not copy the methods, but the spirit and the principles. Copying the techniques or methods will not help and will not work. Those things don’t happen in the church. If we were to look at the Bible, we will be able to look at the pattern. Churches around the world reflect different culture. Universal principles, applicable everywhere is what can help us. The first church the Lord has founded has many ways for us to learn. When we build the church, we build it this way, so that the gates of hades shall cannot overcome it. We got to reflect God’s pure word in the church.
Take out your Bibles and today we are going to look at a passage in the Bible that talks about church growth. Acts 2:42-47
42They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. 44All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. 46Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
This the first church in the world in Jerusalem. The Lord added to their numbers daily.
The first thing we can learn is
1.) It is a teaching church. (v42)
The early church emphasised greatly on teaching. We need to MAJOR on teaching.
Teaching the people the whole counsel of God. Big number with big spiritual quality in their lives. Only with this can they grow continually.
Only numbers will corrupt motives. We don’t want big numbers but people built into Him(Jesus) and grow in their spiritual life. It is the desire of God that His children grow in Him. Growth is a by-product of spiritual growth.
The Word of God is profitable for everyone of us.
What makes us a teaching church?:
i.) The teaching will make every people receive.
They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching
All is to be taught and none neglected. Teaching from young converts to leaders. This is how much a church that I know emphasised teaching in their church. There are no short-cuts.
-Expository preaching on sunday for 1 hour.
-50-60 Bible word classes before or after service for the people to choose from
-Sunday night teach cell group leaders how to teach. (in 1997, that is teaching 1000 cell group leaders)
-Monday night will teach new converts(follow-up)
-Wed is cell group and Bible lessons
-Thurs he(the senior pastor at that time) will meet top leaders
-Sat 1-3.30pm he will teach the leaders how to become leaders
-Monday top leaders will gather at his home and teach.
Teaching will change people biblically and affect their thinking, reflecting in their lives and they can grow solidly.
Everyone must be taught.
ii.) They must be eager to be taught.
They devoted themselves
You must see people want to have teaching. The people must be eager to want God’s word. People who are not hungry are sick people.
Be hungry for the word of God.
Put that emphasis in the very beginning. Not legalistic but make them desire read God’s word.
iii.) It must be biblical teaching.
".... to the apostles’ teaching"
Apostles’ teaching is from the Bible. Teach everything from the word of God. Balancedly.
Not what we think but what God thinks in every subject.
Expository preaching is the key. The Bible is balanced in itself. Teach according to the intention of the author and Holy Spirit behind the author. Not choosing topics.
In this way in the long run, they will not be led astray.
In preaching, we have to allow the Bible to conform the structure of our message and when we do that, we will realise its very powerful and can penetrate the hearts of people.
Sunday service preaching is aimed at teaching Christians but as a by-product, non-Christians get converted as well.
On sundays we don’t preach evangelistically. But as a by-product, God moves and people get converted.
When we teach biblically, there is a sense of harmony and unity in the place.
iv.) They fellowship with other Christians and God.
and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
We may not know everyone in church but we can make sure we fellowship strongly with close people. And they in turn share their lives with those under them. We love them and we do not want them to be uncared for.