Summary: I want the church to grow because it is in God’s plan but I might not want people who are a different race than I am
I recieved the idea for this series from my mentor Jerrie Barber.
I Want the Church to Grow - But Do I Want Any More People? #2
1 Corinthians 3: 1- 7
Last time we met we started our study on Evangelism and some of the things that keep us from spreading the word of God. It is my desire as we go through this study that we will look at our true fears and then come to a realization that we are not alone and that we are not the first to ever struggle with the growth of the church.
If you will remember last time we agreed that we all wanted the church to grow because it is God’s plan but we also admitted that we might not want people that we are afraid of. I believe that often times we are left in what the Bible calls the “Ought a Gap”. The Hebrew writer has this to say in Hebrews 5:12
For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food.
You see in my Christian life there is often a difference between where I am and where I ought to be. As I look back at all of the time I have spent in this walk in the Light I ought to be farther along than I am.
If I were to ask you tonight if you want the church to grow I am sure that every one would agree. And If I were to ask for a show of hands tonight of those who believed the Lord’s teaching I am sure that every hand would be raised. I know that we want the Lord’s Church to grow because we believe what Jesus taught and we understand that Jesus taught that His church would grow.
In Matthew 13 we read two parables that describe the growth process of a healthy church. The first parable is found in verses 31-32:
Another parable He put forth to them, saying: "The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field, which indeed is the least of all the seeds; but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches"
We all know this as the beautiful Mustard Seed parable. The Kingdom of Heaven, or what we today call the church started off as a very small seed. As a matter of fact it started off with 11 Apostles and a small group of disciples in am upper room waiting on the gift of the Holy Spirit. But a few days later we see the Church exploding. According to Acts 2 during the first sermon about 3,000 were added but the church was still a small seed. Over the weeks and months it still felt the explosion of growth that was occurring but as the Membership reached 10,000 and then 20,000 the church was still a small seed.
I have often heard preachers and Elders talk about how wonderful it would be if the church could see that type of growth today. How wonderful if revival would sweep through the land and we could tell others about how God’s kingdom has grown by 3,000 brothers and sisters in a day. But then they always seem to smile and slip back into reality and say yes but it will never happen.
I believe that’s why Jesus seemed fit to speak the next parable, which is found in verse 33:
Another parable He spoke to them: "The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till it was all leavened" Matthew 13:33
It is in these moments of “reality” that we sit back and talk about 100 reasons why the church will never see first century type of growth again. But I believe that Jesus is teaching that it can and will if there are a few that are willing to work for it.
In this parable a small lump of dough, about the size of a golf ball, is left on the hearth overnight while the yeast grows. In the morning you can take that lump and you can mix it with about ½ bushel of flour and this lump will cause it to rise.
What will it take for this town to see revival? What will it take for this community to experience 1st century type of growth?
A Small lump of Leaven. If one church will be about our Fathers business Jesus teaches that we can have a huge impact on our town.