Summary: Jesus said, ``I will build my church and the gates of hell (all evil opposing forces) will not prevail against it!’’ (Matt. 16:18) Since, the church is Christ’s body, it is His work to see that it grows qualitatively and quantitatively. We can belief,

Using Principles, Practices, & Steps

of Church Growth & Planting

Principles, Practices, and Steps of Church Growth and Church Planting

Learning Objectives

1. The students will be able to explain how the Holy Spirit helps the church grow.

2. The students will be able to state five mission strategies for church growth.

3. The students will be able to list areas where they should concentrate their church planting efforts.

4. The students will be able to explain five motivations that influence conversion and explain reasons for different receptivity among some people.

Introduction - Jesus said, ``I will build my church and the gates of hell (all evil opposing forces) will not prevail against it!’’ (Matt. 16:18)

Since, the church is Christ’s body, it is His work to see that it grows qualitatively and quantitatively. We can belief, work, and contribute to the growth of the church in terms of winning more people with the promise of Christ’s support. The elements of that promise from Christ include:

1. Christ founded the church - ``No other foundation can any man lay except that which is Jesus Christ!’’ (I Cor. 3:11)

2. Christ is the builder of the church - Paul said, ``I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who water is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.’’ (I Cor. 3:6-8)

3. Christ has power over all enemies of the church - Gamaliel said in Acts 5:38, ``. . . For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.’’

4. Christ’s Church will Endure - When all secret societies, false religions, and traditional beliefs have vanished, the church will prevail.

5. Christ Adds New People to the Church - Dr. Luke tells us in Acts 2:47, ``The Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.’’

Definition of Church Growth -

1. The Church grows quantitatively by increasing the number of: buildings, house churches, numbers of missionaries it has sent out into new geographical areas, sizes of worship centers, and number of converts, transfers, and children joining the church. (Acts 2:41-42; 4:4, 5:14; 6:1-7; 9:31; 16:5)

2. The Church grows qualitatively when members mature spiritually in: their worship, service, fellowship, commitments, giving, Biblical understanding, outreach efforts, societal impact, and cultural influence!!! (Eph. 4:11-16; Col. 2:6-7)

I. How the Holy Spirit Causes the Church to Grow Today!

A. The Holy Spirit gave birth to the church at Pentecost (Acts 2)

B. The Holy Spirit is our comforter, indwelling guide and our convicter of sin, righteousness, and judgment. (John 16:8-11)

C. The Holy Spirit builds, preserves, and expands the church.

D. The Holy Spirit will lead the church safely to its eternal destiny after it has fulfilled its mission.

E. The Holy Spirit helps the church grow through His ministry of inspiration, illumination, and revelation through the Scriptures!

F. The Holy Spirit creates in people a need for fellowship, service, worship in the Church.

G. The Holy Spirit takes the seed of the word of God and causes it to grow in the hearts of men!

Example - Jesus said, ``The kingdom of God is like a man who casts seed upon the ground. The seed grows - how, he himself does not know.’’ (Mark 4:26-29)

1). Five Factors That Contribute to Effective Seed Sowing

a). The proper seed must be sown - The right scriptures.

b). Someone must sow the seed - God calls certain men.

c). Time is needed for the seed to sprout, grow, and mature. Some seeds grow up within a month, but others might take years!

d). Proper seasons are important in harvesting - Timing is important in knowing when to preach the gospel to the people.

Example - When certain people burned the 175 churches in Northern Nigeria in 1987, people rushed to the church like never before. Certain historical events can contribute to the growth of the church.

e). A man must be ready to bring the fruit of the harvest into the storage barns. Pastors, evangelists, and teachers must be available to take care of the fruits of evangelism.

H. The Holy Spirit uses people who are available to begin new churches if people are willing to go.

Example - The Ethiopian eunuch, Saul of Tarsus, Cornelius, the centurion of Caesarea, and Lydia of Thatira were all converted by the Holy Spirit through the word of God.

I. The Holy Spirit has a harvest mentality, a harvest theology, and a harvest ministry! He wants converts.

II. The Structure of the Church Regarding Responsibilities for Growth

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