Summary: how church growth exploded on the scene
UNDERSTANDING CHURCH GROWTH
26He also said, "This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. 27Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. 28All by itself the soil produces grain--first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. 29As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come." Mark 4:26-29 (NIV)
5Who is Apollos, and who is Paul, that we should be the cause of such quarrels? Why, we’re only servants. Through us God caused you to believe. Each of us did the work the Lord gave us. 6My job was to plant the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God, not we, who made it grow. 7The ones who do the planting or watering aren’t important, but God is important because he is the one who makes the seed grow. 8The one who plants and the one who waters work as a team with the same purpose... 1 Corinthians 3:5-9 (NLT)
Church growth, how can we understand it? As we read in the above Bible passages we quickly discover that the first step of church growth is … GOD! But we thnk we can do better. We have technology. We make things grow… Genetically modified foods. But who wants to eat them? Mark 6 passage tells us nobody knows really how the kingdom of God grows, like the seed it just grows ALL BY ITSELF. All we have do it seems is go for the harvest, as soon as the grain is ripe. The Apostle Paul understood this principle as he wrote in I Cor. 3 passage. It is God who makes things grow, he is the one who makes the seed grow. God’s the one who is important. The key thing for us to do according to this passage is work as a team. Some of us are called to plant and some to water – for one purpose and we all say “go team!”
Look in the Bible - No one will argue that in Acts 2, church growth exploded into history.
1When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
5Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. 6When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. 7Utterly amazed, they asked: "Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans? 8Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language? 9Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome 11(both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs--we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!" 12Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, "What does this mean?"
13Some, however, made fun of them and said, "They have had too much wine. "
The church appeared in history with no megachurch to learn from, with no programs for youth, small groups, formal schooling, or seminars, no praise band, no overhead projectors, hymn books, choirs, robes, no church staff, no buildings, no assets - only God to depend on. The church began only when God did something, can u see how God causes the seed to grow? and when people came and say “go team” – and when this mix of ingredients was just right - He blew people away with the moving of His Spirit.
1. ITS GOTTA BE GOD!
Implication: if we want to see the church grow, it’s gotta be God doing it. We gotta understand it is up to God to grow the church. Church growth is not our doing, it’s gotta be a god thing – God’s moving by His Spirit. So what do we do? We need to have faith that God is bigger than what we can think or imagine. We need to trust that God can do mighty things, and can fill us with His Spirit. If we have not asked for God to move, or for God to fill us with His Spirit, it’s time to do so. It’s time to worship God, to declare the wonders of God. Time to really believe, time to say “God only You can make this church grow” and confess the many times we have tried to get things done in our won strength. we need folks who have waited on God’s sovereign timing and as a result of seeking to hear from Him begin to speak with…