Fat or Strong

In the last few weeks I've heard a lot about church growth. Though that term never came up the thought was there; how to grow membership in the church. We go to a small church and there is room for growth. There are some programs that they are working on that are designed as opportunities to minister to people but there isn't enough people interested in leading them up. One of the ideas is to have the ministry in place for when the need arises. The question is "how do you get people involved?" Or is it?

Many times we come to God with questions that don't seem to get answered and among other things I've often found that the questions don't get answered because they are the wrong questions. They are questions based on our own presumptions based on our own analysis of what the problem is.

When God first laid down the foundations for the church in Acts and the apostolic letters he compared the church to a body not an organization or a machine. Central to that concept was that it is made up of members with inherent gifts. Instead of starting with a program and trying to find volunteers we should be analysing the body to see just what it should be doing both as a body and individually. Occasionally that will be revealed by some need within the church (cf Acts 7). If one has gifts in teaching he should be teaching; if encouragement encourage; if some type of service (car repair carpentry or computers) he should serve. It almost makes too much sense.

It appears that seminaries have so structured their own ideas of what a church should be that they have forgotten to examine the principles in the New Testament. In effect they teach that churches must be patterned after some order of worship standard set of programs or proven church growth PR. Apparently taking the members and their gifts and building a church from that is too difficult unpredictable outside of the box.

Now I have seen many churches put on special programs and studies to help people discover their spiritual gifts but rarely one that actually bases its ministries on the members and their gifts. After all when the Bible talks about growth and us growing in grace it's more about maturity than it is numbers. It's more about being strong than being fat. When the time comes God will add to the church. He will build His church.

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