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Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 3:5-11
Common Traits of Growing Churches
1. What type of growth does this (any) church need? That pleases God? When spiritual growth occurs there will be physical growth, Acts 6:7.
2. Opposition to the faith is not a deterrent to growth, but a catalyst for growth of the body of Christ, Acts 8:1-4; 11:19-21.
3. Common traits of churches that grow in ways that please Christ. (I didn’t write these, but they are common of thriving, growing congr.)
I. EMPHASIS IS ON FAITHFULNESS TO CHRIST, NOT NUMERICAL RESULTS.
A. Christians are Encouraged to be Faithful Seed Sowers and to let God Give the Results (Lk. 8:11, 5).
1. Confident faith that is loyal and true to Christ, Rom. 5:1-5.
2. Faithfulness is essential to be fellow-workers, 1 Cor. 3:1-9.
B. Spiritual Strength is not Measured by Numbers and Quotas, 1 Cor. 3:6; cf. 1 Chrn. 21:1-4, 7, 14.
1. We are to preach to everyone (Mk. 16:15), not to use whatever tactic “works” to bring them in.
2. Consistent highlighting of numbers may indicate greater interest in head-counting than in soul-converting.
II. EMPHASIS IS ON THE POWER OF THE GOSPEL TO SAVE, Rom. 1:16. (Faith in the word of God)
A. Not Gimmicks, Entertainment or Social Gospel Approaches, Jno. 6:26-27; 2 Tim. 4:2.
1. Not: Feasts/festivals to draw people to gospel, Matt. 14:13-15.
2. Not: Benevolence to draw the lost, Acts 3:1-8 (11).
3. Feeding souls the bread of life (Jno. 6:35).
B. Teaching the Gospel is Emphasized, not the Process Used.
1. Must spread the seed to get results.
2. “Send The Light” - Mail, meetings, invitations, private studies…
3. God’s word will accomplish its purpose, Isa. 55:11.
-Be faithful to spread the word; it will not return void.
III. THE PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY AND COMMITMENT OF EACH MEMBER TO HELP THE CHURCH GROW IS STRESSED, Eph. 4:11-16; 1 Cor. 12:12-27; Rom. 14:12.
-We cannot all do the same things, but we can all do something. We help the church grow by doing our part and encouraging one another.
IV. MORE INTEREST IN WORKING FOR THE LORD THAN WORKING TO PROMOTE YOURSELF.
A. Do the Work that Needs Doing while Encouraging Others to Work.
1. Don’t “toot your own horn”, Matt. 6:16-18.
2. Self-promotion is worldly, kills enthusiasm and promotes factious division, Jas. 3:13-16.
3. Growth is harmed when disharmony surfaces.
V. PREPARE YOURSELF TO HELP THE CHURCH GROW.
A. Prepare Yourself to Teach (help teach) Others, Col. 4:5-6.
1. Study the Bible to learn it and teach it, 2 Tim. 2:15.
2. Strengthen your resolve, knowing at times you will be rejected, 2 Tim. 2:1-3.
3. Serve in your sphere of opportunity and responsibility, Gal. 6:5.
B. Some Results of Individual Preparation and Work:
1. Principle of multiplication is applied, 2 Tim. 2:2.
-Emphasize continuing the cycle of conversion, growth, and teaching.
2. Baptisms at all hours, Acts 16:33.
a. Don’t wait for pulpit conversions.
b. As soon as a person believes and is ready; baptize them.
3. New converts are grounded, Matt. 28:19-20; 1 Pet. 2:1-3.
a. Not a “dip’m” and “leave’m” approach.
b. Develop spiritual growth and numerical growth follows.
1. Remember, God gives the increase, not men, 1 Cor. 3:6-7.
a. Numerical growth without spiritual growth is just carnal growth.
b. Spiritual growth is essential, Eph. 4:13-15.
c. Numerical growth may or may not coincide with spiritual growth, .
2. Let us work together for the growth of this church – to the praise and glory of God.
By: Joe R. Price
Posted: January 16, 2014