Wolves devour the flock. Sexual impurity and falsehoods defile God’s holy temple. Churches are losing the light of their lamps. However, the faithful rescue people from the fire. They know that if they do not gather then they scatter. For hope in Christ’s resurrection, Christians proclaim the Gospel.
Because of Jesus Christ, we believe that Christians are to be disciples who make disciples who also make disciples (Matt 28:19–20). Disciples who make disciples and multiply do so like Jesus and the apostles in training leaders who studied, prayed, and served others together. They focused on growing together to make disciples and multiply. The model for growth is in the example of Jesus and His disciples.
Actions of Growing Churches
Faithful growing churches are united in the mission of making disciples. According to the Scriptures, churches die for a lack togetherness and sharing God’s Word with one another, a lack of works from a lack of love, and compromising the truth for immorality (Rev 2–3). In the Scriptures, sound healthy churches thrive by sharing God’s Word with one another, working from love for Christ, and upholding truth in the face of error.
God promises to give increase (1 Cor 3:6–8; Eph 4:15–16). To this student of Scripture, churches reenact these actions for which God gives growth:
- Jesus made disciples and trained leaders who made disciples (Luke 6:13; Acts 20:3–4; 2 Tim 2:2). The first disciples devoted themselves to the mission of making disciples who make disciples (Matt 28:19–20; 2 Tim 2:2; cf. Eph 3:8–12; 1 Pet 2:9). Today, churches must accept and focus on fulfilling this mission.
- The first church started and spread by proclaiming the gospel of Jesus’s resurrection with evidence and that Jesus’s resurrection is the beginning cause the resurrection for the saved into eternal life (Acts 2:14–36; 13:16–41; 1 Cor 15:1–11). God gives the increase and faithful churches grow by building skillfully on Jesus as the foundation (1 Cor 3:6–15). Today, churches must return to doing the same and not subtract the power of the gospel by getting distracted with teaching other doctrines first.
- The first church grew as they were devoted to the apostles’ teaching, fellowship, the breaking of bread, and prayers, and that influenced their community having gained favor with all the people (Acts 2:42–47; cf. Matt 5:16). Today, Christians cannot compromise the truth of God’s word, and yet the faith must be open and become evident to all.
- The apostles knew how to make disciples and multiplied disciples by spreading the word of God in gatherings of people (Acts 2:41; 6:7; 9:31; 12:24). Today, Bible studies can grow through multiplication of disciples who talk about their faith together rather than enlarge a lecture hall.
- The first churches met together in accessible locations and proclaimed the gospel where people could listen publicly in the temple portico, a synagogue, or a school, and from house to house (Acts 5:42; 20:20; Rom 16:5; 1 Cor 16:19). Jesus taught in houses, in synagogues, in fields, on the road, and on mountain sides. Today, churches may need to move from their buildings to schools and market places.
- Growing churches have exemplar leadership to equip, build, and unite the church to reach maturity in Christ where each part grows and works to grow in love (Eph 4:11–16). Today, elders and evangelists must train the faithful to teach others (2 Tim 2:2). The leadership must have an active relationship with the congregation setting an example through service and teaching.