The Ladies’ Class lesson that I’m teaching this morning is on church growth – mainly, how the first century church grew. They were “on fire” for the Lord. They were involved in day-to-day personal evangelism. When they saw needs, they took care of them (Example – Greek widows in Acts 6). Elders (leaders) were appointed in every church to protect the flock from dangers within the church and from without (Acts 14:23). They counted it as joy to be able to suffer persecution for the Lord’s sake (Acts 13:50-52).
What about the church today? If we follow closely to the New Testament pattern, we will be doing the same things that they did. We will be involved in teaching those that are lost. The first century church didn’t have church buildings, but that didn’t stop them from inviting others to gather together to hear God’s word being taught. We now have additional methods available to use, such as streamlining services on the internet, websites, radio and TV programs – oh, and blogs! We need to use all avenues available to us to teach God’s Word – just so we are careful not to change God’s Word.
We, as the church, also have the responsibility to do benevolence and help those who are in need. “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them which are of the household of faith.” (Galatians 6:10) We should be a giving, caring people.
Finally, the early church grew because they were of one mind. “Fulfill ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.” (Philippians 2:2) These people were close to each other. They “knew” one another. Their faith grew as they shared meals together and prayed for each other. Going through persecution together just made them stronger.
The church is composed of it’s members – us! If you want your congregation to be friendlier, you must be friendlier. Happiness is contagious! A positive attitude goes a long way towards influencing others to come to services with you. If you want your congregation to help those in need, you must share that information and be willing to personally reach out to those in need. Have you prepared yourself to “seek and save those who are lost?” You are the church, and that is one of it’s main purposes. If not, why not? If your congregation isn’t growing, could it be because you are not growing spiritually? Are you hiding God’s Word in your heart? Are you an asset to your congregation? Can they count on you? Are you a blessing to others? Think about it. God Bless, Courtney