Show Me A Sound, Growing Church And I'll Show You....
A Church Where People Love One Another
Love for one another is an identifying characteristic of God's people. Jesus said: "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another: as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another" (Jn. 13:34,35). A growing church will not be a reality where hatred, discord, and division abound. John penned much concerning attitudes toward others. Notice: "Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him" (1 Jn. 3:15).
A Church That Is Committed
Church growth that is pleasing to God does not occur by accident. When the boarders of the Lord's Kingdom are increased it does so as a deliberate effort on the part of those who are members. God has of long required his subjects to be wholly committed to him and his cause (Deut. 6:5). Jesus taught this principle in Matthew 6:33 where it is stated: "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." Don't put God in back of the line!
A Church That Is Active
In 2 Kings 7:3 the Bible mentions four leprous men who said one to another: "Why sit we here until we die?" This can very well be descriptive of many churches today who are content in sitting idly by till they die. Not so with a growing church! Have you been active in the Lord's service lately? Ask yourself this question: "If everyone was as active as me what would this church look like?"
A Church Where Truth Is Taught
Though the building were busting at the seams due to attendance, it would be to no avail if truth is compromised. The truth makes one free when obeyed (Jn. 8:32). The Gospel of Christ is the power employed by God today to save men from their sins (Ro. 1:16). This is made possible, of course, by the shed blood of Christ (Mt. 26:28).
Paul admonished Timothy to preach the word (2 Tm. 4:2). Individuals cannot obey what they do not know and therefore it is vital that the church today sound forth the words of truth (Eph. 3:10; 1 Th. 1:8). Book, chapter, and verse preaching is needed today perhaps more than at any other time in the history of man!
A Church Where Truth Is Practiced
Hypocrisy in the lives of the members of the church is a strong determent to some. Individuals do not want to be part of a body where the members do not practice what they teach/preach. Understand that we are not perfect in the since that we never make mistakes and never sin (1 Jn. 1:8,10) yet, it is necessary that members of the Lord's body not only teach the truth but obey the truth . We each have influence before others and we need to use that influence for good (Mt. 5:16). Paul talked about practicing what he preached in 1 Corinthians 9:27. A sound, growing church will result when the members keep themselves unspotted from the world (Ja. 1:27).
A Church With Zeal
A growing church will have zeal! We need to be enthusiastic about what we are engaged in. Titus penned: "Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works" (2:14). How is your zeal doing?
A person can be zealous and yet be lost. Paul talked about this in Romans 10:1-3 concerning Israel. He stated they had zeal for God but were not saved. Be zealous to do the will of God each and every day! Such will go far in making this church a growing church!
- Donnie Oliver