by Richard Mansel, managing editor
When we think of church growth, we usually think numerically. However, growth comes in many forms.
Numerical growth requires a foundation of spiritual maturity so the congregation can show Christ to the lost (Ephesians 4:1). Without spiritual maturity, the congregation cannot build a visible spiritual atmosphere.
First, we must encourage the congregation to love and respect God’s Word above everything (John 14:15). Growth without spiritual authority cannot lead to Christ because we abandon the Biblical standard (1 Corinthians 4:6; 2 Timothy 3:16-17).
When the brethren highly value God’s Word and develop a reverent fear of Christ’s message, we put his way before our own. This leads to humility and placing ourselves in God’s hands (James 4:10).
Second, we teach the brethren at every opportunity that Scripture, specifically the New Testament, is filled with references to the spiritual versus the fleshly(1 Corinthians 2:12-15). Teach them to see the world as a conflict between the spiritual and the fleshly and they will have a much greater understanding of the daily battles that they face (Ephesians 6:10-11).
We see sin and its disease everywhere, and we see people as victims in need of the gospel cure (Romans 3:23). Once we see the world through this lens, Scripture becomes more powerful and practical, and a passion for the lost soon follows.
When Jesus came and began to preach, he found acceptance and resistance. The former group heard his teachings with spiritual ears while the latter group did not (John 6:60-66). Even the Apostles succumbed to this temptation (Acts 1:6).
The Christian life is a series of decisions where we must take the spiritual path to Christ or the fleshly road to Satan. With a deeper understanding of the clear lines between the spiritual and the fleshly, we are better equipped to walk in the Light (1 John 1,4).
We cannot bear spiritual fruit without spiritual growth and Christ cannot shine through us without it (2 Peter 1:5-11).
When we reverence God’s Word, focus on the spiritual path we must walk, develop a deeper understanding of spiritual warfare and the subsequent drive to save souls from destruction, spiritual growth will not just walk, it will knock down walls!