Preparing to Grow
by Pat McIntosh
Anyone who has attempted to grow a garden of vegetables or planted flowers knows that you don’t just walk out your back door and throw seeds on the ground. Preparations have to be made. The garden is plowed. Then the soil must prepared. I once planted tomato plants and put a teaspoon of Miracle Grow on them before even putting the plants in the ground. Simply put, for growth to occur, preparations must be made.
For many, church growth is all about programs and plans that will help them bring members in. But, not all churches are prepared to grow in both number and spirit (true growth). The church at Laodicea is a classic example (Rev. 3:15-19). They had a name, but their approach to spiritual life was not conducive to growth. Even if a successful campaign had been launched there, how many would have remained faithful in that “lukewarm” spiritual environment?
Church growth studies have shown that mortality rates of new converts is high. Unless a congregation has matured and/or grown to a certain level, they will be unprepared for the steps that will lead to lasting growth. These steps include, but are not limited to, the “atmosphere” of our worship services, how welcome we make visitors feel and the spiritual state of the individual members comprising the local congregation.
Desire for growth is a great thing. I am excited about the prospects here based on the initial discussions we have been having. I hope the desire to grow “spreads like a fire” in this congregation. We can and will grow if we make the preparation and expend the energy necessary to do so. Let us pray about this regularly and vow to do our part in this vital process.
Sunday A.M. Sermon – “Preparing to Grow”
Introduction – Rev. 3:15-19
- What must we do as a congregation? – Jno. 13:34-35; Heb. 10:24-25; Rom. 15:1-3
- What must we do as individuals? – Phil. 3:12-15; 2 Pet. 1:5-10; Jno. 17:20-21; 1 Thes. 4:9-10; 1 Pet. 1:21-22; 4:8-9; Matt. 5:14-16
Sunday P.M. Sermon – “For Me To Live Is…? (Phil. 1:21-23)