I was listening the other day to a pastor as he shared about the various church plants he and his congregation is involved in. He seemed to be excited about a few of the churches they had planted – but a little bit more excited – or rather ecstatic about just one of the many churches he and his congregation had planted.
The growth of almost every one of the other church plants stemmed from people who were already believers moving to the vicinity, other believers looking for a better fit, or curious church goers just looking for a change in what they were getting in their former churches. But when he began to talk about this other church plant – this pastor lit up, something in his voice changed, he became very emotional. He said, percentage wise this new church was the fasted growing in terms of conversions – people meeting Jesus and making His Lord and savior of their lives. He said more people were meeting Jesus statistically were meeting Jesus through this particular church plant compared to every other church plant they were involved with.
I immediately got excited with him and started shouting my praise the Lord and my hallelujah. I think that is the way we need to grow our churches. I am tired of hearing about church splits, and unhappy believers leaving their churches to go somewhere else and all those church hoppers that just can’t stay planted in one church. I also believe every church can grow. I don’t think every church is going to be a mega-church, but every church can make it their business to participate or carry out the great commission. I believe every church can see new believers added to their church and here is how:
1 Thessalonians 1:5
- You must first have passion or compassion for the lost – I think Paul and his companions had a strong desire to see the lost saved.
- You must go seek them – Paul and his companions went from city to city to seek people who needed to hear the good news
- You must preach the WORD – Preach the whole truth and nothing but the truth… people are not looking to be entertained with half-truths
- You must get Holy Spirit‘s power as you go – people are not looking for information they are looking for transformation… only the Holy Spirit power can bring that about. Make space for the Holy Spirit to move and bring full conviction. Let him help you make space for innovation and creativity and some out of the box thinking
- You must live what you preach and preach what you live
I am excited about what’s going on in this pastor’s life and ministry and I pray that same fruit over my life and over your life. What an amazing feeling it is to see someone come to the Lord, let alone to be a part of that. I pray that God will begin to remind some of you about that feeling and create a tenderness in your heart again for souls until you prayer each day become Lord – “give me souls lest I Perish.”
As part of a series from 1 & 2 Thessalonians.
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