We are grateful to God to come your way with another message as we continue our series titled ‘signs-of-a-growing-church. Let us read our main text:
Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee, and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace and was strengthened. Living in the fear of the Lord and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it increased in numbers.
From our previous post, we established that a growing church is one whose members are experiencing growth in their spiritual lives and not merely its infrastructural development. Thus, when members are growing, then the Church is growing. A church whose members are not growing is a dying church. Today Churches have become numerous than any time in history. Yet, most of today’s Churches, lack the things that made the early churches grow. Certainly, God does not desire piety and lip service but that we mature ( Ephesians 4:13). We outlined some of the signs of a growing Church and would elaborate the first two in this post.
One true sign of a growing Church is that there is peace within it. The peace of God that floods a person’s soul gives evidence of his/her growth. Peace is a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22). It goes to say that once a person believes in Jesus Christ he/she obtains peace. That is true, but the peace that is observed as a sign of growth is transcending and comes from our Lord Jesus Christ. It is not the absence of challenges and chaos but the presence of Jesus Christ in every experience you go through. For Bible says He himself is our peace (Ephesians 2: 14). For the Churches mentioned in our main text to have had peace in those major cities meant that God was their source of peace. This is because, during the formation of the Church, the Jewish leaders forbade the disciples from preaching in the Name Jesus or talking about His resurrection. Before this kind of peace can reach one’s soul there should have been considerable encounters with Jesus who gives this kind of peace (John 14:27). Primarily, the members of the Church must experience this peace and take courage in the faithfulness of God. Let me quickly add that a person who is not at peace with himself or others is fighting a lost battle. I pray that you find peace wherever and in whatever you are doing now so that you will grow. In Jesus Name Amen.
Again, as a Church, we must desire to live peacefully with one another. Bible says that ‘pursue’ peace (1 Peter 3:11), which means if you find yourself in a situation that presents chaos make every effort to arrive at a peaceful conclusion. Do not add fuel to burning fires and later complain about the damages the fire has caused. Jesus taught that “blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called children of God” (Matthew 5: 9). Be a representation of peace to others.
2. Building up the faith of members
A thriving Church builds up the faith of its members. It does not direct members to have faith in their Pastor rather, it points members to Jesus’ love and teaches them to grow in faith. I really like this verse;
But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life
As a Church, we must desire an increase in our faith to be built, and firmly rooted in Christ. By faith, we can move mountains. One sure way to do this is to feed on the word of God. God’s word is His breathe and it is able to bring life and hope to those who believe. The more you fill your spirit with God’s word, the more you grow. God’s word brings strength when we get tired and want to give up. His word comforts us and guides us into the truth. When you continue to feed yourself with God’s word and prayers, you grow from one level of faith to another.
I want you to realize that you are a member of the body of Christ not of a denomination and it is your personal growth that makes the church grow. Grow in peace and build your faith in God.
Have a blessed day!