How do we grow the church? As a lead pastor for the past sixteen years I have studied this question from every angle. I have tried all kinds of things to help the church grow, more failing than succeeding I have to say. But as John Maxwell says, “we learn far more from our failures than we do in our successes”. In studying church growth I have seen church that are contemporary in their approve exploit in growth while other have failed. I have seen churches that were more traditional die while others like them prosper. I have seen churches grow that believe in children ministry or youth ministry while other believe it is music, and yet other that men’s ministry is what brings them in. I have come to the conclusion that there is no secret formula for growth, but it is hard work. You see I believe growth comes when the people of God get involved in kingdom work. Growth happens when every member becomes a ministry.
You see we have all been called to do a work and when the body of Christ is doing what God has called them to do then God will back them up. The problem that many people in church have is that they thing of the church as what does it offer me. Too many people are self absorbed and what to know what is in it for me. The church grows when we as individuals are willing to change and allow God to do what ever God wants to do. The church grows when more people get involved in the cause of Christ and begin to do what God has called them to do
At South Decatur we believe that doing kingdom work, thought not easy, should be simple. We have a very simple mission statement: Loving God, Loving People, and Serving our Community. We believe that everything that Jesus has called us to do is wrapped up in that simple statement.
Loving God—The first law of God was to “love the Lord with all of our heart”. Everyday our life should be an act of worship to the Lord. Through praise and service we worship God every day that we live. When we come together no matter what our musical style is we should praise the Lord with all of our heart. Coming together as believer weather we do it on Saturday night or Sunday morning it should be a celebration of our love for Jesus.
Loving People—Jesus said “this commandment I give you, to love your neighbor as yourself”. If we truly love God then must love what He loves and that is people, and if we love people then we are going to do everything that we can to help them come closer to God. Loving people is not always easy, at times it can be very challenging but it what Jesus commanded us to do. The church has to show love to mankind the same way that Jesus did.
Serving our Community—As Jesus was being taken into heaven He leaves us with the words “Go ye into all the world”. Jesus tells us that we can not build come to churches but that the church has to get out into the streets and take the gospel to the world. Paul said in Romans 1 “I am a servant (slave) to Jesus Christ” and that is what we must be willing to be.
These are not just for the few but these are for everyone in the church. When the body begins to work then the Lord begins to bless. Growth comes when we all get involved in doing what God has called us to do. Growth comes when we forget about ourselves and we begin to think of the kingdom and what God would have for us to do in the kingdom work. What are you doing to build the kingdom of God? Find your place and get busy.