How to Deal with Church Growth?

How to deal with Church Growth?

 

Acts 6:1-3 (ESV) ~ Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint by the Hellenists arose against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution. And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty.

 

We have been looking at the New Testament church over the past month or so. Sometimes we get things so complicated in our live that we need to get back to the basics, look back to where we came, look back to where we started as a church. History always repeats itself.

 

This morning, as we look at Chapter 6, we see a problem that arose in the church, church growth. There are needs within the church that are not getting met due to more and more needs being presented to the church as a whole. Church growth brings more and more responsibility and more avenues of ministry. THIS IS AWESOME! However, we must understand change must take place as growth occurs.

 

If we are not careful, groups or cliques will develop, and they will start complaining and grumbling about each other. When this happens, if not stopped immediately, this can and usually leads to a split. So how do we stop it? We look at the reason for the development of the groups/cliques.

 

  • The church had grown rapidly. When any organization grows rapidly, all kinds of problems arise, and most of the problems center around how to handle the growth. In the case of the church: new members need ministered to as well as existing members; widows as well as teenagers; young adults as well as the women’s groups; you get the point. The Pastor cannot get to everyone.
  • The growth starts to create groups that are different from one another. The difference can be anything from different social economic groups to different taste in clothing to difference in activities outside the church and even differences in the way we were raised.
    • People do and will form groups and cliques. But we must always be open and accepting, outgoing and friendly, giving and helping, humble and undeserving before each other, ministering and receiving ministry from all.
    • Cliques and groups are dangerous. There are sins common to cliques that must be guarded against, the sins of…
      • Being exclusive and shutting others out
      • Feeling superior and above others
      • Believing one has more rights than others
      • Thinking one is due more attention than others
    • The Pastor of the church does not have enough time to look after every member. Note two things that are essential when this problem arises:
      • More within the church must step up and volunteer to carry the load of the church. When volunteers step up, they must remember that they are to carry out the vision and mission of the church and what God has placed upon the Pastor for the church and not their own.
      • The members must be willing to accept the help of those the Pastor places over areas of ministry within the church and realize God is bringing growth, therefore, the Pastor has many areas to watch over.
    • Organization is essential. Communication is essential. The church must be adequately organized to minister to all. In a smaller church, some things work better than they would in a larger church. Same vice versa. However, if God is wanting to bring growth, and He does, He will equip. Sometimes when a smaller church starts to implement change, it feels weird and wrong. But, if done in the will and direction of God, it is preparing the church body for what God has in store for the future.
    • When growth comes it is easy to show favoritism to those who have been in and with the church from the beginning. It is easy to overlook and make excuses for the way things have been. We also need to understand that as new families join the body of believers, they are just as important. We cannot turn our backs on the faithful ones who have been there since the beginning and we cannot ignore the new faces that can be just as faithful, given time.
 
Pastor Andy Lambert

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