Church Leadership Basics: God’s Power for the Church
The kind of growth experienced in the early church is what many of us would like to see.
Let’s take note of some realities about church growth by breaking down Acts 2:47.
1) “And” means there is a context. The preceding verses, 42-45, show a church engaged in activities that showed love for God (teaching, prayer, worship) and for people (fellowship, benevolence). Notice that they didn’t play around at it. They devoted themselves to these activities as evidence by how they met regularly (daily).
2) “Daily” people were being saved and added to their number. Church growth was not the result of a big event or push to grow the church but rather an ongoing occurrence.
3) “Those who were being saved” constituted their growth. This is conversion growth, not that which comes from transplants from other churches or biological growth due to young couples in the church having babies but rather from people getting saved.
4) “The Lord added” is the key phrase. Yes, the church devoted themselves to certain activities but they were not the ones ultimately responsible for the growth. The Lord brought the growth.
God’s power is essential if we want to see the kind conversion growth experienced in the early church. If we try to make it about ourselves … the technology, facilities, charisma of a pastor, programs and other events … we open the door to problems. Pride and jealousy awaits us through potential comparisons and competition. The church at Corinth was headed down that path so the Apostle Paul had to set them straight. He said,
“I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.” (1 Cor. 3:6-7)
Notice, again, the emphasis on God as the One who “makes things grow.”
To have the kind of church God grows requires that we tap into His power. Click below to review the various means through which we access His power. Eventually we will look at each of these means specifically as they relate to church growth so be sure to subscribe to the Practicum to get e-mail notice of new posts.