We need the right kind of conviction, competency, and confidence in our church growth efforts.
The “right” kind is not that which depends on us but rather on the Holy Spirit to be at work both in us and through us.
The right kind of competence leads to confidence that the Church will grow.
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. (Acts 1:8)
You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. Such confidence we have through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant – not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. (2 Cor. 3:3-5)
When we depend on the Holy Spirit to work in people’s lives to bring them to salvation, rather that our own church growth efforts, we can proceed with confidence, knowing that it isn’t up to us but Him.
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord … (2 Tim. 1:7-8a)
The right kind of conviction for church growth flows from competency and confidence based on the Holy Spirit’s work.
Notice how, in the following verse, deep conviction is coupled with the Holy Spirit:
because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. (1 Thess. 1:5)
We can be fully persuaded about a certain church growth initiative and be totally wrong about using it in our church. Just because something seemed to work elsewhere doesn’t mean it is God’s plan for our church. We need to be guided and empowered by the Holy Spirit. The right kind of conviction is that which is grounded on the Spirit’s work, not our own efforts or the ideas of others.