Over the last few years, numerous books and articles have been written about why churches grow (or don’t grow). They have offered all kinds of solutions to the problems of declining church growth. Some of the ideas are:
1. Bigger buildings
2. Better location
3. Good publicity
4. Plenty of parking
5. Better qualified staff
Now these are good and if possible, churches need to have them. But when we look at the book of Acts, we see that the church described there grew because of some other reasons. Let’s consider some of them:
They Preached the Simple Message of Jesus Christ (Acts 2:22-28). Their efforts were not directed at preaching social reform or some kind of revolutionary new gimmick to try on the people. Salvation was (and is) man’s greatest need and they preached the message of the One Who could provide it.
They Enjoyed Each Other’s Fellowship (Acts 2:42-46). They spent a lot of time together even when they were not in the public assembly. They ate, prayed, and studied together. They shared their possessions.
They Had A Common Purpose (Acts 4:32a). This verse says, “All the believers were one in heart and mind.” When people are held together by like-mindedness and common purpose they are a powerful and successful force.
They Were Respected by Outsiders (Acts 5:13). There was just something about that group of Christians that commanded the respect of non-Christians. Their work, morality, zeal, dedication and spirituality just seemed to make them much better than those outside of Christ.
They Were Committed (Acts 5:29). After being put in jail and threatened, Peter said, “We must obey God rather than men.” Christianity was not (and is not now) a practice based on convenience or the mood of the one claiming to be Christian, but on giving ourselves totally to the obedience of God’s will — whatever the cost.
They Practiced Evangelism Everywhere Every Day (Acts 8:1-4). Those who were scattered as the result of the persecution “preached the word wherever they went.” Preaching and teaching Jesus was not limited to an apostolic hierarchy but it was taught as they had the opportunity by all.
So, we can see that church growth in the NT was not the result of adequate church staffs, big buildings, good locations, but by every Christian being dedicated to the cause of Christ and unswerving in his/her desire as one had talent and opportunity. Ferman Carpenter – Henderson church of Christ, Henderson, KY