Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Church Health Trumps Church Growth

"Their responsibility (leaders listed in v. 11) is to equip God's people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ." Apostle Paul, Ephesians 4:12 NLT

Paul is teaching on the nature of the Church here in Ephesians. In particular, he's writing about what the gifted leaders of the Church should be doing with their spiritual gifts. (listed in v. 11)

What are they supposed to be doing? Building up the church (lit. "body"). Rick Warren says, a healthy church is a church that will grow. Church health trumps church growth. (Purpose-Driven Church)

Paul seems to be saying the same thing here. We equip the church family to mature in Christ. The result is that they will become more and more like Christ towards each other and towards a lost world. Inherent in this is making disciples who make disciples. But also inherent is growing in spiritual maturity is bearing the fruit of the Spirit more and more.

We in the Church focus a lot on growing our local church numerically. I submit that we should spend more thought and effort on growing our church family in the likeness of Christ Jesus. The result can't help but be a loving church that is also growing numerically.

Pray: Lord, help us as church leaders focus less on how to get people in the doors and more on how to lead those already with us to maturity in Christ. In Jesus' name we pray, amen.