Church growth is both spiritual and physical. There is the numerical growth of the Church. Then there is the spiritual growth of the Church whereby members become more and more like the Lord Jesus Christ displaying both the fruit and the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Discipleship is the proper monitoring and helping the individual to grow to maturity in ability and accountability in a specific or general area of calling.
Influence through the Church can be on the family. It could be to influence parents and siblings or husband, wife and children for God. It could just be influence to demonstrate, in a world in need of a model, what is the best husband or wife – as God wants them to be.
Influence in the work place is to be found diligent, trustworthy, faithful and capable thus becoming an asset to the company at the same time ministering to others – counselling and winning souls. Those we influence in turn influence others so the believers as salt reduce societal decay…and we as light cause the nation to shine brighter and brighter. Influence can also be in our career as nurses, doctors, pharmacists, engineers, accountants, etc, thereby keeping to the highest standards of ethics and professionalism. These areas also serve to win souls for the king.
As we grow spiritually, displaying the beauty of Jesus, we influence others in the Church. As we display the character of Jesus, others are encouraged. As we flow in the gifts of the Spirit others benefit thereby. The members would also be influenced to blossom causing a ripple effect that lead to an explosive revolution. We also impact ethics and character by resisting wrong environmental influences. Numerical growth should lead to evangelism and missions and a better base to make a positive impact in a dark society.
Factors that influence spiritual growth include the following:
- Study of the word of God. Prayer being communion with God
- Exercising of our faith and confidence in God
- Communion with God and learning to obey God and be a living sacrifice
Problems and crises can be the beginning of growth for a minister. Recognizing weakness and going to God can be the beginning of growth. Crises can cause us to listen to God again and thereby grow. Other people exerting positive influence of comfort, encouragement and empathy in times of crises would be most crucial.
Our response to weakness in others may be a measure of our personal growth. Our ability to take care of both the strong and the weak brethren could be very crucial. Spiritual growth also comes from self denial, ability to die to self and pursuing the good of the kingdom instead of our selfish, petty and ambitious visions of grandeur…
In recent times so much has been written and observed about lapses in the Church – either as denominations or a small fellowship led by an individual …and many meant well but only have become a weakness to the body rather than a witness…others mock at her conflicts and inconsistencies offering a different balm. Those that have been stung in conflicts create new movements in prideful action as though bad hearts are cured by new organisation constructs and the rest simply sit in a cynical pose on the fence… even as the more articulate help the enemy tear down that which remains though already weakened and faltering with mixed doctrines, doubts and a well focused and deliberate onslaught by the world, evil and satan’s hosts.
The Prophet Isaiah when saw the Lord said In Isaiah 6 Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.  Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar:  And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.  Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.
It all starts with my own personal repentance … but who in the body will say “Woe is me” or inspire others to do same?… God did it for the Prophet Isaiah.
You may wonder who this post relates to … and like David be quizzed at the intent and direction of my conclusion …The Prophet Nathan put David out of his agony…
2 Samuel 12  And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul;  And I gave thee thy master’s house, and thy master’s wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things.  Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in his sight?
Matthew 16:18  And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
Jesus has always been building His Church and never once did He promise to build ours.
Why was David moved to repentance or Isaiah moved to cry out – while others would have continued with “business as usual” ? May I find from God the kind of grace that will single me out for an uncommon repentance experience…
God bless You.