Establishing growth oriented churches
Published On June 11, 2016 » 1865 Views» By Hildah Lumba » Features
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Religious Corner LogoBy  SUNITTA CHILAKA –

EVERYDAY we are reading and hearing about how clergymen are acquiring magical powers to enable them pull crowds, make prophesies and perform miracles from witchdoctors.
This is very sad and one might think it is just a fictitious bed time story but the truth of the matter is that these things are happening.
God says my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.
Hosea 4:6a. When one rejects knowledge they live a meaningless life and perish at the end of it all.
Knowledge has helped us know the difference between a school, university and a hospital. When oneis sick they don’t go to a school for treatment rathertheygo to the hospital.
The same knowledge applies to spiritual matters, when you want church growth you go to God and not to a witchdoctor who does not lead any church.
All pastors want their churches to grow so does God. Pulling crowds, making prophesies and performing miracles is not acquired from witchdoctors but from God who has called ministers of the gospel and entrusted them with His word.
We are living in a world where everything has become fast forward. We have fast foods, fast communications and this has given birth to microwave Christianity. Many want to receive what they ask for in prayers immediately they say amen.
Church growth is not only for the pastors but members of the church have the role to play also. Paul and the other evangelists planted churches and nurtured them for only a brief time and these churches grew.
Initial growth principles were implanted in the hearts of these churches which carried them on to growth, for example Thessalonian church 1 Thessalonians1:7-8 and the Ephesian church Ephesians 19:20.
These churches grew all because Paul gave them an example of evangelism which stayed with them for many years and it became part of them. Paul let churches know that they had a responsibility to continue what he had started in them.
This is what every pastor should teach members of the church and explain to them the church vision and mission statement. The church does not belong to the preachers sothey should not try to steal the church from Jesus.
Church growth calls for making disciples and not spectators who will cheer when a miracle is performed.
The first thing that Jesus did when establishing a ministry was to make disciples and he taught them well and gave them authority such that they become like him. When the chief priest and others wanted to arrest Jesus it was difficult to spot or identified him among the other disciples, this is why they had to use Judas his disciples to give them a signal for easy identification.
The disciples ministered the word of God in towns and villages asJesusinstructed, Matthew 10:1-42.
Jesus and his disciples formed a strong army with the same goal. The news about Jesus spread everywhere, large crowds followed him because they were amazed at his teachings. Matthew 7: 28-29.
Jesus’ ministry continued to grow because he focus and nurtured his disciples to disciple others and teach the good news.
When he was taken to heaven the disciples were fully baked, it was not a struggle for them to teach and do greater miracles, those who accepted the message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day, Acts 2:41.
You don’t win souls and go to sleep, keeping on teaching the new converts also, like the disciples they continued to teach the word of God, met in their homes, shared possessions and they had everything in common.
And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. Acts 2:47b. As a pastor when you do according to the Lords will He will surely add more members and the Church will grow. God brings the right people in the ministry who are willing to learn and devote themselves to the teachings.
Paul wrote to Timothy ‘And the things that you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others’2Timothy 2:2.
Jesus leftonly one plan for church growth, multiplication through disciples making disciples. Jesus spent most of his time with a handful of chosen ones teaching them to follow and make followers. Choose disciples who are mature in the things of God.
The most important thing l have learned in my pastoral duties is to teach capable people tasks so that even when lam not there it’s easy to delegate and this has given birth to growth.
Jethro knew this strategy and he shared it to Moses, Exodus 18:21-24. God has chosen people and not plans or programs to spread His message.
Mike Breen and Walt Kallestad in their book The passionate church, highlights that ‘When He (Christ) returned to heaven it was up to these men and women who were still struggling to get it and to multiply or cease to exist’.
In ministry there is no plan B, if the church doesnot grow, then you decide to go to a witchdoctor as a plan B, it will make you perish.
Every medicine has an expiry date, unlike the word of God which has no expiry date. If ministers of the word lower themselves and go to witchdoctors who will win them to Christ.
The church should grow because God wants it to grow. He sent His only begotten son to establish the church of Christ.
Paul called it the church of God, it is still the same thing. Disciples will make fellow disciples as a result the church will keep on growing and producing many other churches which will produce other healthy and firm churches.
This strategy worked in Jesus time, so it can work even today.

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