Living things grow. Look around you and see for yourself. The trees are covered in leaves. At this time of year we can also recognise where things are not growing. In our garden, in the middle of a sea of green trees, there is one tree that is bare. We can tell that it is no longer alive because it shows no evidence of growth.
Living things are supposed to grow. But growth can be difficult because it means change. This happens to us every day and we don’t complain much. The cells in our bodies are continually being renewed. I am not the same person I was yesterday and neither are you. We are all changing fast because we are alive.
The Church family is a living thing. As followers in the way of Jesus we are part of his living body. Not stones in a building, but living stones who are being built into a spiritual house. We have been included and are being made holy. Because we are alive, we are being transformed and changed. This is true as individuals and as a community.
Sometimes we find it easier to equate growth with something that is just spiritual. But the narrative of the bible is not just about spiritual growth. It is growth in people who come to know Jesus and so the church family should be a numerically growing community. If you’re not convinced then take some time to reflect on the following:
• God called Abraham and blessed him to be a blessing – Genesis 12
• He then raised up a family and a nation as hope for the world.
• Then he sent Jesus to die “Once for All” – Hebrews 10:10
• Jesus sends us as the Father has sent him – John 20:21
• There is even a book called Numbers
• We have been sent to make disciples of all nations – Matthew 28:19
So as a living community we are supposed to grow and this growth includes numbers. In our morning services over the next two months we are going to be looking at Acts 2:42-47. We will look at what the early church did to make sure they were healthy and ready to grow. In doing so, we will hang on to two key principles of church family growth.
1. Our job is to remain and then we will be fruitful (John 15).
2. The Lord is the one who brings the growth (Acts 2:47b). Let’s be a growing community.