When the Church Grew…

Many in the religious world today would argue that church growth requires flashy new programs, innovative activities, sports, and engaging entertainment to attract people. But that isn’t the pattern we see in the Bible. The first century church grew when dedicated Christians taught the gospel to individuals seeking the truth. This lesson examines what actually caused church growth and how we can follow the same pattern today.

  • Individuals are instructed to grow—individual growth helps the group – 1 Pet. 2:2; 2 Pet. 3:18
    • “Dead church” is not acceptable to God – Rev. 3:1
    • Growth can be in number and in making each member stronger
  • WHEN the seed was planted
    • Lk. 8:5-8; 11-15 – Parable of the sower
      • Seed is the word of God
      • Church grew when seed is planted in hearts of people
    • Hag. 2:19 – If seed still in in the barn, no work has been done yet! Growth requires action
    • Multiple examples of seed being planted in Acts…
  • WHEN the church did its own work
    • Acts 6:1-6 – Addressed needs of widows while still meeting primary spiritual objectives (prayer, ministry)
    • Acts 6:7 – result was growth of church
  • WHEN the church was at peace
    • Gal. 5:15 – Selfish conflicts drive Christians away, sometimes for good
    • Acts 9:31 – peace equated with walking in fear of the Lord and in comfort of Holy Spirit
      • Peace and harmony in truth
  • WHEN people turned their hearts to God and removed sin
    • Acts 19:18-19 – Many believed and made changes, including burning books of magic
      • Are there any such changes we should make?
    • Acts 19:20 – word of God grew mightily and prevailed
  • WHEN church keeps God’s decrees
    • Can Christ’s church grow in Him without keeping God’s commands? Eph. 4:15
    • Acts 16:4 – Paul, Silas, and Timothy delivered instruction
    • Acts 16:5 – churches strengthened in faith; increased in number greatly

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