Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. (John 3:3)
These words of Jesus are many times overlooked when strategies are planned to grow the church. Jesus said a person must be born again to see, understand, or enter the Kingdom of God. The main focus of reaching the lost should be centered around this spiritual fact. No one can be born again without the spirit of God recreating their human spirit by accepting Jesus Christ as Lord.
Mental agreement of the gospel of Jesus Christ is not being born again. It is mental agreement. Many methods to reach the lost today appeal to the senses or mind of a person. Many even declare that repentance means a change of mind, but it is a change of the heart or spirit of a human being. Many gospel messages stimulate the mind, but never reach the spirit of man. Therefore, people are not born again and Christians that hear these messages do not grow and develop spiritually.
The Outward Focus
Well-meaning churches and ministers have raced to see who can have the largest show. Rock concert lighting dazzles the people, fog machines spew and bellow fog clouds through the auditorium. Mood lighting, fit for a seance, is dimmed at just the right moment. The latest song, usually written by an unspiritual person out of their mind, not their spirit, blasts out of the sound system and people get the feeling. They leave with that feeling of fulfillment and live as a lost person. Even the message taught made them feel good. Later, the emptiness returns inside their spirit. I do not say these things to be condemning or unloving, but to point out how futile and counterproductive these human methods are, at growing the church. Jesus said you must be born again, not dazzled and entertained until you go blind, choke on the fog, or you die. Millions of dollars are wasted on these items and equipment by the church. If the Bible is true, it is all in vain and you might as well build a fire with the money wasted.
Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus. (Acts 4:13)
You don’t have to be smart, intelligent or know everything to understand this. Just think of how ignorant and immature I am. I know it from simply reading the Bible. I admit I am unlearned, but I have studied the Bible extensively and know the Holy Ghost. That has been my major quest in life, because that is all that counts in the end when life is over.
I know that all these things grieve the Holy Ghost and are worth a pile of dung, in church growth strategies. There is a way that seems right to man, but the end thereof are the ways of death (Prov. 14:12). If people are turning from the Holy Ghost and the Word to build their churches, how are you supposed to build the church – according to the Word? Let’s look at the way to Biblically grow the church.
Steps to Church Growth 101
The truths I am about to share for church growth have been proven. The church I pastored went from 11 people to over 120 in 6 months. Another church went from 25 to over 600 in 2 1/2 years. These are time-test, Biblical strategies to grow your church.
1. The pastor must take time to pray and seek God and teach his people to do the same or there will be no anointing. Crucify the flesh and seek spiritual things. Yes, for hours. This binds Satan and his evil also.
2. Fast some while you are praying, or live a fasted life. I guarantee you it will increase the anointing, revelation and power of God flowing through you. I have proven it to be so. Jesus did also.
3. Teach on faith and prayer, especially on the prayer of agreement. The people will grow and develop in their faith and so will you, in doing this. Faith pleases God. (Matthew 18:18-19)
4. Ask people in your church to volunteer to believe for one local person’s salvation, by name. Don’t force folks to do it, it won’t work.
5. Gather those who volunteer to come to a special prayer meeting. Remember, this is already a praying church.
6. Let each person in the group call the person’s name out loud they are believing for. Claim the people’s salvation and agree together it is done, praising God.
7. Don’t be shocked when you wake the devil up and he is upset with your actions. He has been sleeping on the front pew or in the rafters. Stand your ground, bind and cast him out in the name of Jesus.
8. Prepare your leaders and departments for growth. Teach them how to make disciples out of those in their care.
9. Minister to all the people in your church and do not cater to one special generation or group.
10. Minister by the Word and Spirit. Let the Holy Ghost break out in your church and the fire will fall! You can’t contain it, so flow with it. IT IS GLORIOUS!