Encouraging, Living, Reaching


8 Ways the Assemblies Can Grow in 2018

8 Ways the Assemblies Can Grow in 2018

assemblyHUB is now over 3 years old.  We have pretty much hit a regular stride of producing articles and of all the articles I have written 8 Ways the Assemblies Can Grow in 2016 is one of the most talked about still. So I thought I would take a stab at it again.

Much of my burden comes from my own assembly and the assemblies of close friends.  I long to see us grow in the Lord and be a shining light in the communities we have been placed into.  That doesn’t come without effort and dedication to the leading of the Spirit.

As we look to a new year ahead here are 8 ways I see the assemblies moving forward and making progress.  I pray that these become a vital part of every assembly in 2018.

1. A fresh surrender to the Holy Spirit

This is not the first point by accident. I believe of all the things we can talk about this is THE most important.  For too long the Holy Spirit has been placed in a corner of the assemblies and neglected.  Maybe it’s out of fear of appearing too “charismatic” or because we don’t want to face Him and what He will require of us.

We need to let go of our hang-ups regarding His work in the church and let Him empower us again. Churches that give first place to the Spirit will grow as His fruit is displayed in the lives of the saints.

2. Abandon apathy

Apathy is displayed in many ways but primarily it is shown in the lack of enthusiasm or excitement.  It’s possible to be faithful in ritual and dead in spirit. Do people love being at your assembly more than anything else?  Or is it just another thing to do out of obligation or habit?  It’s not that hard to spot the difference. As a soccer coach would say, “Get in the game!”.

3. Revive hospitality

I can’t get away from Acts 2:46. They met in each other’s homes and in many assemblies this has been forsaken. If we want to see true growth in fellowship then we must open our lives and homes to God’s people. Not just a few times a year but all the time.  Not only will this greatly benefit your local church, it will also change your life too. Give it a shot in 2018.

4. Stop the gossip

The plain truth is that gossip will kill the fellowship of a church. It’s like a disease that eats away at the joy of the Lord. Add to that slander and back-biting and it’s a sure formula for disaster. Assemblies that are thriving give no place to this kind of attitude and activity. To grow we must endure, put others first and lay down pride.  It’s the only formula that will work for assemblies this year.

5. Build bridges

The gap between the generations has never been wider in the assemblies. The older ones struggle to hang onto control and the younger long for change.  Instead of sitting on either side of the table let’s engage in meaningful, productive discussion to foster unity instead of division.

This means compromise on non-essential, non-biblical issues. It means sacrificing some of your own preferences for the greater good and health of the church. The churches that are building bridges are seeing tremendous growth and blessing.

6. Mentor someone

Paul’s challenge to Titus was to teach the older that they had a responsibility to the younger believers (Titus 2:1-5). They had to first be worthy of mentoring and then were to engage younger Christians in order to impart truth to them. Churches that foster this kind of mentoring atmosphere will thrive in 2018.

7. Rejoice

I have visited some assemblies in the past few years that have blessed my heart by sharing the joy of the Lord. They are genuinely overflowing with thanksgiving and praise because they have been touched by the grace of God. They can’t help it and it’s evidenced in their lives.

It doesn’t mean they don’t face trials but despite their difficulties their love for the Lord shines through. Let’s remove the deadness in our fellowships by fixing our eyes on the Lord and expressing the emotion of our hearts.

8. Forgive

I put this last to act as a bookend to point number 1. If you are holding any form of bitterness, resentment or an unforgiving spirit against a brother or sister then the Holy Spirit is being prevented from having full reign in your life. The Lord can’t bless those who have unresolved issues towards His people.

John tells us plainly that we are not walking in the light if we are keeping ourselves in bitterness (1 John 2:9). In order for the church to grow it must be emptied of this damaging attitude. It starts with each one of us laying down our pride and giving the hurt and pain over to the Lord. Will you do that in 2018?

Final thoughts

A lot more could be said but these points are meant to get discussions going within your assembly. What do you need to work on in 2018? What goals do you have to help your church grow?

Together with the leading of the Spirit, our assemblies can change our families and communities. We can make an impact on the lives of those who are a part of our local fellowships and those who are searching for a Savior.

May 2018 be a year of spiritual maturity in your own life and the life of your local fellowship!

Crawford Paul

Crawford is an elder at Rolling Meadows Bible Chapel in Ontario and has a passion for the assemblies. He and his wife Beth serve in various ways within the assembly to build up and encourage the believers. He is president of Legacy Ministries Canada, an organization focused on helping individual Christians, local churches and Christian organizations with financial, legal and governance matters. Check it out at legacycanada.org

One Response to 8 Ways the Assemblies Can Grow in 2018

  1. Hello Crawford
    Evangelism will bring excitement to the churches that never see new faces. Inviting people to the church no longer works as most in Canada have given up on “religion” because the experiences they had did not meet their needs.

    1 the church needs to learn how to reach the many immigrants that are coming into Canada and into the neighbourhood of the churches.
    For many the perceived needs of these immigrants are friends, learn English, learn how to bank, do taxes, understand where to go to solve problems etc etc. Ask them if you can help them. Ask the ladies to share some of their recipes with you.etc etc

    However their greatest need is to learn about Jesus But they do not see this
    1.START BY BEING A FRIEND
    There are many ways that friendships can be developed, but it needs time, and it must be SINCERE and a priority. Don’t force them to listen to you talk about your religion. Ask them to share what they believe, does it give them peace about facing death? What is their concept of God? is it possible to know God? Do they know that God came to this earth? How can we know if He is really God or is it the wishful thinking of western countries? There can be many more questions to make them think.

    2.They cannot understand our “Bible language” .. Many have never heard about Jesus, or that He did miracles … Church is for believers to build them up. .. You need to start with informal get-to-gethers where you socialize but you are to learn about them, and not talk about yourself or the weather. Get them to talk of their faith and what they think about Christianity
    be a listener.
    When they start asking you questions, that is where you might suggest they you read the Bible together. Start at Creation, the fall the first false religion (Cain and Abel) and there are many verses here that present God’s plan of redemption before you finish chapter 4 make the discussion interactive.

    Do not give too much too fast or they will have spiritual indigestion. Go little by little adding “here a little, there a little” like placing one brick at a time to build the walls of a house. Follow where they have questions. If they do not have questions start to ask them about creation and why sin evil and war came into this world, and How is God solving the problem.

    Evangelism is learned by practice. Be sincere in your interest for them. Not all will be interested in continuing but if you learn how to ask questions, they will want to talk more, and the end goal is to ask them if they have ever read the Bible and want to learn about what it says.

    You need to start where they are.
    If they are Catholics and accept the trinity start with reviewing what they accept and correcting little by little what they do not understand etc or .. Talk about the faith of Mary, but she is not omnipresent, or omnipotent, or omniscient

    If they are Atheists start with evidence that God exists

    If they are Muslims, start with if Jesus is a prophet or more than a prophet. .. and the signs of a true prophet
    0r … Is the Bible corrupted
    or … How can God die?
    Never belittle their religious books or leaders, but proclaim the truth in a humble way, but not forcefully.They need time to think about what they heard. The Holy Spirit will work to bring the change in His time.

    I can go on with many more things, but will stop here.
    If the assembly gets out of their church to win souls. they will get excited about God.

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