In my first post on this topic we looked at 4 areas the assemblies (and any church that follows them) are growing. These can apply to any church that wants to follow God’s way of living out the church.
Here are some more ways I see the churches growing.
5. Stronger leadership
Leaders lead, followers follow. Sadly in many churches leadership is no more than people who makes decisions about building problems, how many chairs make up a row, whether or not to use grape juice or wine etc.
In assemblies that are growing I see men who are committed to the principles of leadership in the Word of God. They are compassionate, not rigid or legalistic (willing to make changes as needed), focused on shepherding and discipleship and they are willing to clearly communicate to the flock their vision and direction.
This takes courage and great conviction. I am praying for a new generation of strong leaders to take up the call to lead God’s people forward into growth.
6. Back to the Bible
There is no question that the assemblies, and most church groups, would claim to hold to the Bible as their only source. However, many groups, including assemblies are willing to stand too firmly on things that are non-biblical (not unbiblical).
Growing churches are focused on what the Word of God says and are not interested in adding more to it. This brings with it a greater sense of commitment to what God cares about. It’s a lot easier to tell someone, “We stand on the Bible”, when you actually focus on what it says.
If we are going to reach the next generations with the Gospel we need to get serious about this matter. If we can’t explain something biblically we should not make it an issue within the church.
7. Expression in worship
This is a sticky subject but I feel it needs to be discussed. For so long, too long, Christians in assemblies have been told that emotion is bad. That any expression of happiness, joy or celebration (especially during the Lord’s Supper) is inappropriate.
Raising hands, clapping, voicing praise such as “amen”, “Hallelujah” are often relegated to youth times only for the youth to be told not to bring that into “the church” meetings.
Not only is this not a biblical attitude it is harmful to the spiritual growth of an individual and a church. Do we need those things to worship? Of course not. Churches that allow the expression of emotion and joy in the Lord are seeing good spiritual growth.
8. Learning to compromise
According to the dictionary the word compromise means, “an agreement or a settlement of a dispute that is reached by each side making concessions”. I would advocate that this is a biblical principle.
Paul says to the Romans, “Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.” Romans 14:19. And to the Philippians, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” Philippians 2:3-4
Far too often we are unwilling to give up, or compromise our position for the betterment of the church. We dig our heels in and put up our weapons to fight. Growing churches rid themselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. See 1 Peter 2:1.
I will keep this series going as there are many more things that can be discussed. Praise God for His work in the church of North America and around the world. May we all strive to build it up for His glory!