The Thriving Church: The True Measure of Growth, will be released December 6. This interactive resource engages church members and leaders with the most detailed and complete biblical description of organic life in the church, Ephesians 4:1-16.
I would like to invite you to work with me through this truth-packed passage of Scripture and find the answers to these questions:
- What is church growth?
- How is it defined?
- Can it be measured?
- How can you help your church thrive?
The first church I pastored experienced a steady increase in attendance, membership, financial resources, ministry programs, pastoral staff, missionaries we supported, and facilities. People in the community were hearing the gospel, trusting Christ, and attending our church. Some who already knew the Lord were hungry for the Word and found their way to our fellowship.
Our auditorium was overflowing, so we started a second morning service, then a third. We rented classroom space in an office building across the street. Finally we relocated and moved into a newly constructed facility.
People in the community who knew about the church commented, “Your church is really growing!” Increase in the size and scope of ministry is one kind of growth. It’s the kind we usually desire, work for, and get excited about when it happens.
But is this the kind of growth Ephesians 4 is talking about?
The second church I pastored went through a period of increased attendance, financial abundance, and adding ministry initiatives. But the church also experienced periods of fluctuation in these usual markers of prosperity and growth.
If you were to look at the numbers from one year to the next during some of those times, you might not see tangible indicators of growth. Does this mean the church was not growing?
For our churches to fulfill God’s intention, we must understand His template for growth and align our endeavors with it. In Ephesians 4:1-16, Paul tells us the areas in which the church should be growing and the standards by which growth should be measured.
Let’s dig in together and learn about the growing body and how you can help your church thrive.
Adapted from The Thriving Church: The True Measure of Growth, by Dean H. Taylor, published by JourneyForth.