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The Basic Laws Of Church Growth The Basic Laws Of Church Growth The Basic Laws Of Church Growth The Basic Laws Of Church Growth

The following characteristics (or laws) have been discovered to be in common in churches experiencing genuine Biblical spiritual growth. Some churches grow slowly. Some churches grow rapidly. Some churches maintain status quo. Some churches decline. Some churches die. WHY? These timeless universal characteristics have been identified that determine whether or not a church grows or declines and how rapidly it grows or declines. This growth does not represent today's modern theatrical phenomonen that attracts crowds in numbers by worldly persuasion. We are talking about genuine Biblical Kingdom growth.

  1. The members believe in and magnify the Bible as the infallible word of God. (The Bible is the textbook of the church to be preached, believed, studied, and followed.)
  2. There is a deep personal commitment to the Lordship of Christ. (And to carrying out His Great Commission. Regular and earnest prayer is the way of life. The members seek to evangelize people and therefore change the customs of society to the standards of Jesus, rather than conforming to the customs of society.) The leaders are filled and controlled by the Holy Spirit. The kingdom of satan is recognized as the chief enemy of the church. Attention is devoted to defeating satanic philosophies and influences and to anticipating and overcoming the aggressive attacks of the devil.
  3. Evangelism is the top priority of the church. The time, interest, money, and attention devoted to any activity, cause, or organization is in direct proportion to its evangelism productivity. A sizable portion of the church budget each year is designated for evangelism. The number two person on the church staff is usually the minister of evangelism. (No person, group, cause, controversy, or organization will be permitted to hijack the church from its primary course.) The emphasis is upon "Go and bring" rather than "Come and meet." (Evangelism is leading individuals to accept Christ as personal Saviour and to follow Him as Lord of life.)
  4. The pastor is "The Man Sent From God." He is committed to being the undershepherd of God in leading the church in its God given assignment. He is committed to the filling, direct control and guidance of the Holy Spirit. He has great faith in God and God's people. He is a man of great and clear vision. He expects great things from God and he attempts great things for God. He thinks big! His personal priority is the world evangelism with special emphasis upon his Jerusalem. (This usually involves long pastorates.) He will not be side tracked for other matters, regardless of their apparent urgency. (He is not hung up on such seemingly important things as: problems, theological and social controversies, ecclesiology, finances, buildings and space, workers, humanism, and materialism. He deals with the important matters more than with urgent matters.)
  5. The pastor is the leader. (Committees, deacons, or other groups or individuals do not run the church. The committees and deacons serve the congregation under the leadership of the pastor.) The autonomous church exercises its greatest democracy in choosing the proper pastor. Then the members follow the pastor. Members teach and serve as desired by the pastor. (The pastor is more of a motivator and supervisor than he is a theologian and a counselor.)
  6. The church magnifies soul-winning. There is a continuous program of training and developing soul winners. There is a strong emphasis and program of winning people to Christ. The church staff, the deacons, and the teachers set the pace and lead the way in winning people to Christ. (No person serves on the church staff or as a deacon unless he is a practicing personal soul winner.) This necessitates a continuous orientation program for new converts.
  7. An aggressive program of saturation evangelism is followed. Widespread use is made of such things as: house to house evangelism, personal evangelism, canvassing, telephone evangelism, church bus evangelism, bulk permit mailing programs, crusades, promotions, special high attendance Sundays, newspaper advertising, and radio and tele-evangelism.
  8. Methods, programs, organizations, and procedures are constantly reviewed and changed as appropriate in the interest of productivity. (Special attention is devoted to quantity and quality.) Change and growth go hand in hand. The church that never changes will never grow! (All changes do not produce growth but there will be no significant growth without appropriate accompanying change.)
  9. The primary emphasis and thrust of the Sunday School and missions is evangelism (rather than religious education and benevolence). Capable and committed teachers provide good positive Bible teaching. The quality of the teaching is more important than the size of the class.
  10. The church worship services have spiritual depth, genuine quality, and public appeal. Careful attention is devoted to providing the best possible music. The music is planned to appeal to unchurched people rather than to upgrade the music appreciation of the members.
  11. A proper balance is maintained between local evangelism and missions around the world.
  12. The rate of church growth or decline is in direct proportion to the extent these laws are observed! Therefore, each congregation must choose the degree of their faithfulness to Him who founded the church. (The congregation has no cause for choosing their top priority but rather expressing their commitment to the New Testament priority of evangelism.) Christ is the head of the church and we His people. Thus the growth or decline of our church is determined by our commitment, vision, attitude, and obedience.
Research also indicates that the following factors have no bearing upon church growth, even though some people have and do think they do!
  1. The location of the church building.
  2. The population density of the area.
  3. The size and appointments of the church building.
  4. The known workers available.
  5. The known financing available.
  6. The size of the church.
  7. The age of the church.
  8. The age of the pastor.
  9. The size of the church staff.
  10. The formal training of the church staff.
  11. Hard work—unless it is in the right direction.
  12. The denominational affiliation.
  13. The organizations within the church.
  14. The committees within the church. (Committees and organizations can prevent growth and even cause decline.)
  15. Social, racial, and ethnic factors.
  16. The economy of the area.
  17. The involvement in social matters and benevolence programs.
  18. The number or the size of other churches in the area.
It appears that these factors do not make any difference (for all practical purposes) as to whether a church grows or declines. For those who would argue, remember one thing: the Holy Spirit! (John 3:5-8) To Him alone is given the power of regeneration and growth. Our best efforts without His anointing may temporarily appease the human conscience but can never take away the guilt of the sinner that brings union with His Creator and Savior. It is not the wisdom and work of this world that draws and saves men's souls though it may temporarily fill a house. It is only through His Wisdom and Work which is always connected to His Word. Do not be fooled by the typical megachurch movement. Ziplines, flashing lights and JumboTrons may fill a house but are not anointed for genuine spiritual growth of a congregation and their worship. I Corinthians 1:21; John 3:14; John 12:32; Mt.16:18; Acts 1:8; 10:44; John 16:8

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