We praise God the we have lived to see another Spring time. For me, Spring is a season for new life, new goals, and new beginnings. I am praying for a new surge of energy and passion for Christ amongst us. Spring is also an opportune time to begin a ministry that aims to move our church towards spiritual and numerical growth.
Luke's emphasis on numerical growth is scattered through the whole of his work, and connected to the geographical and ethnic expansion of the early church. Beginning in Jerusalem (Acts 2:47; 4:4; 6:1-7), spreading through Judea and Samaria (9:31; 12:24), and into the uttermost parts of the earth, i.e., the Gentile mission (16:5; 19:20). This, of course, follows the pattern of Acts 1:8. The church grew numerically, geographically and cross-culturally from Judea through Samaria to Rome (John Hicks, 1995).
Just as children are a blessing from the Lord (Psalm 127), and just as the increase of Abraham's descendants was a blessing, so also the growth of God's kingdom is a blessing from God. Theologically, Luke sees the church (restored Israel) as the entity which not only includes all nations, but also will increase in number just as the world's population increases and the children of Israel increased. The church is the messianic community which is expected to be fruitful and multiply (Hicks, 1995).
I am confident that the time has come for our church to see marked numerical growth. I can’t wait to see all the pews occupied. We will be employing various approaches to church growth, and I assure you that the church will have weekly opportunities to talk and participate in church growth activities. Therefore, I urge you to pray with me about my vision for Church growth.
The sole purpose of the church is to spread the contagion of Christian ideals, and it has been demonstrated again and again that this can best be done through personal fellowship, personal witnessing and/or visitation.
During this spring we will be encouraged to use our gifts and talents for personal witnessing. The most powerful tool we possess is our testimony of how God saved us. Paul proved this by repeatedly giving his personal testimony throughout Asia Minor. People may argue with our interpretation of scripture, or our theology, but they cannot argue with what the Lord has done for us. Our testimony can be a source of healing, and sharing our joy of living for God can be an inspiration to many to lead them to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
If I can encourage you to witness to your neighbors, coworkers, as well as to others you meet, it will likely result in more visitors in church.
As a congregation, we will be visiting people in their homes. We desire to acquaint ourselves with their problems and their needs, rallying them to faithfulness in church attendance and in church services. This is a time to consecrate ourselves to the tasks ahead of us. A fitted song to inspire us is as follows:
“Take my life, and let it be consecrated, Lord, to thee. Take my moments and my days; let them flow in ceaseless praise. Take my hands, and let them move at the impulse of they love. Take my feet and let them be swift and beautiful for thee. Take my will, and make it thine; it shall be no longer mine. Take my heart, it is thine own; it shall be they royal throne. Take my love, my Lord, I pour at thy feet its treasure store. Take myself, and I will be ever, only, all for thee.” Rev. Dr. Peter E. Grinion, Pastor