The Growth of the Church: How We Add versus How the Lord Adds

Greetings to the Church of Jesus Christ:

Acts 2:46,47: And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

 There are a myriad of ways the Lord reaches out to people to call them to salvation and reconciliation. You can ask any believer and you may get a different story each time. That is the beauty of God that no matter where you are or what condition you are in, the Lord can still reach out to you. As we have entered into the technological age where you are one click from being in contact with anyone in the world. The mindset of witnessing for Jesus to bring people to Christ has become unbalanced. Many have left the foundation and principles of being a witness of Christ and have gone after worldly methods.   We have gone to shiny big posters and advertisements. We have chased after the big buildings as a means of “attracting people” to the church. We have chose to “entertain” people to try to attract people to the “church”.   All of these maybe well intentioned but nothing substitutes for living holy and manifesting the culture of the Kingdom before men.

In the above Scripture, noticed the first century church continued daily with oneness sharing the word of God with each other. This was not a once a week occurrence, this was a daily reality. It was the way they lived and in living in this manner the Scripture said this:

“ And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved”

Notice it did not say “they added to the church”. It said the Lord added.   We must go back to the reality that yes we have earthly cultures that we grew up in and are a blessing to show to others who can appreciate the beauty of diversity that God has created. As sons of God we are called to demonstrate a higher culture, which is the culture of the Kingdom of God. It is by sons living the reality of His culture that glory of God can be seen from the sons and Christ is lifted up to draw men to Him. In addition, notice that in the Scripture above when the culture of the Kingdom is visibly seen, it says that the church will have favour with all the people.

We must come back to a visible, daily manifestation of the culture of the Kingdom and put the method by which the Lord desires to reach people second.   All we have to do is live it, not just as individuals or even the local household but most of all a corporate Body. The problem is our viewpoint of the church. Even understanding what the culture of the Kingdom “looks like” is a mystery to many.   When we do not know, we default to earthly understandings of how to attract and influence people instead of the eternal principles and mandates the Lord has set before us to follow.

You can attract anyone to your church. That is not hard but how you attract someone is how you must keep them. Unfortunately, many leaders have compromised holiness and re-invented entertainment to keep people attracted to the church. Any and every idea that the people have, the Pastor will entertain it as long as it keeps them engaged and ultimately what happens the church becomes a day care center full of babies. However, when the Lord adds to the church, He will add no more than you can handle. People are brought and attracted by the Word of God and it will be the Word of God that keeps them. Every pastor should know the sons they give oversight to and are responsible for bringing them to maturity. It is not about numbers! It is about accurate alignment for the purposes of God. It is time to return to the principles and commandments the Lord has set for us to abide by and in our obedience the Lord is faithful and just to add to the church as He sees fit.

Blessings and Grace to You All,

Calvin Calhoun, Jr.