The Bible clearly teaches that God has given us a critical role to play in accomplishing His will on earth. Church growth is a partnership between God and man. Churches grow by the power of God through the skilled effort of people. God’s power and man’s skilled effort must be present. We simply cannot do it without God but He has decided not to do it without us. God uses people to carry out His purpose and His plans.
Paul illustrated this partnership between God and man when he said, “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow” (1 Cor. 3:6). God will do His part after you and I have done ours. The New Testament is full of stories of church growth that teach this principle of planting and cultivating God’s garden such as 1 Cor. 3:5-9. 1 Cor 3:10-13 is about building God’s building and Matthew 9:37-38 talks about harvesting God’s field. “Then saith he unto his disciples, the harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.”
For an Old Testament example, we can look in the book of Joshua where God told the Israelites to take possession of the land. He did not do it for them; He offered them a partnership and gave them a role to play but because of their fear and passivity the Israelites died in the wilderness. While we wait for God to work for us, God is also waiting to work through us. He can only work through us if we are willing and obedient to what He has asked us to do.
When the church is obedient to the call of God, it will bring a harvest of blessings to us and our families. God expects us to cultivate the earth and bear fruit; we are called to bear fruit. Jesus said, I have chosen you and appointed you to go and bear fruit; fruit that will last (John 15:16). God wants to see lasting fruit coming from our ministry here on earth. Being fruitful is the way we glorify God our Father.
In Matt. 21:19 Jesus cursed the fig tree because it would not bear any fruit. The nation of Israel lost its privilege because of unfruitfulness and disobedience caused their deaths. Therefore, let us as a church not walk in the same way as the Israelites but let us be a church that will preach the gospel to every creature; casting out devils to those who are bound; laying hands on the sick and they shall recover; take up serpents and if you drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt you. The mouth of the Lord has spoken it. Let us be a fruitful church. A Church that is alive and fruitful bringing glory and honor to God our Father. He wants to use our mouth, our hands, and our feet in this earth.
Let us Pray: Thank you Father for another opportunity to be a fruitful church; a church that is called by your name, doing what you have commissioned us to do on this earth. Father, your Word declares that the earth is groaning, waiting for your power to be manifested through us as the church. We are one body but many members help each of us to do what you have called us to do individually and collectively as a church body, in Jesus’ name, Amen.