The church growth artillery at our disposal is great. The tech world, the book world, and the seminar world surely load us up with valuable information which gives all a much needed boost. Add to these the testimonies of congregations experiencing increase and a fire of hope begins to build.
Church growth is happening. The good news is that much of it is not transplants but a combination of recovery as well as conversion. Several congregations experience straying sheep returning to the flock. They may have been away for years and yet that Holy Spirit microchip God placed in them years ago helps them find their way back. Especially those who find themselves in crisis continue to be buried in Jesus as he is the only true place to hide. He alone is safety.
But my bottom-line word to you regarding growth for the congregation you serve is to build a band of praying members. Time in prayer won’t cut it. While time is certainly central, I encourage you to encourage your group to pray with the following ingredients:
I’ve spent time praying. I (and others with me) simply put in time praying. But when we hit upon expecting God to work, thanking Him ahead of time for the way He is working, and actually believing He will work, matters at Memorial reversed…..for the good.
Get a group of two or three, at least, and believe He is there with you. Four others meet with me every Sunday morning at 7:30 to pray for an hour. It is the most productive part of my week. I would miss many things before I skip this event. The reason this is significant is because for my first twenty years of preaching.......I didn’t pray.