I Want the Church to Grow–But Do I Want Any More People?

Ross Jordan began his work with the Central Church of Christ in October 1987. Cordell Holloway, our education minister, Ross, and I met the first Monday to get acquainted and discuss how we would work together. Among many other things, Ross asked Cordell and me, “Do you want the church to grow?”

Cordell replied that he wanted the church to grow.

I answered, “I want the church to grow, but I don’t want any more people.”

I explained that I understood the Great Commission of taking the gospel to every person. But, if we do that, some people will obey the gospel in baptism. The Lord will add them to His church. They will start attending this congregation, and the church will grow. That will mean more work for me. I’m already working harder now than I want to.

There is a difference between what I “should” and what I “want” to do. I know that isn’t the right attitude. I’m committed to continuing to work on that attitude. But that’s my answer to the question today.

During the months and years that followed, I discovered I wasn’t the first to have those feelings. That personal observation and further Bible study turned into nine sermons I preached at Berry’s Chapel.

God wants His church to grow.

Growth was in God’s plan. Isaiah 2:2-4; Daniel 2:44; Habakkuk 2:14, 20

Jesus taught that it would. Matthew 13:3-9, 18-23; 31,32

Jesus commanded sowing, which produces growth. Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15, 16; Luke 24:47, 48; Mark 12:30,31; Luke 14:12-14; Matthew 25:31-46; Luke 14:13-24

Growth is normal for God’s created living things. Genesis 1:9-13; Genesis 8:20-22; Galatians 6:7-9; Mark 4:26-29; 1 Corinthians 3:5-7

God wants to see people saved–which will cause the church to grow. Acts 2:47; Ezekiel 18:20-23, 30-32; Luke 19:10; John 3:17; 1 Timothy 2:3, 4; Titus 2:11; Hebrews 2:9; 2 Peter 3:9

God was pleased with the growth of the early church. Acts 2:41, 47; Acts 11:21, 24

But some of the people we meet in the Bible didn’t want everyone in the church who wanted to follow Jesus

I Want the Church To Grow…But I May Not Want…

…People that I fear. #1, Acts 9

…People of a different race. #2 Acts 10, 11

…People who haven’t been through the same process of growth that I have. #3 Acts 15

…People that my friends don’t want. #4 Galatians 2

…Those who are not immediately receptive to the message of Jesus. #5 Luke 9:54

…People who are sick, hurting, dirty, or who would interrupt my schedule. #6 Luke 10

…People who are my relatives if I’m ashamed of them or don’t feel I’ve received enough recognition and appreciation. #7 Luke 15

I Want the Church To Grow…But Do I Want Any More People? — Solutions #8

I Want the Church To Grow…But Do I Want Any More People? — Solutions #9

Click on the topics above ↑ for outlines of the lessons

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Jerrie Barber
Servant of Jesus, husband to Gail, father to Jerrie Wayne Barber, II and Christi Parsons, grandfather, great-grandfather, Interim Preacher, Shepherd coach, Ventriloquist, barefoot runner, ride a cruiser bicycle

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