“Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one? I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase.”

1 Corinthians 3:5-7

We live in a culture today where church growth models have become a big business. Simply searching an online bookstore will result in thousands of books purporting ways to grow your church into a bigger, better and thriving community. In fact, it has been said “The Jews turned the Gospel into religion, the Greeks turned the Gospel into philosophy, the Romans turned the Gospel into government and in America today we have turned the Gospel into business.” The sad reality is that in our pursuit of doing great things for God and expecting great things from God, we are often tempted to rely on worldly models of marketing and measures of success when it comes to the church.

So how do we approach growing our churches and widening our impact on the world for the Gospel? Here are three things to consider about our churches and how they can best impact and grow in the communities that they dwell in.

  1. Preach The Word

In an age where many churches have been caught up into the pop psychology and pseudo self help method of sermon writing, the best thing that we can do for the church that we serve is preach the Word of God faithfully and relentlessly. We know that the Word of God does not return void and that it is the most powerful thing to pierce through to our hearts and transform our minds. Whenever the church gets away from proclaiming the Word of God it finds itself swiftly falling off the cliff of compromise. Pastors, do not lose faith in the Word of God and its power to impact people. Faithfully preaching the Word of God grows churches spiritually, but also numerically. People are looking for the truth, and we know that the Word of God is truth!

  1. Pray For Our Communities

“No man is greater than his prayer life. The pastor who is not praying is playing; the people who are not praying are straying. We have many organizers, but few agonizers; many players and payers, few pray-ers; many singers, few clingers; lots of pastors, few wrestlers; many fears, few tears; much fashion, little passion; many interferers, few intercessors; many writers, but few fighters. Failing here, we fail everywhere.”

― Leonard Ravenhill

This powerful quote from Leonard Ravenhill sums up the truth, if we want God to move in our communities we must be involved in prayer. Pastor Chuck Smith used to say that prayer is not just a part of the work… it is the work. If we want our communities to grow and we want to see people come to Christ, we need to be committed to prayer!

  1. Love The People In Front Of Us

Sometimes we are so busy chasing after the 99 that we forget the 1 in ministry today. We can be so distracted wishing that God was doing something different and missing what God is doing right in front of us. Love the people that God has given you and that love will overflow into growth for your church. God can only increase something that’s already happening, and when we love the people in front of us, He gives us more opportunities to love more people. Only God can give the increase when it comes to growing our churches, but He will only do that if He needs more of what we are doing already!

Has the Lord called you into ministry? At Calvary Chapel University we offer a fully online university to encourage you in your ministry calling by allowing you to pursue ministry while attending a Christian college. For more information visit CalvaryChapelUniversity.edu