A Plan for Growth Part 1
Scripture tells us that God causes the increase to His church. Gospel seed can be planted, watered, and nurtured, but it is eventually the Lord and His word which will pierce the heart of the individual. As a result, that person will accept the gospel message as truth, accept Christ as Lord and Savior, obey His command to be baptized in water for the forgiveness of sins, and thus be added to the church of Christ. While that is true, the Bible also shows us that having a plan for evangelism is prudent. Jesus Himself told His apostles that they would be His witnesses for the gospel, beginning in Jerusalem, from Judea and Samaria, and then to the rest of the world (Acts 12 1:8). In addition, when Paul and Barnabas set out on their missionary journey, it is clear that they had some sort of a plan where they were going, sailing to Cyprus first, then Perga, and on to Antioch, Iconium, Lystra, and Derbe (Acts 13 - 14). After they visited these places and established churches, they then decided to retrace their steps and go back through those very same cities. Therefore, any church should develop a plan and strategy for sharing the gospel, as well as how to produce inward spiritual growth of its members. It has been said that, “growing churches are more evangelistic than evangelistic sermons” (Russell 259). If the members are growing spiritually they will begin to share God’s word with other people as a natural part of becoming a more mature Christian. There are six specific actions we will take a look at, which if applied, could help the church in Perth grow outwardly and inwardly.
Making the church Known An awareness of the church by the population is essential for it to grow. If people do not know about the church, where it is located, what it stands for, how it worships, etc., then they simply will not come. There are a multitude of ways that a church can go about this, but there are four in particular worth noting. Firstly, it must be determined how the church can make the building more attractive. With regard to the Central North church in Perth, the initial step must be attaining an actual church building. As previously mentioned, they currently rent out the Rob Baddock Community building for services. Until a permanent building can be acquired, there cannot be any steps planned on how to make it more attractive. Secondly, a church must determine effective ways of advertising. This is not advertising in the business sense for a profit, but in order to make the church more known to the community. Such a task can be achieved in a number of different ways. Some of these ways include: newspaper ads; an effective website; t-shirts and other apparel with church logos; door-knocking; tracts or pamphlets that can be mailed or included in a welcome packet to people in a new home or apartment; as well as word of mouth. Again, all of these things, including any signage, would be much more effective if there were a permanent building. Thirdly, it must be determined what kinds of church activities are “newsworthy,” and subsequently develop a plan to provide appropriate news articles to the local newspaper. Events such as weddings, funerals, seminars or gospel meetings, mission trips, community outreach or benevolence projects, are just a few examples of newsworthy happenings in Perth. Lastly, it must be determined how church members can be active in the community.
Members of the church can and are living, walking, breathing spokespeople for the congregation. They can be involved in things such as community events, coaching youth sports, school activities, volunteering opportunities, etc.