The growth of the gospel happens in the lives of people, not in the structures of my church.
Or to put it in terms of our opening metaphor, the growth of the trellis is not the growth of the vine.
We may multiply the number of programs, events, committees and other activities that our church is engaged in; we may enlarge and modernize our buildings; we may re-cast our regular meetings to be attractive and effective in communicating to our culture; we may congratulate ourselves that numbers are up. And all of these are good things!
But if people are not growing in their knowledge of God’s will so that they walk ever more worthily of the Lord, seeking to please him in all things and bearing fruit in every good work, then there is no growth to speak of happening at all.
Questions for Reflection
- How do you measure growth at your church?
- Do you seek to fill the pews, or to fill people’s hearts with the truth of the gospel?
Colin Marshall and Tony Payne, The Trellis and the Vine, 82.