The books of Acts records several principles that when followed produced growth. Here are three we must not overlook:
1. Bold, Christ-centered preaching that calls for decisions
Acts 2:14 Then Peter stepped forward with the eleven other apostles and shouted to the crowd…38 Peter replied, “Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.41 Those who believed what Peter said were baptized and added to the church that day—about 3,000 in all.
A sermon without a call is a meal without dessert, a tied game that is turned off in the last two minutes, liking the girl and not inviting her out. Pull the trigger, preacher. Think less of what people would think of you if no one responded, and more about what a decision for Jesus would mean for a sinner that sits that morning in your church. If you don’t intend to call, God has no reason to bring them.
2. Gift based leadership that recognizes you can’t do everything or be everything.
Acts 6:2 “So the Twelve called a meeting of all the believers. They said, “We apostles should spend our time teaching the word of God, not running a food program. 7 So God’s message continued to spread. The number of believers greatly increased in Jerusalem, and many of the Jewish priests were converted, too.”
Micromanaging is a recipe for disaster and stunted growth. When you give responsibility without authority, it frustrates followers and stunts growth. Be OK with the fact you have areas you just are not good at, and surround yourself with people that are. Another principle: just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should. (I’m looking at you, pastor, that likes to open the church, run the sound and set up chairs)
3. Maturity to understand that attacks and persecution are prelude to growth.
Acts 4:3 They arrested them and, since it was already evening, put them in jail until morning.
As a result of this ONE bad event, 4 positive things happened. Persecution is prelude to proclamation.
a. The church was driven to its knees.
c. The Holy Spirit filled them up, again.
d. Boldness to share increased.
Maybe we need a little persecution!
I am dedicating time today to pray for you and your church. May your church grow bigger, deeper, stronger, and wider.