Wednesday, February 10, 2010

God’s Plan for Growth

Below is the daily Bible reading I am doing for the West Side Church of Christ. Please feel free to follow along.

Below is a post from yesterday. In that post I give some background information on the book of Acts. Before reading any further, please take a moment to read that information.

The book of Acts is one of my favorites in the Bible. I love seeing the way God worked and grew his church. And that is what we get in this amazing book. In today’s reading (Acts 1) Jesus lays out how the church is going to spread. As we go through the book of Acts we will see that process unfold exactly the way Jesus instructed.

So what was Jesus’ plan for growth … “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” … Jesus’ plan was simple. Start at home. Start where you are with the people you see everyday. After that, leave the city, and go into the surrounding area. From there you go to people who are just a little further away and maybe a little different. Finally once that area is saturated, you take the message to all ends of the earth. That is just what we will see happen throughout Acts.

So how does this apply to us? I think our primary mission field is within our close nit groups. Whether this is our family, our co-workers, or our social groups, we start where we have relationship built. From there we begin to go to our neighbors, to people we might not know as well. From there we might even venture into areas that are a little unknown. Maybe this is calling on a family visiting the church that you do not know. Maybe this is helping throw a block party for a neighborhood in town that is often neglected. From there you take the message to all points in the world. This may be done through the dollars you give, or the mission trips you take, or the hours you put in helping organization like Kids Against Hunger. (Image taken from Kids Against Hunger Site)

Friends, this is the same pattern I envision West Side taking. I see us working as a church to evangelize our family and friends. I see us establishing a great name in the community of Lebanon. Something I see our small groups doing is service projects. We are looking at asking them to do four service projects a year. Those four service projects will have to be in Lebanon, because that is our target community. From there the church will go outside of Lebanon. We will use our members who live in places like Mason, Franklin, and Monroe to help reach people far from God. While we do that, we will have a continued focus on global missions, and the ministry they have.

Matthew ended with the Great Commission. Now that Jesus is arisen, we have a message to share. Acts opens with Jesus’ plan for church growth. How are you doing at evangelizing the lost?

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