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How to Grow a Church: Lesson 6 – Growth Through Renewal


How to Grow a Church

(Mark 6:35-44) The story of Jesus feeding the five thousand men gives us six church growth principles.

Growing through Renewal

The ministry of the church must grow along with greater numbers of people. A simple analogy of this is our human skeleton. We have the same skeleton we had as a child; however, our skeleton grew along with the rest of our body.  If our skeleton had failed to grow, the same skeleton which functioned well as a child would cripple us as an adult.

In the same way, the structure which worked well in a small growing church will cripple a larger church.  What used to work well eventually becomes a problem. It’s impossible to meet the needs of a growing church unless we are willing to share the responsibilities of ministry with others.

  1. The disciples failed to follow Jesus’ example.

Jesus didn’t feed the multitude directly.  He delegated the responsibility of feeding to the disciples while He focused on multiplying the bread and fish.  The disciples should have followed His example.  After feeding one or two groups of people they should have enlisted the help of those who had already eaten. They should have asked the first group to come help them feed the others.  They should have looked at the first group as fifty helpers for feeding the multitude.

  1. New believers should begin ministry very quickly.

It doesn’t take a lot of skill to carry bread or becoming an assistant. We should look for things new believers can do and enlist their help.  Be sure to give them counsel and encouragement.  Remember the principle, we get what we inspect, not what we expect.

Becoming a helper should be a normal part of the Christian life.  Give them something they can do starting with things which are simple. If they are faithful with little things, give them greater responsibilities.

  1. Most burnout comes from a loss of vision.

There is an interesting statement in Mark 6:52. “They had not understood about the loaves because their heart was hardened.” The obvious question is, what does a hard heart have to do the miracle of the loaves?

Miracle are exhausting work.  If we continue to do the work of ministry the same way as yesterday, we will burn ourselves out.  It’s easy to become so busy doing the work of ministry that we fail to plan. This is a mistake. What worked well originally won’t continue to work well in the future. Many leaders fail because they don’t stop to refresh themselves and in exhaustion begin making foolish mistakes.

  1. Delegation is one of the great secrets of multiplication.

It’s God’s will for our churches to grow, but for our churches to continue to grow we must change the way we do ministry. One of the ingredients for growth is work, but we must learn to work smarter; not harder. We need to learn new methods of leadership which will enable the church to continue to grow without exhausting ourselves.  It is imperative for us to surround ourselves with the right people to help us finish the task.

“Do you see a man who excels in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before unknown men.” (Proverbs 22:29) One of the marks of excellence is delegation. The greatest things we can do are not what we can do but what we influence others to do.  By influencing others, we have entered the realm of multiplication. Through proper delegation we multiply effectiveness to accomplish more than we could ever do alone. 

The miracle of Jesus feeding the five thousand men began with Jesus calling His disciples aside to rest awhile. They were exhausted from constant ministry. Now at the end of the miracle of feeding the five thousand, we find the disciples exhausted again. If we have worked hard, we have earned the right to rest. Jesus was reminding the disciples they must beware of developing hard hearts because of their physical exhaustion.

Let’s Find Some Helpers and Feed a Multitude!

Lessons in the series How To Grow A Church

how to grow a church lesson 1

Download Resources for the series How Not To Go A Church

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