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Responsibilities of the Church 4: Promoting Growth Among Church Members

Responsibilities of the Church Day 4 – Promoting Growth Among Church Members

“And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.” (Colossians 1:9-10, ESV)

“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.” (2 Peter 3:18, ESV)

Can you imagine how we would feel as a parent if our baby never grew? Now I know sometimes there are health issues in which this is a reality for some parents, and I imagine it must be heartbreaking to witness. But I’m talking about a child who was born healthy, yet day after day there was no change in size or development. The child was fed well and received all essential nutrients for proper growth. There was ample effort to teach the little one to crawl, walk, talk—all the expected stages we want to see our child grow through. Yet at the end of it all, they remained the exact same—failing to thrive. 

Of course we would find that painful. That scenario gives a clearer understanding of how God must feel when His children fail to grow. He’s given us all that’s necessary for growth—His Spirit and His Word—but unless we as believers tap into those resources, we will be just like a child who fails to thrive. How disappointing and what a wasted life in light of eternity!

And so the church plays a pivotal role in helping its members grow and develop, by offering challenging teaching and supportive encouragement to the fellowship, individually and collectively. Those who teach have a great responsibility. The teaching must adhere to biblical truth. The messages should challenge, encourage and instruct. The speakers ideally should be gifted in evangelism and teaching so that their audience is compelled to listen and learn. 

Challenging growth within the church begins really early, with Sunday School teaching and gospel preaching. As a little child, I was privileged to grow up in a home and a faith family that sought to pour into me spiritually. Sunday school teachers had a big impact on me and to this day I remember their efforts to teach and challenge me. Then as I grew older, I enjoyed many speakers who helped me better understand God’s Word and what He expects of me. Now as an older adult, I still appreciate how the teaching I hear weekly offers me encouragement for many of life’s difficult seasons, in addition to challenging messages that convict, inspire and give me meat—not milk. I love that I can continue to learn; we can never know it all! 

If you’re a believer yet not plugged into a local church, you’re missing out on so much that God meant for us to receive within our local faith family. While we may be able to learn from God’s Word on our own apart from church gatherings, as we spend time in His Word we will see how He teaches us the importance of being a part of a local testimony. His desire is that we would be in a place that allows us to exercise our gifts and grow from others helping us in our personal spiritual development. I challenge any who do not attend a local church to find a place that teaches clear biblical doctrine and is willing to pour into you spiritually. A church willing and able to challenge its members will continue to not only grow but thrive.

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