” . . . until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13 ESV)
It is often assumed that numerical growth in a local church means the church is growing. However, although numerical growth can be a blessing from God, Scripture is much more specific regarding what true church growth is.
In Ephesians 4, Paul is addressing the saints in Ephesus regarding their unity in Christ and in verses 4-11 he points to three marks of a growing church. A growing church: 1) Understands what true growth is and pursues it, 2) Is being equipped for ministry, and 3) Is being edified in love.
In preparation for this Sunday’s sermon, meditate on this passage and see if you can identify the marks of a growing church that Paul describes to the Ephesians. Furthermore, as you study this passage, you will realize that church growth involves the faithful and arduous labor of the entire church (not just the elders/pastors) even as it is a fruit that only God can produce. Therefore, as you prepare your heart for this coming Lord’s Day, ask the Holy Spirit to give you not only understanding but also conviction regarding your absolute dependence on Him and your essential responsibility in relation to the growth of your local church.