Essentials to Church Growth

Essentials to Church Growth

by Dr. David Sampson on November 20, 2017

The goal of spiritual leadership is to see people come to know and understand the purposes of God as revealed in the Bible. The natural result of such passion is—growth. Like a tree that grows with its branches reaching upward to touch the warmth of the sun, your spiritual leadership should grow and reach towards praising, presenting, and proclaiming the glory of The Son. The Psalmist said, “And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper” (Psalms 1:3). The word picture of “fruit” means that the evidence of life accompanies growth. Therefore, since the church is alive in Christ, the growth of the church should develop in at least two ways:


First, Spiritual Growth: This involves spiritual maturity in understanding the things of God. Spiritual maturity can be defined as—“Christian spirituality involves growing to be like God in character and conduct by personally submitting to the transforming work of God’s Word and God’s Spirit.”[1] The Apostle Peter said, But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ…” (2 Peter 3:18). Just as a baby grows and develops into maturity, so must the Christian grow in spiritual maturity through humble obedience to the divine revelation of God.

Second, Numerical Growth: One of the facts of Scripture is that the church grew numerically. The early days of the church witnessed the power of God in miraculous ways.

  • Acts 2:41—3,000 people saved.
  • Acts 4:4—5,000 saved.
  • Acts 6:1 “And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied…”
  • Acts 6:7 “And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.”
  • Acts 12:24 “But the word of God grew and multiplied.”
  • Acts 19:20 “So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed.”

The numerical growth and the prevailing influence of the Word of God was the result of obedient biblical servant leadership. Today, there is a plethora of articles explaining how to grow the church. Well, here is my go at the subject. I have been in the ministry now for over 30-years, and I find three categories that will help you to reach out to others in today’s culture.

  1. Missional Evangelism— The church will never advance and fulfill their mission from God without undertaking missional evangelism. These two words present the idea of discipleship (missional) and soulwinning (evangelism). Missional Evangelism is the main business of the church—winning the lost through the proclamation of the Gospel and maturing the new believer’s faith with discipleship. I concur with the author, Will McRaney, who argued, “Personal evangelism is the foundation of all church growth methods. Without personal evangelism, there are no churches, no pastors, no worship services. Everything begins with personal evangelism. Nothing much happens in the church until some concerned Christian shares the life-changing message of Jesus Christ.”[2]
  2. Special Services—While all church services are equally important and should be viewed as special, what I mean by a special service is—a revival, concert, play, Bible conference, etc. These services provide your church an opportunity to open their doors to the community and invite them in to see what God is doing on the inside. They are invited to experience your hospitality, friendliness, music, and message. Since you don’t have a second chance to make a first impression—work, wisdom, and the will of God must be of first importance. The audience should feel like you have been expecting them and had fully prepared for their arrival. Striving toward excellence in praying, preaching, and planning will pave the way for the seed of the gospel to be planted in their heart.
  3. Social Media—Keep in mind that we are talking about how to grow and reach out to others. Let me say that if you are not using social media as a part of your outreach, you are missing out on a BIG opportunity. Whether you like it or not, social media is here to stay. In fact, it will just keep on evolving with new technology each year. This is one way to reach beyond the walls of your church and invite the community to see what God is doing on the inside. This can be done through pictures of church activities like new members, baptisms, picnics, plays, and more. Also, the use of video is a powerful visual tool to reach beyond the walls of your church and into the homes of the community. Don’t be left in the dust and fossilize your ministry! Get in the game and learn about these things so that you can utilize them for the glory of God!

Although the first one I mentioned “Missional Evangelism” is biblically essential, the other two are practically essential. I have found that when all three are working in conjunction with the purposes of God—growth, numerically, and spiritually occurs in the life of the church.

Missional Until He Comes,
Dr. David Sampson 
Titus 1:3


[1] John MacArthur and Richard Mayhue, eds., Biblical Doctrine: A Systematic Summary of Bible Truth (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2017), 59.

[2] Will McRaney, The Art of Personal Evangelism: Sharing Jesus in a Changing Culture (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman, 2003), 2–3.

Tags: doctrine, leadership, christian living, church growth

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