Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind… Love your neighbour as yourself. All the law and the prophets hang on these two commandments.Matthew 22 v 37-40
Go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.Matthew 28 v 19-20
Time to commit to a commandment so that you can fulfil the commission and grow a church.
When it comes to growing a church what do these verse say?
- Love the Lord with all your heart
- Love your neighbour as yourself
- Go and make disciples
- Baptise them
- Teach them
I want to focus on the “Go and make disciples” element. It surprises me how often we expect too little from God, and in so doing attempt too little for him. God has given us a Holy Spirit, which is God’s power within us to carry out his word and work. The Holy Spirit expects us to produce all we can but if we are holding back then we will not do so. I have often been surprised at what happens when I expect much from God, the surprise being he does it. The key being, ‘he’. This is not about me, it is about God working in me and doing the work. God has called us to be effective, but effective in the power of his Holy Spirit. God will only use you and me, he calls people to do his work and God made you. He knows you inside and out and so you knows your gifts, passion, abilities, personality, experience and he will use you where you will be most effective. And it takes all kinds of people, God loves variety! Teams are made on diversity, so don’t be worried about differences, embrace them.
One thing doesn’t change, the message. The method does change, as different people come together to take the message to all people. But the message stays the same, which is brilliant really because you only need to learn the message!
Don’t sit still, because as you are waiting for God to work, he is waiting to work through us. The more the church sends, the more the message gets heard. And this is the business of the church, to send. And he wants to send you. You are imperfect but God still wants to send you. God uses his imperfect people. Don’t wait for perfect conditions, they won’t come.
God is faithful and so, when you go, he will equip you. And I know I talk about a message, but it is best to listen as well. People often feel like listening to you when they feel they are being listened to.