Using human criterion of size, churches can be classified into three categories – the mini church, the medium church, the mega church. And some mega churches are more mega than others.
But let me hasten to say that this categorisation can be regarded as carnal and has no basis in the Word of God. The Lord’s mandate for the church is neither to remain a mini church (or medium church) nor become a mega church. The commission is: “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone.
Anyone who believes and is baptised will be saved. But anyone who refuses to believe will be condemned. These miraculous signs will accompany those who believe: they will cast out demons in my name, and they will speak in new languages. They will be able to handle snakes with safety, and if they drink anything poisonous, it won’t hurt them. They will be able to place their hands on the sick, and they will be healed” (Mk 16:15-18 NLT).
And in Matt 28:19-20, Jesus said, “Therefore, go and make disciples of you all the nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” If in the process a congregation becomes a mega church, it is all right, and if it does not, but not as a result of a lack of vision, diligence, etc, the Lord does not condemn such a church provided it has not lost its focus on the Great Commission and its specific mandate.
But it is the Lord’s will that every church should grow in all ramifications, including membership. As the church obeys the Great Commission, people who are being saved should be added to the church as it was in the early church. Acts 2:41 says, “They then that received his word were baptised: and there were added (unto them) in that day about 3,000 souls”(ASV).Acts 2:47 also talks about further addition to the church: “And the Lord added to them day by day those that were saved” (ASV). Please note that it was the Lord that added them after they had been saved – they were not non-believers.
Also, in Acts 5:14, the Bible says about the early church that “believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes, both of them and women” (ASV). Believers added – not unbelievers! In Acts 11, the Bible says at Antioch, a great number that believed turned to the Lord (Verse 21) and many people were added to the Lord (Verse 24).
From these Scriptures, we have an example of church growth that a church should desire. In fact, Acts 6:7 says, “And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem exceedingly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith” (ASV). So we see increase in the Word that resulted in the multiplication of disciples and a large number of priests being converted. That tells us that numerical growth is just one aspect of church growth. Numerical growth should not be at the expense of the Word; the preaching of the truth of the Word of God should not be compromised because of the desire to experience church growth. And that is not to say that every church will grow to become a mega church based on human evaluation.
There are some things the Lord is looking for in a church and for which he will commend a church. Interestingly, the size of the church is not one of the things the Lord is looking for. And that does not mean that the Lord prefers a mega church to a medium or mini church and vice versa. Whereas man is more concerned about result, the Lord is more concerned about faithfulness. “A faithful, sensible servant is one to whom the master can give the responsibility of managing his other household servants and feeding them. If the master returns and finds that the servant has done a good job, there will be a reward. I tell you the truth, the master will put that servant in charge of all he owns. But what if the servant is evil and thinks, ‘My master won’t be back for a while,’ and he begins beating the other servants, partying, and getting drunk? The master will return unannounced and unexpected, and he will cut the servant to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matt 24:45-51 NLT).
Reading through the book of Revelation chapters 2 and 3, we see clearly in the letters to the seven churches of Asia, the Lord’s priority in evaluating a church’s performance. We shall see what the Lord is really looking for in a church; certain things He will not overlook. We shall see the Lord’s expectations of churches. These are listed in the letters to the seven churches. I want us to go through these letters together.
I’m not going to start today to look at what the Lord is looking for in a church that He will commend. I will commence next week. I believe the Lord has spoken to you already from what you have read. Please join me next week as I go deeper into this message. Meanwhile, meditate on what you have read today and act on whatever God is telling you. You are blessed.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus. I urge you to take the following steps:*Admit you’re a sinner and you can’t save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start to attend a Bible-believing, Bible-teaching church. There you will be taught how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: “0 Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour and surrender my life to him today. I invite Jesus into my heart today. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you Jesus for saving me and making me a child of God”
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart.
Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible believing, Bible teaching church in your area where you will be taught how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things becoming all God wants you to be.