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Stage 6: Growing

Church is maturing and increasing

And all of us, with unveiled faces, seeing the glory of the Lord as though reflected in a mirror, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord, the Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:18).

Meanwhile the church throughout Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and was built up. Living in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it increased in numbers (Acts 9:31)…So the churches were strengthened in the faith and increased in numbers daily (Acts 16:5).

  • Outcome: church is healthy, growing, and sustainable

  • Key Person: Church Member

  • How to Give: Give toward micro-projects initiated by the church members, for the community

  • How to Pray: Pray that the community would respect and appreciate the church, pray for growth

  • How to Go: Go work alongside the church members to bless the community

  • How to Partner: Partner by walking with the church toward wholeness and fruitfulness

Description:

Healthy churches become sustainable and grow numerically, but the leadership team can keep the lid on growth by not empowering the congregation. There will be people in the congregation who have outreach initiatives that are fruitful, but messy. The leadership team needs to endorse these risky efforts. This stage is complete when new growth is coming from initiatives of the congregation, not just the pastor or the leadership team.

  1. Mobilize – Leadership team directs us to efforts spearheaded by members of the congregation

  2. Connect – Some of the efforts don’t look like witnessing yet.

  3. Witness – We’re looking not for every new idea, but those which bear fruit, which looks like people getting baptized.

  4. Gather – The weekly gathering is no longer the center of church life, but as the congregation lives missionally, they need Sunday church more and more.

  5. Equip – The leadership team is now busy making disciples who make disciples.

  6. Grow – It may be messy, but people continue to come to Christ because of initiatives from the regular members.

Biblical Foundation:

The maturing of the church is depicted in the New Testament as a life-long process of transformation through inner renewal into the image of Christ by God’s Spirit (2 Cor. 3:18; 4:16). “Filled with the fullness of God,” “growing up into Christ,” “being filled with the 

Spirit” all reflect a growing identification of the church with the Triune God and the recognition that maturity is Christlikeness—“it is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me” (Eph. 3:19; 4:13; 5:18; Gal. 2:19). This maturity is demonstrated through a growing unity of faith, not tossed to and fro, and working properly together to promote the body’s growth by speaking the truth in love (Eph. 4:13-16). Practical wisdom is a sign of maturity where the church has experienced suffering and struggle, yet has come to realize that in Christ, when it is weak, then it is strong (2 Cor. 12:10).

As the church matures, its members are equipped to build up the church and each one is called to be actively involved in making disciples. New leaders are trained and multiplied. As the gospel spreads the church increases in numbers and there is the expanded capacity to give birth to new churches. 

<<Mission Strategy Map           Stage 7: Multiplying>> 

Stage 6: Growing

Church is maturing and increasing

And all of us, with unveiled faces, seeing the glory of the Lord as though reflected in a mirror, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord, the Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:18).

Meanwhile the church throughout Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and was built up. Living in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it increased in numbers (Acts 9:31)…So the churches were strengthened in the faith and increased in numbers daily (Acts 16:5).

  • Outcome: church is healthy, growing, and sustainable

  • Key Person: Church Member

  • How to Give: Give toward micro-projects initiated by the church members, for the community

  • How to Pray: Pray that the community would respect and appreciate the church, pray for growth

  • How to Go: Go work alongside the church members to bless the community

  • How to Partner: Partner by walking with the church toward wholeness and fruitfulness

Description:

Healthy churches become sustainable and grow numerically, but the leadership team can keep the lid on growth by not empowering the congregation. There will be people in the congregation who have outreach initiatives that are fruitful, but messy. The leadership team needs to endorse these risky efforts. This stage is complete when new growth is coming from initiatives of the congregation, not just the pastor or the leadership team.

  1. Mobilize – Leadership team directs us to efforts spearheaded by members of the congregation

  2. Connect – Some of the efforts don’t look like witnessing yet.

  3. Witness – We’re looking not for every new idea, but those which bear fruit, which looks like people getting baptized.

  4. Gather – The weekly gathering is no longer the center of church life, but as the congregation lives missionally, they need Sunday church more and more.

  5. Equip – The leadership team is now busy making disciples who make disciples.

  6. Grow – It may be messy, but people continue to come to Christ because of initiatives from the regular members.

Biblical Foundation:

The maturing of the church is depicted in the New Testament as a life-long process of transformation through inner renewal into the image of Christ by God’s Spirit (2 Cor. 3:18; 4:16). “Filled with the fullness of God,” “growing up into Christ,” “being filled with the 

Spirit” all reflect a growing identification of the church with the Triune God and the recognition that maturity is Christlikeness—“it is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me” (Eph. 3:19; 4:13; 5:18; Gal. 2:19). This maturity is demonstrated through a growing unity of faith, not tossed to and fro, and working properly together to promote the body’s growth by speaking the truth in love (Eph. 4:13-16). Practical wisdom is a sign of maturity where the church has experienced suffering and struggle, yet has come to realize that in Christ, when it is weak, then it is strong (2 Cor. 12:10).

As the church matures, its members are equipped to build up the church and each one is called to be actively involved in making disciples. New leaders are trained and multiplied. As the gospel spreads the church increases in numbers and there is the expanded capacity to give birth to new churches. 

<<Mission Strategy Map           Stage 7: Multiplying>>