Increase and Multiplied

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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.”

The church of Jerusalem grew quickly after Jesus ascended to Heaven. However, like any church that grows quickly, they hit a plateau because the apostles were overloaded with the daily tasks it takes to run a church. The apostles had a choice to make; they could either stagnate and continue doing everything themselves, or they could continue to grow by getting more people involved. Fortunately, they made the latter choice, “And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly…”

Imagine if the disciples had chosen to only stay at their present size; many people would not have been reached with the Gospel. Had the apostles chosen to stagnate by getting comfortable with their size, the church in Antioch would have never been started resulting in the Gentile world not receiving the Gospel. If the Gentile would not have received the Gospel, you would not be saved or reading this devotional.

Church growth is not a bad thing. I get frustrated with people who want to move away from a growing church because they like the smaller church. Please don't take this wrong, but God doesn't like a smaller church that stays small because they are not doing what it takes to grow. You must understand that when a church doesn't grow, the Word of God will not increase in its influence, and disciples will not be multiplied. It is critical that every church grows for the sake of God’s Word increasing so that more disciples can be made so that we can better reach the world. If God’s Word is going to increase and disciples are going to be multiplied, there are a couple of things that must be done to make this happen.

First, you must get a bigger vision for your church than a “my four and no more” vision. People who don't want their church to grow are people who are spiritually lazy and could care less about the souls that will spend an eternity in Hell. Church growth is critical to reaching more people for Christ. You must get a vision for your church to grow.

Second, you must realize that you can't do the work alone. The apostles realized that they needed to get others involved, which meant they had to let go of some of their duties. You can't do everything in a growing church and continue to grow. At some point, you are going to have to be willing to let others do what you are doing for the sake of reaching more people. You have to be willing to let your Sunday school class be split so that others can help teach others for the sake of multiplying disciples. The more people who teach God’s Word, the more that God’s Word is increased and the more people who will become disciples. The key is that you must realize that you cannot do everything yourself.

My friend, Sunday school is where most of this happens. If the apostles had not employed more to teach, you must understand that Stephen would not have been chosen, and Saul would have never been saved. If Saul had gotten saved, the Gentile world would not have received the Gospel. Let me encourage you to step up to the church standards and become a soul winner so that your pastor can use you as a Sunday school teacher. The growth of your church is dependent on this whole process.

Dr. Allen Domelle


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