Revelation 2:2 “I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:”
Seven times in two chapters, God uses the phrase, “I know thy works…” Apparently, God is interested in what you do. God knows that it takes work for His church to prosper. The idea that you can build a church without working hard is like saying you can run your car without fuel; it just won’t work.
Moreover, God said in verse 23, “…and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.” Notice, the church was rewarded according to its work ethic and what types of works they did. Every one of these churches had works to talk about, but not every church’s work was commended by God. In other words, some of the hard work that these churches were putting in were wasted because it was not the works for which God was looking. God was counseling the church to work hard, but He wanted them to work hard at doing the works that He commissioned the church to do, which is reaching the lost for Christ.
We live in a soft generation of believers who want their church to flourish without hard work. Some of the excuse phrases that people use to keep from working hard to build their church are: “Don’t lose your family because you are too busy in the ministry.” Or, “Be careful that you don't burn yourself out in the ministry.” These are cute little clichés that are empty to the core, and are clichés that Satan is pleased for any church to use. You don't lose your family because of the ministry because your family is to work in the ministry WITH you. Burning out for the sake of Christ is not a bad way to die. I would rather burn out doing the LORD’s work than to burn myself out living in the world and destroying my life. Many believers owe Christ and the Apostles an apology because they gave their every waking moment for the sake of the ministry. They worked hard were so involved in the LORD’s work that the Scriptures say they were addicted to the ministry.
You cannot play and build a church at the same time. Too many churches are more interested in pleasure than work. No great church that made a multi-generational effect was built by pleasure, but it was built by hard work. I am not against summer camps and activities, but I see more churches doing everything but soul winning. Certainly, it is good to get people under the preaching of the Word of God, but you will do more to build your people through soul winning than you will through activities. Great churches are built through hard work.
Moreover, there is an eternity that demands that you work hard to build your church. My friend, the reason the church must grow is because there is a real Heaven and a real Hell where people will spend their eternity. When you grasp that there is an actual eternity and that people will spend their eternity in either Heaven or Hell, you will then realize the importance of working hard to reach people before they slip out into eternity.
Let me ask you, how much work are you doing for the LORD? Pastor, how hard is your church working to grow? It has always taken hard work for a church to grow. You cannot and will not build a great church that makes a great dent on eternity without hard work.