Preaching and Church Growth
II Timothy 2.2
As a lovely flower grows into full bloom it matures in form and essence. It releases its fragrance as its beauty is beheld. Likewise, a church grows in its form by numerical increase and in its essence by evidencing spiritual attributes; the fruit of the Spirit.
Good preaching is essential to both aspects of church growth. There can be good preaching without growth but there can’t be growth without good preaching. It is conceivable that there could be numerical growth without good preaching but spiritual growth without good preaching can’t be envisioned. With preaching the church rises or falls because it is the proclamation of the good news. When it is presented as good news it attracts and growth is spontaneous.
The early church had great preaching as its sanctified midwife. The Book of Acts which chronicles the emergence and growth of the young church focused on Peter’s preaching on the occasion of Pentecost as the time of the first quantum leap in growth by the church.
In passing the baton from the first generation of believers to the second Paul exhorted Timothy to ‘‘Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine’’ (II Timothy 2:2)
Apostolic preaching was centered around the person and work of Christ. It was the focal point around which the emerging church rallied. In that era they had no glitzy advertisingcampaigns, no cleaver promotions, no dog and pony shows, and no goldfish to give away in order to grow. It was their message or nothing. It worked.
As there would have been no Reformation without great preaching and there has never been a great spiritual awakening without great preaching, so there has never been church growth without it. Every great awakening and every period of reformation has not only been given birth by great preaching but has spawned great preaching. That is, the preaching of a few has been us ...
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