by Jerry Watts

This content is part of a series.

A Healthy Church (2 of 10)
Series: The Model Church
Jerry Watts
1 Thessalonians 1:4-8

(TEXT) In our Leadership Team planning meetings one of the dreams or goals for us, as a church, is that we become KNOWN in our city. Think about it, in our small city more people ''DON'T KNOW'' us that do. How often I have been asked - when sharing with someone - ''Now, where exactly are you?'' The last thought of our text is impressive, ''The word has gone forth in such a way that you are known EVERYWHERE and we don't have to say a thing.'' What a testimony for the church. That is way the church at Thessalonica can be called a model church as they were setting the pace.

One of the most common questions ask today is, ''How can we make our church grow?'' The thinking is two-fold:

a) That growing to be a large church is our ultimate goal. In Thessalonica they were under such persecution and faced such an intense challenge that - growing a large church was, quite likely, the furthest thing on their minds. There were simply hoping to survive the onslaught. Yet, in this hostile environment, they became what many call the ''Model Church.'' How exactly did that happen? Before we get to that, the second line of thinking should be noted:

b) That we could actually do something, perform some ministry, or add something to our already busy schedule to MAKE our church grow and flourish. Honestly, I think this line of thinking comes from the business world. Consider some Biblical words; Jesus said (Matt 16:18) ''I will build my church,'' in Ephesians 1 and 1 Cor 12 - Paul speaks of us being a body. Hmm. Think about a healthy body - it grows. My grandchildren are growing up too fast (GRIN). Not really, in fact, if they were growing - we'd have them check by a doctor to see what is wrong with their body. Why? Because we know that a 'healthy body' will grow naturally. That is the law of nature.

The conclusion is this: That a church (body) which is not growing naturally is probab ...

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