Many who is jesus are seriously thinking about how to measure their health in terms of their member’s fulfillment of the Great Commission and Commandment. Most churches recognize that church development is natural because it is a work of God. However, many church plans and actions reveal churches’ intention of manufacturing natural development of church.
So how is a church developed through natural means? Natural means “learning from nature”, church means ‘a body of called out people’ and development means ‘a process that results in growth.’ Simply put, natural development of church means a natural process of growth of believers. Biblical truths explain that God alone built His church, and He alone draws people to it. Thus, it holds that church growth that happens only with God’s grace and power. This principle is shown by Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 3:6-7, when he used the growth of a plant to illustrate that the person who controls the development of the seed, is God Himself, and not the planter. The passage teaches that people can sow and reap the harvest but only God can bring forth the fruit.
Natural church development contradicts the thought that churches can manufacture it. Churches that attempt to manufacture church growth are often focused on the quantity of attendees and not quality of followers that they use manipulative marketing methods and strategies to bring more people to the church.
The principle should not be interpreted by churches to mean that there is no longer any need to exert any effort to build up the church. On the contrary, God commands His people to evangelize and edify one another to be godly. The difference between natural church development and manufactured development is that the former recognizes that church growth cannot be made or forced, the latter does. Instead of forcing growth, churches should focus its efforts in releasing the God given potentials that He has placed in every church.
Acts 2:42-47 describes the fellowship of early Christians. At that time, many of them spent most, if not all, of their time in prayer and meditation. They were consistent and very passionate in listening to the disciples’ teachings, as well as intent to fellowship with one another. These early Christians saw themselves as one big family, sharing and giving to each other, and pleasing the Lord with their relations. As a result, God added more brothers and sisters to their fellowship. This passage reveal that the preaching or teaching of the Word of God, the Lords supper, fellowship and prayer are essential to natural development of church. Gifts are used to edify and build up the unity of the early church. Churches should keep their focus on being faithful and obedient to what God commands them to do and trust that God will bring in the fruit.