As we look around the landscape of church and faith, there’s not doubt that change is in the air. If we look at the history of the church beyond our own personal experiences, we see that change has been in the air for a very long time.
One of the central questions that we have to ask if we are trying to follow Jesus is simply this…what does it look like to grow?
I’ve been a Christian for over 2/3 of my life. I understood the gospel when I was 8 and was baptized but I didn’t really believe it till I was 15. Like Jesus’s parable, I finally found the “pearl of great price” and was ready to trade everything for it.
It would be silly for me to say that I fully understood how I would grow or what my life might look like in the future. Suffice it to say, none of that really mattered. I had found that thing that would matter most in my life and moreso than excitement, there was an overwhelming sense of peace…hope…rest…and satisfaction. Growth was always on my radar, but it wasn’t really the point of my faith.
Fast forward to today and growth is very much on my mind…
for my family…
for my church…
for the global church.
I grew up in a time where growth was often numerical. We grew by adding others to the kingdom. We grew our “church” by adding members through evangelism…but is that really what Jesus meant?
Jesus spoke pretty candidly about growth and while He intended for the number of followers to grow, He never rarely talked about it in those terms. Instead he talked about our personal growth that would, in turn, grow others which would, in turn, grow the number of people following Him.
It doesn’t take much to look back on our recent church history to see that our attempts to grow the church numerically was missing a crucial step…our own personal growth.
This weekend, we are looking at one of Jesus’s most important teachings on the topic of growth but our focus is less on what we are supposed to do and more on what does it really look like to grow.
If you have ever felt like you were missing something or maybe like you were stuck, this weekend is for you. It is our only path forward because it is the only thing Jesus really expected us to do…be…become.
We’ll see you Sunday and I hope you will bring a friend!