Pastor’s Corner | Church Growth

The term “Church Growth” is interpreted by each person.  One type of church growth is a description of how the facility owned by a church body increases in size.  A second type of church growth would describe an increase in the number of church members that choose to affiliate with a specific church body.  Yet, the third type of church growth is the one that I wish to speak about today, spiritual maturing of God’s people.   

As we know, the gathering of large numbers of people is not necessarily a reflection of a healthy church body.   Of course, we all desire to see the church reaching out in Christ’s name and that outreach resulting in more lost persons repenting and joining in the church’s ministries.  Yet, the idea that a church may have activities or entertainment that attracts persons to come to a specific church body is no guarantee that true spiritual development in happening in the lives of the people.  No true Christian would desire to simply flounder in his/her spiritual life when the alternative is to move gradually toward a mature follower of Christ…true? 

Sometimes when we read the Biblical books of Hebrews, Romans, Revelation, Jeremiah, or others, we find ourselves a bit “swallowed up” in the depth of the teachings presented.  What I want to say to us today is that this struggle for truth and understanding is OK!  To wrestle with God’s teachings is healthy.  For us to mature in our Faith, we must cherish the opportunity to study and learn God’s truth for our lives.  My prayer for the people of FCBC is that we may hunger, from the core of our being, to never be satisfied with anything less that true Christian growth.  Let our activities be tools for outreach but never an end in themselves.  Let our friends and relatives be loved by us, as Christ loves us, and let us never be guilty of just ignoring those without Christ.

「教會增長」,有各樣的解釋。 一種解釋為教會的設備增加,第二種為教會人數的增加,第三種是我今天想說的,是基督徒靈命的成熟。 

我們都知道一個健康的教會不一定是要有很多人聚會。當然我們都想見到教會以基督的名向外發展,因而有更多失喪的人會悔改,加入教會事工。但教會以活動及娛樂節目吸引人來參加特定群體,不一定能保證人屬靈生命的成長。沒有真的基督徒想他的靈命生活一再失敗,而是可能改變,逐漸增長成為一個成熟的基督跟隨者,不是嗎? 

當我們讀聖經希伯來書、羅馬書、啟示錄、耶利米書及其他, 我們會發現在這些書的教導深處,我們被「吞沒」。 我今天想要說的是這種為真理及瞭解的掙扎是可以的!與上帝教導角力是健康的。為了我們的信仰能成熟,我們必須珍惜機會,研讀及學習上帝給我們的真理。我對第一華人浸信會的禱告是我們從內心真誠渴慕,永遠不滿於非真實基督徒的成長。讓我們教會的活動成為教會外展的工具,而非它的目標。像基督愛我們一樣,我們愛並關心我們的親戚、朋友。我們永遠不會因為忽視未信基督者而感到罪疚。