Following Jesus today can become real discouraging at times. Church leaders and members alike desire to see the church grow. We desire to see men, women, boys, and girls come to a saving faith in Jesus Christ. There is also the desire to see the gatherings of the church for worship and Bible study to be full of people.
Why do we have such high expectations? Sometimes we expect the same numbers in attendance that the church has experienced at some point in the past. At other times we simply know that there are many lost and unchurched people around us that need to be connected to a local church family. And there is also the example from Scripture of church growth that blows our minds.
Acts 1:14-15 tells us that there were 120 believers in the upper room "continually united in prayer". Then after Peter's message and directions for repentance of sin on the Day of Pentecost, Acts 2:41-42 states that "about 3,000 people were added to them. And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching, to fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to prayers." That must have been some altar response to witness. Acts 2:47 simply states that "every day the Lord added to them those who were being saved." We are not even sure how many came to a salvation in Jesus during these days. Then according to Acts 4:4 another 5,000 people had been saved.
Did you see a common theme? There was continual prayer, there was the proclamation of Scripture there was the devotion to the apostles' teaching, to fellowship, to observing the Lord's Supper, and to prayer. Notice that prayer was foundational to the church growth experienced.
As we follow Jesus today, may we become prayer warriors on behalf of the lost, the unengaged unreached people groups, the unchurched in our communities, and each other to truly be the church that God desires.
Praying today for:
(1) Lake O' the Pines community of Victory
(2) State of California
(3) Nation of Gibraltar
(4) American Peoples throughout the World