Church Growth

“Although it is easy for us to overlook, it is an empirical fact that most of the church’s members over the last two millennia have been converted not through mass evangelism or revivals but through the ordinary means of grace in the church’s public ministry.  Most of these saints could not have told us when they came to believe the gospel; the Spirit worked through the weekly ministry of the church and the daily encounter with God’s Word in the home.  We may get tired of it.  We may wonder if it is powerful, wise, and relevant in an era of impressive marketing and political campaigns.  Yet in spite of its profoundly mixed record of faithfulness to its commission, this ordinary ministry of baptizing, catechizing, preaching, receiving the Supper, praying, singing, caring and comforting, admonishing and encouraging in fellowship, and finally, burying the dead in the hope of the resurrection has yielded the most effective results even when considered on purely empirical grounds.  Those who are deeply rooted in the mysteries of the gospel will not only be more confident but more zealous to share their hope in the ordinary course of daily life.  And they will also more eagerly encourage others to attend the public means of grace, where strangers are reconciled.”

Michael Horton, the Gospel-Driven Life, 212-213.

About Wes Bredenhof

Pastor of the Free Reformed Church, Launceston, Tasmania. View all posts by Wes Bredenhof

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