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Principles Of Church Growth In The Early Church

The African Church is dismissed as a mile wide and an inch deep which implies that other parameters other than numbers account for church growth. Church growth could also be seen as an application of Biblical, anthropological, and sociological principles to congregations, denominations and their communities in an effort to disciple the greatest number of people for Jesus Christ.

The church planter and the laity share a common vision for what God wants that church to accomplish. In most cases, the church planter and the people can clearly describe and articulate their vision. This gives the people a sense of direction. They are moving toward an objective. They are not merely existing.

The church planter must truly desire growth for the church and must be willing to pay the price in hard work. The leadership must lead the work to organize the mission, set goals, develop plans, and mobilize the people to accomplishment. S/he must be creative, innovative, and assertive with regard to the vision and mission God has for His work.

The people of the work must be equipped to discover and use their gifts. They must be ready to assume new responsibilities and willingly hand over various leadership positions to other new people as the church continues to grow or expand.

This could be stated as the principle of assimilation. Perhaps the most important aspect of this principle is that the church must be structured in a way that develops an organizational base for growth. The larger the base, the greater the possibilities for growth. Life development groups provide a critical function that facilitates a church’s growth e.g. Sunday School groups, Youth Fellowship, Ministries (Men, Women, Youth, Children) etc.

Paul and Barnabas left the indigenous churches with leadership that would provide the direction after the apostles departed. Though the forms of church government vary in the New Testament, they appointed elders to continue their leadership roles. The elders were within the church (“in each church” Acts 14:23) completing the indigenization process.

The mission of the church is to win souls. Therefore, evangelism is not treated as a single principle since that is the primary mission of the church. The related concept of ‘follow” is crucial for young Christians. According to Acts 15:36, “some days after, Paul said unto Barnabbas, let us go again and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they do.” Follow-up could be regarded as a motherly instinct

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