God’s Growth Plan
And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, to fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to prayers.
I’ve seen many churches and ministries try to find plans to grow through different programs. The thought is, “If we have this kind of program, people will come.” Programs, however, don’t grow churches – people do. People want to be in a place where they feel connected and fed by the Holy Spirit. When those two things come together, you have potential for growth. Rather than investing in programs, you invest in people to multiply.
This verse reveals the formula used by the early church to grow. They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching (Bible study), fellowship, to the breaking of bread (meal), and to prayers. While this may seem too simple, it is what God used to multiply their congregation. These four simple things create an atmosphere of community, where people feel safe, loved, and accepted.
These first believers also shared with one another. They sold their possessions and distributed to all who had need. In other words, they took care of each other. They kept their lives simple and met together every day in the temple complex. They built real relationships with one another as a church family. The essence of community fostered their growth.
While it may be difficult for us to meet every day, we can build an atmosphere of family or community within our local churches and our ministries. We must simply devote ourselves to God’s word, to fellowship, to eating together, taking care of needs within the group, and through prayers for one another and for our ministries. When these things are present, God adds to the number daily. People are not looking for programs. They are looking for community and a sense of belonging, which can be especially hard in our world of computers, cell phones, television, and other things that just seem to isolate and distract. We don’t need more stuff; we need each other.
Pledge today to simplify your life as much as possible, and begin to invest in the people God brings your way. Pray for God to lead you to a place where you belong and empower you to help build a sense of community in that place for others. God reveals Himself through community and uses it to build and strengthen His people. You will soon find your life rich with people and enjoying more of what God has for you.
Have a blessed day!