The Gospel Produces Growth: So What?

In The Trellis And the Vine, the point is made that the Gospel naturally produces growth. It produces growth throughout the world as it spreads more and more, but also it produces growth in believers as they become more and more mature in their faith and the likeness of Christ.

They list three implications of this simple truth, the Gospel produces growth:

The Growth of the Gospel Happens In the Lives of People, Not In the Structures of My Church

The growth of the trellis is not the growth of the vine. We may multiply the number of programs, events, committees and other activities that our church is engaged in; we may enlarge and modernize our buildings; we may re-cast our regular meetings to be attractive and effective in communicating to our culture; we may congratulate ourselves that numbers are up. And all of these are good things! But if people are not growing in their knowledge of God's will so that they walk ever more worthily of the Lord, seeking to please Him in all things and bearing fruit in every good work, then there is no growth to speak of happening at all.

There are many ways to get more people along to your church. In fact, some of the largest churches in the world are the least faithful to the gospel and the Bible. The Bible itself warns us that people will congregate wherever there are teachers who are willing to tell them what they want to hear (2 Tim. 4:3-4).Numerical or structural growth is not necessarily an indicator of gospel growth.

We Must Be Willing to Lose People From Our Own Congregation If That Is Better For the Growth of the Gospel

We must be happy to send members off to other places so that the gospel may grow there as well. And be warned: this will happen if you take gospel growth and training seriously...A commitment to the growth of the gospel will mean that we train people towards maturity not for the benefit of our own churches or fellowships but for the benefit of Christ's kingdom.

The Way We Think About People Changes Radically

We see people not as cogs in our wheel, or as resources for our projects, but as individuals each at their own stage of gospel growth. And our goal for each person is that they advance, that they make progress, that they move one step forward from where they are now: outreach-->follow up-->growth-->training.

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