In this talk Archie Coates from St Peter's Church, Brighton, speaks on the subject of church growth - how to grow church and manage this growth properly.
The following notes were taken by the Bible Reflections team.
1. Increasing communication
When a church is small communication happens by word of mouth, however, when a church grows bigger communication needs to be more systematic. In Acts chapter 6 the Grecian Jews were complaining, saying that they felt over-looked, they "raised a flag". If you are hurting, say it, in a good spirit, and if you can't say it in a bad spirit, say it anyway to save it festering.
It has never been easier than in this time with the advancement of social networks to communicate efficiently. Make the most of the innovations.
2. Increasing Structures
In this passage they selected seven people to lead different areas. Develop teams, and when they grow to a certain size (20-30), split the team and plant and then grow it again. This size of team allows gifts to be grown and developed, including worship leading, giving talks et cetera. In a small group there is the space to develop spiritual gifts.
3. Increased Ownership
The Church in Acts had an issue (regarding food distribution) so they gathered the twelve together to discuss how to manage things…"and the proposal pleased all present".
Treat the church like your home, be yourself - (see V 3). With this there is responsibility.
When it comes to our homes there is a difference between friends and guests - the way we treat them is different. In church life it's just the same. Everybody knows that this kind of welcome is possible on a small scale (church of 50-100 is relatively easy). Is the same welcome possible in a large church?
In the business of life, consumerism becomes natural - Serving at church becomes the major battle of your life.
In Acts 6, Stephen and the other people present in this passage were full of faith and full of the Holy Spirit. When we operate in this way the numbers increase.
Jesus died as a ransom for many - he is passionate for the one, but he gave his life as a ransom for many. The world's population has just reached 7 billion - that's a big number to get your head around so we must concentrate on the locality around us.
Acts chapter six is a mandate for church growth. Church IS about numbers because every number is a person that Jesus died for as a ransom for.
We are given big buildings so that we can fill them with people. We must learn how to do this properly.