Differences between Evangelism and Church Growth
The Great Commission is given to the Lord’s Church (Matthew 28:18-19). Accordingly, all Christians share the responsibility to spread the gospel. Seeking the lost is never someone else’s job.
Evangelism is successful when prospects are located, taught and immersed into Christ (Acts 2:38; 22:16; Romans 6:3-4). Church growth is when they’re added to the Lord’s Body (Acts 2:47), and become a part of a larger whole (Ephesians 2:19).
Evangelism requires planning and preparation as we fill ourselves with the Word (2 Timothy 3:16-17), humility (James 4:10) and proven strategies.
Someone in the congregation teaches, baptizes and teaches a person. The great work of the soul-winner now faces an entirely new test as the convert tries to incorporate into the congregation. If the ground has not been prepared and fertilized, the seed may never grow.
Evangelism may be accomplished by one individual while church growth requires the cooperation of every member with whom the new convert interacts. Without it, the workers may be wasting their time.
Church growth requires the following:
First, church growth requires total involvement. Weeks, months or years of work can be undone in seconds by someone with a bad attitude. A prospect or a new convert is very fragile and we all must remember our place in the kingdom and put the larger work of the Lord first (Ephesians 3:20-21).
Second, church growth requires spiritual maturation. The proper attitudes, speech and conduct in the Lord’s Church cannot occur unless we’re all working to be transformed (Romans 12:1-2). Flashes of sin can damage someone else’s spiritual progress at any moment. We must constantly monitor and edit our words and behavior.
Third, church growth requires a healthy, positive atmosphere. We often associate a positive pulpit with error because Biblical compromise too often occurs in the guise of growth. Yet, we can be positive and scriptural. Anyone who stands before the congregation to speak, teach, pray, lead songs or make announcements must weigh every word.
Joy begets joy and unrighteous judgment spreads dissolution (Matthew 7:1-2). We stand for truth but we do so in love (Ephesians 4:15). We work together to go to heaven and that attitude must be heard. We direct people to Christ at all times and we allow the Word to be critical, not our personal prejudices.
Fourth, church growth requires a respect for Biblical authority. Everything begins and ends with reverence for God’s Word (Colossians 3:17; 1 Corinthians 4:6). People must hear the Bible instead of opinions from the pulpit (2 Timothy 4:1-2).
The Lord’s Church in a community will either grow or die because of the members of the congregation. The entire group must be unified for good or Satan will destroy everything (2 Corinthians 11:3-14).
Church growth is never done by others since everyone has a crucial role. As a result, every Christian must determine whether they’re a part of the problem or the solution. Think about it.