Much of ministry for me has been sitting before God, listening to God's Spirit and then obeying what I believe I am hearing. It has been a fun time seeing God work through so many of you.
When I think I heard many of you right in Orlando I thought I'd heard comments on the need to assist churches in developing and helping get past some of those barriers that people create. Maye they are growth barriers but most definitely they are barriers. Remember it is God that causes growth and so I believe that most of what we need to do is to intentionally feeding the flock (to obey) and leading the flock (casting vision, modeling and sharing stories).
The great commission says in Matthew 28:19-20 "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." To "grow" the church is God's responsibility, to plant and water is our responsibility so we must ask, are we actively and intentionally making disciples. Are we teaching people to obey and not simply inform, instruct and make them comfortable. Look at Jesus' preaching style and how He developed His team, how'd He do it? What do you see?
To develop the body of Christ is really foundational through basic disciple making. Esaum said at Orlando that fruitfulness should be evaluated through how others are bearing fruit you have equipped. Good thought and I agree.
Besides winning them we need to grow them, then intentionally equip them and love them. Can a processing believe be Christlike and not share his or her faith? Can a person be a growing believer and not be making disciples? I think not....now look at the qualifications of an elder...several of you are moving to appointing men this summer and fall, what do you see? A new leader better model and behaviorally be doing what you do and "obeying" the Great Commission and Commandment or they shouldn't be an elder. Revolutionary, maybe but these truths are Biblical.
So some simple next steps to growing a church and breaking barriers might begin by looking at your disciple making pathway and asking is it Biblical, is it effective, is it practical and is it transferable? then you might look at your preaching styles and ask am I teaching application, asking people to obey God and am I speaking to my audience or just wanting to inform and instruct. When you teach a child, you bring the message to their level and make is simply so they receive, hear and obey. Why is it different in the church? Just some thoughts, what do you think?