- Every great church that sustains progress and growth from generation to generation had an aggressive prayer program. In the Apostolic church world, should any person be on a musical instrument or take a microphone in hand, if they have not been in the prayer room? We have standards of holiness. I’m challenging us to make the prayer room a non-negotiable standard of holiness.
- You find a pastor who consistently leads people to God’s word. Disciplines or standards are not based on pastoral preference, or even a personal convictions but can consistently be explained as either Bible specifics or as principles clearly found in the Bible.
- New people are a priority in time, money and effort. Why should Jesus give me a second spiritual baby if I’ve not given my best effort to take care of the one He already gave me? Behind all the “blue light” commotion and promotion that happens on the platform, there is a consistent protracted effort to develop new people.
- Bible teaching is generally not an after-thought, but is a priority. Greek scholar Kenneth Wuest says what God has given in Ephesians is not two separate gifts of: pastor and teacher; but the gift of a pastor who is a teacher. When I think of the majority of often unheralded people who have grown significant churches all of them are a “pastor who is a teacher.” Few have been as effective at the local level (where it ultimately matters) as the following, and hundreds of others like them:
- Ray Johnson in Denham Springs, Louisiana – he is a teacher.
- Granville McKenzie in Toronto – he is a teacher
- Art Hodges in San Diego – he is a teacher.
- Cliff Readout in Connecticut – he is a teacher.
- Donald Bryant in Slidell, Louisiana – check mark – teacher
- David Bernard of Austin – General Superintendent of the UPCI – a teacher.
- Paul Graham of Montreal – teacher
- Darrel Johns in Atlanta West – teacher . . .
- Roy Barnhill of Lumberton, North Carolina – he’s a teacher too
- Ted Wagner of the Whitehorse, Yukon Territory – yep, another teacher
- Dr. Lorin Bradbury – Bethel, Alaska – teacher
- Alonzo Terry – Atlanta – teacher
I’d imagine there may be several names on that list who you have not heard of, (the exception being David Bernard) these have preached few conventions and are not self-promoters. Each of these fellows has led a church to growth, to the point that it is one of the largest churches of any sort in their community. Hundreds of additional names could be added to the list.
Come on folks – let’s go ahead and decide to be effective at this. Growing people is the way you grow a church and growing people takes time. The blue light special won’t do it.
Church growth isn’t plug and play; its grind it out plodding work. At the end of the day, the “blue light” isn’t so special. Figure out the foundation rather than the aberration. The aberrations change, the marketing changes – but the foundation remains the same.