This is the perennial problem of pastors---how to grow their ministry. They seek high and low, far and wide for this. They worry about it endlessly, not understanding that growth belongs to God alone. He decides this, not us. Our job is to share the Gospel of the Kingdom, period.
I've seen pastors make target goals for their membership. They plan to hit this much by year's end or after 3 or 5 years. It's foolish. A 5-year old kid cannot target to grow taller by 5 inches at the end of the year. God decides this. If he wills that you grow to 5 feet 8 inches when you're 16, then you will. Others take growth pills and gain height artificially. Okay, but be ready for the side effects---like an elongated head perhaps.
So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. [1 Corin. 3.7]Growth is God's department (in fact, everything's under his department). What he's relegated to us is spreading the Gospel of the Kingdom. We stick to that, and he decides whether we get a big, medium or small ministry. Doesn't matter. So what if your ministry has stopped growing or is even dying? John the baptist lost a big part of his ministry to Jesus, and it never bothered him.
As long as you obey what God tells you, your ministry size does not matter. Very few pastors get this. This issue haunts them all their lives and stresses them out even to their dying day. They get terribly sick because of this. They could not rest, sleep well or relax. Their immune system is down and suffer ailments that make them take maintenance meds. Where's the abundant life in that?
They think they make God angry if their ministry stays small or gets smaller, or if they have poor facilities or uninteresting church buildings or altars. They really think buildings and altars make God happy. The devil easily topples them down spiritually by just making them conscious of looks, size and numbers. Satan did the same with David and God was angry at him. The same with King Jeroboam.
You see, God wasn't angry at them because they remained small. He was furious because they were so affected with how many and how much rather than just being faithful to his Word.
How God Grows Your Ministry
Now, here's hows God grows your ministry. He leads you to do just 3 things---preach the Word, make disciples and heal the sick. The church should go back to this and seriously focus on this alone. Matthew 4 spells it out clearly. Jesus preached (v.17), he called his disciples (v.18-22), and healed "every" diseases (v.23). And the result?
"News about him spread all over...Large crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan followed him."God caused the growth. The word just spread around without Jesus planning or thinking about it. He didn't advertise or promote himself. He didn't use gimmicks or whatnot. But people literally went crazy for him. The same happened to the Acts church. The Lord "added to their number." Today, you see pastors going crazy for people, trying to drag and keep them in their membership, pursuing desperately after them, trying this and that or whatever works.
Just pursue Jesus.
Imagine if each member of the church could perform miraculous healing and signs and wonders. It's obvious that Jesus didn't intend to keep this function to his department alone. He trained the 12 to do likewise, and then later the 70 others (I believe the 70 were also apostles, because Jesus called them and personally trained and sent them). It's God's will that the church do the same---perform miracles and signs and wonders.
But this is the very thing the church has been rejecting. It preaches the Word and "tries" to make disciples (but only to secure their church membership). Yet it discards the power for signs and wonders. In fact, it often mocks this aspect of ministry. They'd rather do something else than God's supernatural ministry, which is the Kingdom's way of genuinely growing ministries.
To grow ministries according to God's plan, we should explore the supernatural ministry of the Holy Spirit.
GOD's Flesh E-Book:
Get my short emailed insights regularly when you buy the e-book through the email address above. The e-book shares radical insights about church and on genuine spiritual revival you probably haven't heard of.