God’s way of creating church growth. God’s word teaches us that the church (Jesus’ church, Matt. 16: 18) is essential, viewed both from the local and universal perspective (cf. Acts 2: 47; Eph, 1: 3-7). Christians are to be members of a local church. In such a relationship they assemble (Heb. 10: 25; Acts 2: 42), edify one another (Eph. 4: 12-16), sing praise to God and one another (Eph. 5: 19), have the pure word preached to them (Acts 20: 7, 27, 28), are overseen by scriptural bishops (I Tim. 3: 1-7; Heb. 13: 7), give of their means into the local treasury (I Cor. 16: 1, 2), and observe the Lord’s Supper (I Cor. 11: 23-28). God’s growth occurs in principally two ways: (1) the saints are built up by the gospel, and (2) the lost become Christians by obeying the gospel (Jas. 1: 21; I Tim. 3: 15; 2 Thes. 1: 7-9). The pure truth is the essence of such growth (I Pet. 2: 1, 2: Acts 20: 32).
Man’s way of creating church growth. Man’s way is to have just enough of the truth to be deceiving to the undiscerning (cf. Gal. 1: 6-9). Appeals are made to make people happy by dining and providing social fulfillment. Special effort is made to socially satisfy the divorced, the young, the singles, etc. Appeals are made to people’s children, in providing secular schools and day care. The goal is to please the people, not God. Larger numbers and bigger, nicer buildings with less of God and His word is the order! Much emphasis is placed on bands and modern music with fun and frolic for all.
We must decide whom we desire to please with our growth - God or ourselves.