Tag Archives: tongues

Church Growth – Witnessing

One of the biblical methods for church growth is found in the words of Jesus recorded in the Book of Acts Chapter 1 verse 8:
“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in all Samaria, and in the uttermost part of the earth.”

Listen to this statement: “…and ye shall be witnesses unto me…” You shall be witnesses – unto Me! Jesus tells the early church and all we who in latter years accept Jesus Christ as our Saviour and become disciples that we will receive power after that the Holy Ghost comes upon us… to be witnesses.

Strangely though, we as Pentecostals are mostly guilty of receiving the Holy Ghost to speak in tongues, dance in the Spirit, have Holy Ghost meetings with excessive joy, loud clapping and shouting and enjoying ourselves in our church services. We miss the point completely. The Holy Spirit was not given for these reasons. Jesus promised us that He would pray that Father send us another Comforter, namely the Holy Spirit. He was sent to teach us to glorify Jesus, and to be effective witnesses by leading men to Christ. Not for ourselves to glory in but to become evangelists. Become disciple-makers. To spread this Gospel message with power.

The early church experienced terrific growth in Jerusalem. So much so that the scribes, the Pharisees and Sadducees all “blamed” Peter and the other disciples that “…and behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine…”(Acts 5:28b). How did they do it? What was the secret? Why were they successful?

They preached Christ, the Son Of God, whom God had raised up, whom these godless religious leaders slew and hanged Him on the tree. This same Christ did God raise from the dead and exalted Him with God’s right hand to be a Prince and Saviour, that Jesus would give repentance to all Israel (and later Paul would teach that the Gentiles too were saved by grace), and have forgiveness of sins. Listen to Peter in Acts 5:32 “And we are His witnesses of these things; and so also is the Holy Ghost. whom God hath given them that obey Him.”

The disciples met in peoples houses EVERY DAY. Church services, the breaking of bread, prayers were offered and communion and fellowship which strengthened the converts was done daily. We would also experience the same results if we were as committed and sold out to Jesus as they were. It is almost impossible to do these same things that the early church did, imitating them to a tee and not duplicate these results. We expect the preacher today to pray and fast, then preach with fervour that God save the lost visitor to our churches. Then we leave the rest of the new convert’s walk and growth up to God.
Imagine mothers and hospital staff taking new born babies, laying them on a bed, leaving their bottles and milk on the cupboard, the nappies and all that a new-born baby would need with instructions that they cannot read or understand within easy reach and expect that baby to live? I know that there would be an outcry from angry members of the public at such atrocities yet we do that to new-born Christian disciples. Then we wonder why they don’t grow spiritually or why the cannot produce results. The duplicate what they were taught – nothing.

The wise writer of the Proverbs wrote: “…and he that winneth souls is wise.” (Proverbs 11:30) In other words, when you win souls, you are regarded as being wise. God expects you and I to pray for a burden for lost souls. We should fast and pray for wisdom to win the lost to Christ Jesus and the Kingdom of God. We must be “violent” in exercising our faith and taking the Kingdom by force. Reinhardt Bonnke refers to it as: “Plundering hell and populating heaven”. We should storm the gates of hell to rescue the dying masses from a Christless grave and an eternity separated from God.

May I ask you child of God, can we stand watching a burning building where the screams of anguish of the trapped people are ignored? Can we watch them die without even trying to do anything to rescue them? Yet we work with people who are lost and on their way to an eternity without God…and we have the deal. We have the answer. We can rescue them and by the grace of God, lead them to a safe harbour in Christ Jesus. But we ignore the call of God. We still the voice of the Hoy Spirit who calls, anoints and appoints us to be armed and dangerous to the devil and his demons at work in the lives of the lost!

I have said it many times before and I repeat it now again, if our churches do not smell of alcohol, dagga and cigarette users smell, then our mission is in vain. The smell in the church should not be from the members but from the sinners. When we have this sort of thing happening, we are on track. Then we are fulfilling our purpose and calling by leading precious souls to God. Allowing God to convict sinners of the sin of not knowing Jesus and delivering them from their vices and addictions. These people, when won by showing them the Love of God, will be on fire for God and as we disciple them, they will become disciple-makers.

These men and women will have first-hand knowledge of the saving grace of God toward them, be effective witnesses and the church membership will grow.

Lord, we confess that we have not applied these strategies and have no burden for the lost. We are sorry Lord God, for disobeying your Word which has power to save and we confess being lazy and cold towards sinners. Father, set us on fire for You and Your Gospel. Fill us with the Holy Ghost and help us to be witnesses for Jesus, winning souls and adding to the church membership as we lead men and women to Christ Jesus. We pray this in Jesus’ Name. Lord, start with me, please in the Name of Jesus Christ our Lord we pray this. Amen


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