David Ripley, President

David Ripley, President

Vision Statement #7

“Evaluate our territory to strategically accelerate church and school planting initiatives.”

 

The Excuses

When I urge churches that they should grow, I often hear a host of reasons why this cannot happen.

  • “Our community is so small!”
  • “Everyone already has a church!”
  • “If only our members were not so liberal and worldly!”
  • “We need to grow our members in the church first!”
  • “If only the Conference would send us an evangelist or Bible worker!”
  • “If only we had more money we could grow!”

Etcetera, etcetera.

Every one of these excuses has something in common. They place limits on God.

They challenge the idea that God is all powerful, all loving, has unlimited resources, and is actively engaged in seeking more people for His kingdom. He is working all around our conference and around our local church.

The Expectation

In his book, Church Growth and the Word of God, Alan Tippett shares how Christ’s words demonstrate a pervasive expectation that His church would grow.

“The attitude that we must expect slow growth distresses me. It is quite foreign to the New Testament, which, on the contrary, has a rich range of picturesque imagery that shows growth is to be expected—both physical, numerical growth from outside and spiritual, qualitative growth from within. The New Testament nouns and verbs leave no room for static causes. The teaching of Jesus was charged with expectation of growth.” (p. 12)

The Examples

Through Christ’s stories we see that the imagery of the Gospels is one of life, expectancy, and growth. I argue that God expects no less today.  When we look across our conference and as each of us look at the community our church is in, we must remember:

  • A small lunch fed 5,000
  • The mustard seed became a huge plant
  • A fruitless night of fishing became the largest catch, 153 fish were captured
  • Leaven filled the whole loaf
  • Talents were greatly multiplied
  • Planted seed produced 100-fold
  • Jesus said prayer will move mountains
  • Whole communities came out to meet Jesus

The Examination

Within our territory we have three larger centers, Winnipeg, Regina, and Saskatoon.  Then we have several secondary sized communities such as Moose Jaw or Brandon. After that we have thousands of small communities and villages.  All need to hear of Jesus’ power to save and His soon return.

Exegesis is often thought of as a theological term, reserved for preachers. It is the process of examining the Bible passage and extracting the meaning from the text.

However, each community and the conference as a whole needs the process of exegesis.

It is critical that we examine our mission field carefully. We want to recognize were God is already at work, and join Him in His work.

Each church must ask God, “Where do you want us to grow in our community? Where can church growth happen here and how can we be part of kingdom growth in surrounding communities?”

God has led us to two major multiplication emphases: growing attendance and planting churches. Each existing church must claim these vital initiatives as part of the focus of their ministry.

We will seek to grow attendance in existing churches and beyond the borders of the communities where Adventists have a presence, we will seek to grow God’s kingdom through planting of churches.

Are you willing to exegete your community and church looking through Biblical glasses and see the great potential for multiplication of churches and schools? Are you willing to see where God is working and join Him in His quest to grow His kingdom? Are you willing to talk faith, make plans, and move forward?

If so, then, let’s begin now!  Need help? Call on us and we will come and help!

 

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Learn More: This article is part of a series focused on making the new Man-Sask Mission & Vision practical and applicable.

– Where did this Mission & Vision come from?
– How will it make a difference?
– How will it impact you?

Check out previous articles in the series here