By Not Known
Following from where we left off last month in looking at some characteristics of a growing ORPC, here are my other observations.
5. Sharing the Gospel. As we look at any growing church, one thing that sets them apart is their passion to want to tell others about their faith. A believer’s relationship with God cannot be hidden or suppressed. When one is excited about his walk with God, nothing can take away that bubbling desire to want others to know also. As such, a growing church will always have people wanting to share the Gospel.
6. Members are less reliant on programmes but more on spontaneous ministry activities. This observation has to do with a certain sense of freedom and creativity in sharing the excitement and joy of being believers. People with a sense of fulfilment in their walk with the Lord will see more and more possibilities and opportunities to reach out, to minister and to participate in caring for people around them. There is a heightened sense of awareness of needs around them. Regular activities are good but because needs trump programmes, people are becoming more creative in reaching out. At the same time, the structures of the church become more accommodating to creative ventures. More are coming forward and saying, “What would you think if Sally and I organise a Christmas tea for the ladies in church as an evangelistic opportunity?”
7. Informal gatherings. When attenders and worshippers are genuinely converted, they would want to come together for “spiritual conversation” and not just talk about the weather, property prices, stock market, handbags or shoes. Rather, there is an apparent willingness to confess their sins to one another or to seek prayers for their struggles.
8. Sacrificial giving. Another sign of spiritual growth and truly being touched by the Lord is a spontaneity in giving to needs. Families and couples would voluntarily decide together that they would increase their tithes or giving to worthy causes and to church’s needs simply becuase they sense them intuitively. They would be keen to watch the report on givings at services and consider how much more they can give sacrificially.
9. Fruit of the Spirit. We know that this is a clear indication of our deepened relationship with God and our continuing surrendering to His rule and sovereignty over our lives. The big issue is just how are they actually reflected in our daily lives. When we look closely at the characteristics of the fruit of the Spirit, we will understand how much we lack them. When these characteristics are increasingly displayed in our day-to-day dealings with people, we know that together, we are moving upwards in the growth index for the church. Our job is not just to check others but to check ourselves first.
The last instalment will come in my next Pastoral Message.