14 Shocking Church Growth Scriptures That Will Jumpstart Your Ministry [2023]

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The church experienced tremendous growth during Jesus’ earthly ministry and into the early church. 

If you have been praying for church growth scriptures that will reveal how the early church generated such powerful growth, and how you can too –  you’ve come to the right place!

In this article we’ll be looking at scriptures on ministry growth, as well as church growth scriptures. Let’s get into it!

Church Growth Scripture 1: Jesus Went Where the People Were (Matthew 9)

Jesus didn’t begin his ministry in one static location like we start our churches today, He went out to where He could find his future audience. 

Church Growth Scripture 1

“Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people.”

Matthew 9:35

The Scripture tells us that “Jesus WENT ….”

Here are regions Jesus went to reach his audience:

  1. Samaria
  2. Judea
  3. Decapolis
  4. Phoenicia
  5. Gaulanitis
  6. Perea

Jesus went LITERALLY all over the Israeli map. ALL of the GROWTH in Jesus’ ministry was preceded by Him going to the people. 

Instead of hoping that people will come into the church, we need to go to the endless masses of people starving for HOPE… in a world that is frightening and irreparably broken. 

church growth scriptures

Church Growth Scripture 2: Jesus Came For The Undesirables (Mark 2)

In the last section, we saw that Jesus went to those who would follow him. But who did he go to? And who should you and I go to?

Church Growth Scripture 2

“13 He went out again beside the sea, and all the crowd was coming to him, and he was teaching them. 14 And as he passed by, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him. 15 And as he reclined at the table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners were reclining with Jesus and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. 16 And the scribes of[a] the Pharisees, when they saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors, said to his disciples, “Why does he eat[b] with tax collectors and sinners?” 17 And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Mark 2:13-17

In verse 14 we find Jesus calls the most undesirable and hated person of all to follow him, the Tax collector. 

Jesus spent his whole ministry going to people that the ancient world deemed undesirable. He went to the widows, the sick, the demon-possessed, the tax collectors, prostitutes, the samaritans, etc.

The ancient Jews believed that those who had big PHYSICAL problems were also cursed by God (Big SPIRITUAL Problems).

“As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

John 9:1-2

Jesus came for the unrighteous. He went out and found those who were in need, both physically and spiritually and he met their needs for them.

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Church Growth Scripture 3: Who are The Undesirables? (Luke 5)

So Jesus spent his ministry physically going to those who were deemed undesirable by the world. 

But why were these people “undesirable”? 

Church Growth Scripture 3

“And Jesus answered them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.”

Luke 5:31-32

People who are “undesirable” have PROBLEMS and a problem is just an UNMET NEED

People the world deems “undesirable” are just people with greater needs than others.

Problems and Needs are two sides of the same coin. Here are some examples: 

  • Sin Problems = Need for salvation
  • Hunger Problems = Need for food
  • Financial Problems = Need for money
  • Health Problems = Need for health/healing
  • Relationship Problems = Need for reconciliation/communication

Jesus went out to find and do ministry with the “undesirable” people who had big problems and big needs. 

In our modern world, people with needs are everywhere

Your ministry and your community already have tons of people with needs. Foster kids, people in AA, those who live in elderly homes, single moms, etc. 

Even in the church, our flesh can often join in the rejection of those with great need due to the feelings of discomfort that can come with associating with them.

Psychologically speaking, people with great needs often evoke feelings of anxiety and disgust in those around them – thus the outcasting. Anxiety stems from the feeling of being unsafe and disgust is the natural emotional reaction that warns someone not to ingest a foreign and potential toxic substance. Unclean!

While our flesh often rejects these people due to feelings of discomfort, it’s these very people who lie at the heart of the church growth scriptures to come. 

What types of needs do the people in and around your ministry have?

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Church Growth Scripture 4: The Most Receptive (Luke 14)

In the last section, we saw that Jesus went to those that society had rejected

But why did He go to these people specifically?

Church Growth Scripture 4

15 When one of those at the table with him heard this, he said to Jesus, “Blessed is the one who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God.” 16 Jesus replied:  “A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. 17 At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited,  ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’ 18 “But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, ‘I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.’ 19 “Another said, ‘I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.’ 20 “Still another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’ 21 “The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.’ 22 “‘Sir,’ the servant said, ‘what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.’ 23 “Then the master told his servant, ‘Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full. 24 I tell you, not one of those who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.’”

Luke 14:15-24

A man invited many to a great banquet he was having. When all was prepared, the guests began rejecting the host’s invitation. The guests that rejected the man’s banquet invitation were:

  • A landowner
  • A man who owned cattle
  • A guest who was newly married. 

All three of these men seem to have been people of means. The well-to-do people found more value in the things they already had than in attending the wedding banquet. 

The wedding banquet was NOT COMPELLING to those who already had their physical needs met. 

This of course is speaking of the people who love the World. 

The banquet host then gives the order to invite the less fortunate. He invited the hillbillies and the bumpkins that lived down the country’s gravel roads. The story also mentions that he invites the people from the back alleyways.  

“23 And the master said to the servant, ‘Go out to the highways and hedges and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled.”

Luke 14:23

From this, we can see that Jesus went out to the “undesirables”; those in the most need because they were the most receptive.  

If you are enjoying this post on scriptures for church growth, you will love our full article titled: How To Grow A Church: 10 Best Biblical Strategies

Church Growth Scripture 5: Why The News About Jesus Spread (Matthew 4)

Up to this point, we see that Jesus is going out to the people who have great need because they are the most receptive to His message. 

But why did the news about Jesus spread in the first place? 

Perhaps, if we understood why these people spread the word about Jesus, we might be able to get people to spread the word about your ministry too…

Church Growth Scripture 5

“23 And he went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people. 24 So his fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought him all the sick, those afflicted with various diseases and pains, those oppressed by demons, those having seizures, and paralytics, and he healed them. 25 And great crowds followed him from Galilee and the Decapolis, and from Jerusalem and Judea, and from beyond the Jordan.”

Matthew 4:23-25

Why did people walk across a country that was covered by desert to get their friends and bring them to Jesus? 

Would the people who attend your church walk across a desert to bring someone to your ministry? Would they walk down the block? 

After four years of Bible college and three years of youth ministry, I would read the passage above and focus on what a great preacher Jesus must have been. “If only I could speak and teach as well as Jesus, I would grow my youth group as well”. 

Only after going into marketing did I begin to see that preaching is not the primary driver of growth in this passage. 

Verse 23 says Jesus was teaching, preaching, and healing every disease among the people. 

Then, in verse 24 we find that the people who had witnessed the healings and teachings walked all over Syria to get their friends and bring them back to Jesus. 

BUT WHY DID THEY DO THIS? Was it the teaching and preaching or the healing?

In verse 25, we find the answer to this question. The people willing to walk through the wilderness to bring people back to Jesus were bringing him the SICK

There were so many sick, in fact, that large crowds began to follow Him. 

Also, notice who the passage doesn’t mention. The passage says nothing about the intellectuals, the educated, the Pharisees, or the Sadducees coming to hear Jesus preach & teach.

The sick came to Jesus in verse 24 because he was meeting their most deeply felt needs (first) and in their excitement, they couldn’t help themselves but to go and get other people with similar needs (second). When they brought the people from all over Syria, Jesus met their needs too!

Then in verse 25 we find that larger crowds follow Jesus from even more regions than  Syria. 

The word about Jesus spread everywhere because people who had gotten their needs met wanted their friends and family to have their needs met too – so they walked all over the desert to get them and bring them back to Jesus. 

The crowds of people in your community are no different than those in ancient Israel. If you meet their most deeply felt needs, they will go and get other people for whom you can do the same. 

Church Growth Scripture 6: The Reason Crowds Followed Jesus (John 6)

The previous passage shows that when Jesus met physical needs –  it attracted larger and larger crowds to Him.

But surely these people didn’t follow Him just for this. They must have known and valued the deeper and infinitely more powerful message that Jesus was teaching and preaching, right?

Church Growth Scripture 6

And a large crowd was following him because they saw the signs that he was doing on the sick.” 

John 6:2

In John 6:2, we see these crowds were following Jesus because of the needs He was meeting. 

We see this yet again in John 6:26:

“Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves.”

John 6:26 

While it may be true that mature believers come to hear teaching and preaching, those who have accepted Christ ALREADY understand the depth of their own spiritual need. 

Unbelievers don’t. Those who don’t know the Lord are concerned with earthly affairs and they go to the places where their PHYSICAL, earthly needs are met. 

The crowds followed Jesus because he met their physical needs. 

When others see what you are doing in the lives of those with great needs, crowds will follow you too. 

Church Growth Scripture 7: Overcoming Evil With Good (Ephesians 6)

We now have seen that meeting physical needs will create a following around your ministry. However, meeting just any old needs won’t do because there is something working against you.

In order to create healthy church growth, your ministry must be MORE COMPELLING than the forces that want to keep the same people away from your ministry. 

But what are the forces you are up against and how powerful are they? 

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Church Growth Scripture 7

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” 

Ephesians 6:12

These evil forces will use every possible strategy to keep people from Christ and your ministry. Here are just a few reasons people resist coming into your ministry every Sunday:   

  • Fear of God because of the sinful life they have led
  • Pain and even trauma from Christians in the church
  • Fear of being shamed, rejected, disfellowshipped, etc
  • Fear of being judged for past sins or mistakes
  • Fear of being excluded by the “cliques”
  • Anger toward the real or imagined hypocrisy of pastors or “church people”
  • Fear of the unknown
  • Rebellion toward being held to a moral standard

When the forces of darkness keep the “broken” away from Christ, these people inevitably become enemies of Christ. 

“Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.”  

Matthew 12:30

But how could you possibly get the spiritual enemies of God to follow you when all of these problems are holding them back?  

“If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink. For in so doing, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” 

Romans 12:20-21

The only way to compel crowds to come to Christ (and to your Church) is to overcome their pain, fear, and anger with good works.

Don’t just meet a need, meet the most deeply felt need in their life. 

Church Growth Scripture 8: The Apostles Use Jesus’ Growth Strategy (Acts 5)

So we have taken time to see how Jesus grew his audience in the Gospels. But what about the church of Acts?

What was the church growth strategy of the disciples? 

Church Growth Scripture 8

12 Now many signs and wonders were regularly done among the people by the hands of the apostles. And they were all together in Solomon’s Portico. 13 None of the rest dared join them, but the people held them in high esteem. 14 And more than ever believers were added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women, 15 so that they even carried out the sick into the streets and laid them on cots and mats, that as Peter came by at least his shadow might fall on some of them. 16 The people also gathered from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing the sick and those afflicted with unclean spirits, and they were all healed.

Acts 5:12-16

We see four things happening in this passage:

  1. The disciples are meeting physical needs through healing the sick
  2. Believers were added to the Lord
  3. People brought the sick & people gathered from towns around Jerusalem
  4. The sick were all healed

In this passage of church scriptures, we see the disciples imitating the same church growth strategy that Jesus used in Matthew 4:23-25

The disciples met the deeply felt needs of their audience and then brought them to Christ. 

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Church Growth Scripture 9: Still Not Convinced? (Luke 5)

In the scriptures below, you will begin to notice the same pattern in Jesus’ early ministry. Let’s look at our next example of church growth in scripture: 

Church Growth Scripture 9

“5 On one occasion, while the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, he was standing by the lake of Gennesaret, 2 and he saw two boats by the lake, but the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. 3 Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, he asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people from the boat. 4 And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” 5 And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.” 6 And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking. 7 They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. 8 But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” 9 For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish that they had taken, 10 and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.”[a] 11 And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him.”

Luke 5:1-11

Notice: BEFORE Jesus called for Simon, James, and John to action, he met a deeply felt need. They were fishermen who needed fish to pay their bills and feed their families. 

After these three fishermen had a long, disappointing night of fishing without results – Jesus met their ENORMOUS NEED. Jesus answered with such an overwhelming amount of fish that they were willing to leave the very thing they needed (the fish) to pursue the provider of those needs.

Could meeting needs be the primary precursor to sustainable church growth?

Let’s look at more scriptures to find out. 

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Church Growth Scripture 10: Works Must Accompany Great Faith (James 2)

Faith is believing in Jesus Christ, the Son of the one true God. 

Have you ever considered that even demons have this same faith? 

What a remarkably alarming realization! Below, we are made aware that faith only is not enough. We must also ACT on our faith. 

Church Growth Scripture 10

“14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good[a] is that? 17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. 18 But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! 20 Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; 23 and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God. 24 You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.”

James 2:14-24

“Actions speak louder than words.” Meeting the needs of those in your community can be more powerful than your preaching. 

Good works done from our overflowing love of Christ will gain the attention of those needing salvation. Many poor wonder why someone affluent, or someone better off, would serve them. This service done in humility opens hearts to the message of Jesus.

The Gospel message will be more widely received by your audience after their problems have been solved and after you have built their trust. 

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Church Growth Scripture 11: Jesus Met Physical Needs Before Spiritual Ones (Matthew 14)

Of course, we know that Jesus grew his audience through some mixture of meeting needs, teaching, and preaching. 

It’s obvious that nobody can accept Christ without hearing the good news preached to them. 

“How then can they call on the One in whom they have not believed? And how can they believe in the One of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone to preach? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” 

Romans 10:14-15

But how did Jesus go about preaching and teaching during his ministry? 

Let’s look at our next church growth passage and find out. 

Church Growth Scripture 11

“13 Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a desolate place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns. 14 When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick. 15 Now when it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a desolate place, and the day is now over; send the crowds away to go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” 16 But Jesus said, “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.” 17 They said to him, “We have only five loaves here and two fish.” 18 And he said, “Bring them here to me.” 19 Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass, and taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and said a blessing. Then he broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. 20 And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up twelve baskets full of the broken pieces left over. 21 And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.” 

Matthew 14:13-21

In all four occurrences of this story (John 6:1-13; Matthew 14:13-21; Mark 6:32-44; Luke 9:10-17), we find Jesus feeding the 5,000 and we see Jesus providing for the needs of the crowds by healing their illnesses and by meeting their physical need for food. 

Shockingly, ONLY the Luke account mentions that Jesus did any teaching or preaching. 

Luke 4:11b says “[Jesus] spoke to them about the kingdom of God…”. Other than this, the authors of these books focused this story entirely on the way in which Jesus met the needs of the crowds. 

Even more notable, after the feeding of the 5,000 in the Matthew, Mark, and John accounts, we see Jesus cross the lake and land in Gennesaret. Once the crowds figured out where he was, what did they do? 

“34 And when they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret. 35 And when the men of that place recognized him, they sent around to all that region and brought to him all who were sick 36 and implored him that they might only touch the fringe of his garment. And as many as touched it were made well.”

Matthew 14:34-36

The people AGAIN went EVERYWHERE and brought the sick to Jesus because they knew he met needs. They were desperate to have their physical needs met by Jesus, just like those in your community. 

People may not INITIALLY understand their TRUE need for the Gospel message, but they do understand their physical needs and will go wherever they will get their needs met. 

Jesus even says this in the John 6 account of the same moment:

“26 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. 27 Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.” 28 Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?”

John 6: 26-28

In the passage we see Jesus shifting into teaching mode AFTER he met their needs at the feeding of the 5,000. Jesus strategically increased his followers by meeting their physical needs and then explains the more important spiritual need to the people who follow Him. 

Jesus Attracted People By Solving Their Unmet Needs 

THEN… Jesus shared the Good News.

We should follow Jesus’ example and make it a habit to meet people’s deeply felt physical needs FIRST. Afterward, Jesus would teach the crowds about their spiritual needs for salvation.  

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Church Growth Scripture 12: Gratitude Moves The Soul To Action (Luke 7)

In the last section we found that Jesus met physical needs first, but why did he do this? 

Church Growth Scripture 12

“41 “A certain moneylender had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 When they could not pay, he canceled the debt of both. Now which of them will love him more?” 43 Simon answered, “The one, I suppose, for whom he canceled the larger debt.” And he said to him, “You have judged rightly.”

Luke 7:41-43

As we see above in Luke 7, those who are healed of the most brokenness are the very same people who are the most grateful once they have their needs met.

Gratitude moves the soul to action.

Jesus’ actions met the needs of those who were suffering. The more profound a person’s need for forgiveness and healing, the greater their desire to receive the gift AND give to others what they themselves have received.

  1. Gratitude increases how much the crowds trust you because they see that you care about them first. This makes your audience more receptive to your spiritual message. 
  2. By meeting their physical needs your audience will become excited to get their friends and bring them too. 

The reason Jesus met needs first is because gratitude moves people into a place of receptivity and action. 

Church Growth Scripture 13: Strategic Gospel Presentation (Acts 2)

Once it’s time to share the Gospel, how can you do so in a compelling way for your listeners? 

Let’s look at the strategic approach taken by the apostles when sharing the gospel in Acts. 

Church Growth Scripture 13

“36 Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.” 37 Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” 38 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” 40 And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” 41 So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.”

Acts 2:36-41

Just prior to the passage above, Peter convincingly argues (to the crowd of Jews) that Jesus was the Messiah and that they had killed Him

Peter helped this audience to understand a SPIRITUAL NEED they didn’t know they had – the need for salvation.  

The Jews, having accepted his reasoning as to why Jesus was the Messiah, now understood the dilemma they faced. They then asked how their deep need could be met when they asked, “Brothers, what shall we do?”

Peter then explains how they can be saved from their sin. 

Your audience can’t accept the solution to a problem they don’t know they have. 

Be sure your audience fully understands the full depth of their shortcomings before calling them to action. 

This of course means that you need to help your audience understand their deeply felt SPIRITUAL NEED, and show them how this need can be met as well. 

This of course doesn’t mean preparing your best hellfire and brimstone sermon. Let’s take our guidance from Peter in the passage above. He logically explains to a group of Jews why they are guilty of the murder of God’s Messiah. 

These Jews were “cut to the heart” with the new understanding of their immense guilt.

Only when your audience is “cut to the heart” will the number of those who accept the Gospel be great as it was in the passage above. 

Successful Gospel presentations begin by educating the crowds on the depth of their spiritual NEED. The acceptance of Christ is just the logical solution to this need. By now, we know that people go where their needs are met. 

Church Growth Scripture 14: Prayer For Church Growth (John 14)

After you have begun meeting the needs of those in your community and then teaching and preaching, it’s time to pray for growth. 

“I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. 7 So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 8 The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor.”

1 Corinthians 3:6-8

As the passage says, God provides the growth in your ministry. 

The purpose of this article is to point out your role in the church growth process. Your role is to sow seed on good soil. This means using the resources you have and ensuring you’re not sowing your seed by throwing them onto the road where they will be trampled underfoot or into thorn patches where the new plants will be choked. 

When you and your ministry team are meeting needs and preaching, it’s time to pray for church growth. Here is an example of scriptures to pray for church growth.

Church Growth Scripture 14

“12 “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. 13 Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.”

John 14:12 

Notice that Jesus begins talking about prayer in this passage by first explaining that those who do good works (in the name of the Father) are the ones who will receive what they ask for in prayer. 

This article has focused first on doing good works first, then praying for church growth. The order exists even in the passage of prayer. After you are doing good work in the name of God, then God will provide what you ask for – church growth. 

Faith and good deeds work together to bring about church growth in the scriptures. 

Consider this prayer for church growth scripture: 

“What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. 18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. 19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder. 20 You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? 21 Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23 And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. 24 You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone. 25 In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? 26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.

James 2:14-26

In verse 22, we find that Abraham’s faith and deeds worked together to bring about his salvation. (Note: Salvation is through faith and then an overflow of good works is through gratitude because of salvation). 

The same is true with church growth. A church that teaches and preaches about faith in the absence of meeting needs WILL stop growing because the lost don’t know they have this spiritual need. The good works of your ministry work together with the faith of your ministry to bring about the salvation of others. Those who are saved are the people who begin attending your ministry and creating growth. 

Once your ministry is busy meeting the needs of your community, then it’s time to pray for God to provide the growth. Start building a prayer for church growth with Scriptures.

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Jesus’ 3 Steps To Church Growth

As we have seen throughout this article, Jesus consistently used four simple strategies that lead to consistent church growth. As we have seen, his disciples knew this and repeated his strategy after his ascension.

  • Jesus always met the people where they were – in their synagogues, on the hilltops and mountains.
  • Jesus met his audience’s physical needs  
  • Jesus Shared the Gospel
  • Jesus prayed

Consider again Luke 5:1-11 when Jesus recruits Peter, James, and John. What was the order of actions Jesus took?

  1. He went to where THEY were at (He literally walked himself onto their boat.)
  2. He met the need THEY thought was the biggest. 
  3. He then offered to meet a spiritual need (to be fishers of men).

In essence:

Love meets physical needs and people go where their physical needs are met.

That brings us to the end of this message about scriptures on church growth. Hopefully, we have helped you to view these scriptures on growth in a new way.

Which of these three steps do you feel your ministry excels at, and which do you feel you need to improve on? 

Let us know in the comments! 

If you liked this blog, you will love this video: Inward Focused Church: #1 Mentality That Ruins Church Growth Efforts.

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