Where is Your Church Growth?
NCW 69: August 2000 - January 2001
Q. Where is your church growth? Why are you so small? Is this not evidence that you are dead in the Holy Spirit?
A. Success these days tends to be measured in terms of numbers or swollen bank accounts, and indeed there are many churches in the so-called "Prosperity Movement" who wish to call attention to these carnal things. The Church of God had had different movements throughout history depending on the circumstances and on its calling. Sometimes it has grown rapidly, and at other times it has not grown at all - either because it has itself fallen away or because the world is so steeped in sin that it will no longer respond.
The New Covenant Church of God is indeed minuscule and appears on the surface to have stagnated. For the last 5 years there have only been six full members (about to be eight this August), with various catechumens (investigator-members) here and there. We will let God be the judge as to why we have not grown. However, we have not disappeared, neither have we abandoned our mission. We remain firmly on course as Noah did, irrespective of the feelings of others in the matter. We obey our Lord and our God before yielding to man's shallow and fickle expectations.
I will draw your attention to only two scriptures: "As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man" (Mt.24:37, NIV). You will recall that the Church of God consisted of only eight souls for nearly a whole century. A hundred years of apparent stagnation. There was religion all around Noah and his family and it was false. He waited, he was justified, and the world was saved through a few. Though I am not saying we have quite arrived at the days of Noah, there being many Christian bodies other than us whom the Lord is using prior to the arrival of that fateful day, what I am saying is that in our time of universal apostasy in former Christian nations, size is not a criterion for measuring anything remotely to do with truth. Sometimes in history the world is swarming with true believers, and at other times they are almost impossible to find anywhere.
The second scripture is this: "No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people" (Ac.5:13, NIV). Now, again, I am not saying that we are necessarily anything like the people to whom this was addressed (see v.12) but it would be accurate to say that people hold NCCG in high regard but do not dare to join us because of fear of persecution, loss of spouse or job, loss of reputation in the world, etc.. You see, we do not tow the political or religious line - we are ostracised and marginalised by the neo-pagan society mushrooming all around us. But Christians and pagans alike respect - highly regard - us for our stand. Our Internet site has become highly respected and is used by almost every shade of Christian imaginable. The number of links to it is now enormous. People are looking, waiting to see what happens, before they make a commitment. That could be fateful for them in the same way it was in Noah's days - those who may have been procrastinators, yet secret believers in the Patriarch's message, perished along with the wicked. In the end, the Lord bred His Church anew! Now there's a radical concept for evangelism!
It might, of course, be true that we are dead in the Holy Spirit as you accuse, and we often review our stand before the Lord for further enlightenment and direction even if this means turning down a different spiritual avenue. But we have been told to hold our ground, maintain our public profile and witness, and wait patiently for the day when we will be launched as Noah's ark was.
In truth, we have been in "wait mode" now since we started back in the 1980's. There aren't many who want a pure Gospel in a syncretic world full of spiritual, political and religious compromise. The lowest common denominator of spiritual truth does not frankly interest us - we seek the highest, which is "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth". Yah'shua (Jesus) said that He was "the truth" (Jn.14:6), not "part of the truth", or one in a pantheon of other gods whom we are free to choose when it suits us, and we for one aren't interested in man-made half-gospels. Better to be small and in the truth than to compromise the Word and be swallowed up in a multitude of the spiritually dead. We bide our time, holding fast to the whole truth, until our moment comes and our waiting is vindicated. There are some reading this who know they are called but keep procrastinating, year after year, afraid of the price of discipleship. Time is running out for them. The issue is of truth vs. half-truth or outright lies. We at NCCG at least know exactly what we have chosen and where we are going.
So, where is our Church growth? Our reply is: Go and ask Noah about his..or Jeremiah, or Elijah, or any of the prophets of old who laboured thanklessly in a sea of apostasy. There are many today who have not bowed the knee to Baal but they are in hiding because of the fear of man. It's time for them to poke their heads out into the sunlight, I think.
In 2000/1 NCCG/BCAY suddenly experienced dramatic growth in fulfilment of a prophecy given in 1995 (Olive Branch, 382:9-20). From one congregation consisting of 6 adult members in 1996, the Church grew to a staggering 4,000 members in 66 congregations on every continent in the space of 12 months. Even so, we do not measure our 'success' in terms of numbers. We are not just a Church but also a ministry (New Covenant Ministries) which is concerned mostly with teaching. Because of our different commissions, and with limited resources and manpower, we often find ourselves laying different emphasis at different times and tend to move in different evangelistic-teaching-councelling cycles, thouigh obviously with considerable overlap. For some years we focussed almost everything into deliverance ministry both to minister and to learn (2003-2006). And we are constantly learning so as to be equipped for the fullness of our end-time work. We do not therefore 'behave' as a regular 'Church' or 'ministry' but go where we are told to go - and do what we are told to do - from day to day - to meet the needs of the times. (1 January 2008)
This page was created on 19 January 2001
Last updated on 1 January 2008
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