Churches Were Multiplied CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
The process of multiplication in Acts 9:31 involved the number of individuals multiplying and the number of churches multiplying. In this fashion the churches were multiplied.
I have seen a plan of discipleship by which more people than inhabit the earth could become Christians within 30 years. It is simply a matter of following the pattern of Jesus’ ministry. One person leads 12 people to the Lord and disciples them for 3 years. Then these twelve disciples and the first person each lead 12 more people to the Lord and they disciple them for three years. This continues as such and in 30 years the whole world could be saved.
Our church was started as a mission of FirstBibleBaptistChurch in Green Bay, Wisconsin, which was started out of FirstBibleBaptistChurch in Rochester, NY. There have been 10 churches started out of FBBC in Green Bay. Now we are preparing to start some churches out of BBBC in Corpus Christi. If each of the churches out of FBBC did the same thing, you would see churches multiplied.
The concept is very simple and very much like the growth of a natural body. But the question is, “How is this multiplication accomplished today?”
By Edification – Acts 9:31, Eph 4:11-12 – by simply preaching and teaching the words of God, people grow and churches grow. That’s why Paul and Barnabas spent so much time teaching and preaching, Acts 15:35. Churches multiply by the word, Acts 6:7.
By the Fear of the Lord – Acts 9:31, Prov 1:7, Prov 9:10 – the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge and wisdom. So, when the word is taught to those who fear the Lord, it becomes effectual. The fear of the Lord is the motive for a church to grow. Unfortunately, in modern day “soul winning” the fear of the Lord is often replaced by the fear of man whereby the soul winners are manipulated and intimidated into going. Ultimately, we have to answer to God for the souls to whom he has led us to witness. The greater the fear of the Lord, the more determined we become to preach to those who don’t know him.
By the Comfort of the Holy Ghost – Acts 9:31 – these churches were multiplying in their rest. It is possible then to be at rest while laboring to grow saints and churches. Jesus said, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest,” Matt 11:28. He didn’t say that he would take away the labour and the load; he said he would give you rest. We need to be able to rest while we do this work or we’ll stop. The Holy Ghost is the only one who knows how to comfort and rest a working saint.
By Witnessing – Acts 8:4 – we must get the gospel to the lost – in our recent crusade, we learned that you can witness to people and invite them to church and they’ll come and get saved. But also you may have to work with some of them for a long time before they’ll get saved. The obvious deduction is that the more you witness, the more you invite, the more who will be saved – in Acts 2:47 they witnessed so much that people were being saved “daily” – we don’t really need a big crusade as much as we just need to regularly and consistently witness to people and invite them to church. Laborers in the harvest need to be out in the field a lot.
By Discipleship – Acts 11:26, 19:9-10 – by taking new converts under wing and helping them grow, we multiply the numbers of people who can witness to the lost – and typically, new converts witness more zealously that the old crusty Christians – some of these disciples will be called to preach and they will end up planting churches either at home or abroad.
Conclusion: By these things we can multiply within our church and the churches can multiply through our church.