Mission Leading to Growth

Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number.

Acts 5:14

When I first joined Twitter in May 2007, I knew almost no-one else who used the micro-blogging service, and didn’t really understand what the point was. At that point, I was member number 6,412,182. Now, three years later, Twitter is used by about 154,000,000 people around the world. It’s strange how few people were interested, and then all over a sudden, perhaps a year ago, everyone was talking about Twitter and the number of members grew exponentially. People told people, who told people, who told people, and suddenly the world and his dog (well, maybe not the dog) are on Twitter.

The early church experienced sudden and rapid growth too. After Jesus’ death, many who had been followers drifted away. When the Holy Spirit came upon the apostles at Pentecost, however, and inspired their teaching, more and more people came to faith. Today’s verse is just one of many in Acts that talks about the huge growth experienced by the church. The reasons for that growth are clear. The apostles were doing as they had been instructed to do by Christ, and were acting as his witnesses to all those with whom they came into contact. They were filled with the Holy Spirit, and that enabled and equiped them for the ministry to which God had called them.

God calls us all into ministry. It might not be standing outside a temple teaching, it might not be healing, but we are certainly called to serve our Lord. What is important is that we fulfil the ministry to which we have been called. We need to pray that God shows us what he wants to do. Once we have established what our calling is, we can be assured that the Holy Spirit will enable, equip and support us, just as it did the apostles. We can also be certain that by doing so, we will be helping to further God’s kingdom, and we too will see real growth in our churches.

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