From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. (Ephesians 4:16)
Many times one may hear the comment, “We need a new pastor. We’re not growing.” Now a congregation may need a man after God’s own heart, that is true. However, when it comes to the area of corporate growth, increase is in the hand of the Lord and in the scriptural function of the church body. There needs to be a vibrant corporate church life being manifested. This life is not natural excitement but the life of Christ being exhibited throughout the church. When guests come into a church for the first time they are looking for the atmosphere and response of the whole body. The pastor is an integral part of that corporate body. However it must be the whole body joined together … according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, making increase of the body. A church may need a man of God in the pulpit feeding the people of God. A church may need the church body to function as the New Testament declares. A church may be the size that the Head of the church desires.
Let us come to His place of gathering; the church, with glad and rejoicing hearts. Glad for His mercies. Rejoicing for His salvation. Ministering the grace of God one to another. Reaching out to the untold multitudes. Proclaiming the gospel of Christ.
Somebody asked me how I got my congregation. I never got it at all. I did not think it my business to do so, but only to preach the Gospel. Why, my congregation got my congregation. I had eighty, or scarcely a hundred, when I preached first. The next time I had two hundred: everyone who had heard me was saying to his neighbour, ‘You must go and hear this young man.’ Next meeting we had four hundred, and in six weeks eight hundred. That was the way in which my people got my congregation. Now my people are admitted by tickets. That does very well; a member can give his ticket to another person and say, ‘I will stand in the aisle,’ or ‘I will get in with the crowd.’ Some persons, you know, will not go if they can get in easily, but they will go if you tell them that they cannot get in without a ticket. That is the way in which congregations ought to bring a congregation about a minister. A minister preaches all the better if he has a large congregation. It was once said by a gentleman that the forming of a congregation was like the beating up of game, the minister being the sportsman. ‘But,’ he said, ‘there are some of our ministers that can’t shoot.’ But I really think I could shoot a partridge if I fired into the middle of a covey, and I might not do so if there were only one or two.” (How to Build the Church!, quoted from a comment by Charles H. Spurgeon)