How does the kingdom of God, and, by indirect result, the church grow? By the church reaching into the community in which it exists. And this cannot only be in doing good deeds which demonstrate the reality of God’s kingdom and the characteristics of it. What is done must also be connected to the reason behind it.
It is true that the demonstration of the qualities of the kingdom in view of a community gives a platform and a connection to people, but it is only that. It is not sufficient in itself to build the kingdom. The church must open their mouths and share the “reason for the hope they have.” Having only the first part will not build the kingdom, while only having the second part will typically result in having almost no one listen.
If a church is experiencing decline, each person must ask him/herself this question: “What am I doing to reach other people?” In a church that is in decline, the common answers to this question is something along the lines of, “Well, someone else will do it” or “That’s not my gifting” or “That’s not my calling” or “That’s the pastor’s responsibility.”
The problem, though, is that the vast majority of the church, if not practically all, is answering the same way. “Someone else will do it.” And when this is the case, is it any wonder that a church is in decline?
Now, I realize there are other factors that can be present as well, but even if these other factors were not present, if no one is actually reaching out and sharing in word and deed, the kingdom of God and the good news of Jesus, the result will still be the same.
So, my question to you and the question to the person in the mirror when I look in it is this,”Exactly who is it that you are actually seeking to reach with the kingdom of God and the good news of Jesus?”
And consider this – if there isn’t anyone you are actually seeking to reach to build the kingdom of God, do you have any grounds or right to complain about the church declining?