Ons hoor dit al meer: sewe slim stappe om die kerk te laat groei, of hoe om jou kerk ‘vriendelik’ te maak vir ongelowiges, of hoe om almal te laat tuisvoel in jou kerk sodat ons baie kan word.
Maar wie is dit wat die kerk laat groei ?
Die Skrif, en dan spesifiek die boek Handelinge gee vir ons die antwoord:
“… terwyl hulle God geprys het en in guns was by die hele volk. En die Here het daagliks by die gemeente gevoeg die wat gered is.” – Hand.2:47
Dit is ook wat ons bely in v/a 54 van die Heidelbergse Kategismus:
Vraag 54: Wat glo jy van die heilige, algemene, Christelike kerk?
Antwoord: Dat die Seun van God (a) uit die hele menslike geslag (b) vir Hom ‘n gemeente wat tot die ewige lewe uitverkies is (c), deur sy Gees en Woord (d) in die eenheid van die ware geloof (e) van die begin van die wêreld af tot die einde toe (f) vergader, beskerm en onderhou (g) en dat ek daarvan ‘n lewende lid is (h) en ewig sal bly (i).
(a) Eph 5:26; Joh 10:11; Act 20:28; Eph 4:11-13. (b) Gen 26:4; Rev 5:9. (c) Rom 8:29; Eph 1:10-13. (d) Isa 59:21; Rom 1:16; Rom 10:14-l7; Eph 5:26. (e) Act 2:42, Eph 4:3-5. (f) Psa 71:17-18; Isa 59:21; 1Co 11:26. (g) Mat 16:18; Joh 10:28-30; Psa 129:1-5. (h) 1Jo 3:14, 1Jo 3:19-21; 2Co 13:5; Rom 8:10. (i) Psa 23:6; 1Co 1:8-9; Joh 10:28; 1Jo 2:19; 1Pe 1:5.
Dit is die Here deur sy Woord en Gees wat die kerk laat groei, en nie ons as mense met ons omkeerstrategieë en menslike planne nie.
Luister na of lees gerus die volgende boodskap van dr. John MacArthur, wat die nodige bybelse kritiek gee op die ‘church growth’ bewegings en idees, asook wat die Skrif leer spesifiek in die boek Handelinge, hoe die Here sy kerk laat groei:
Hier is ‘n paar aanhalings:
“That leads then to the necessary conclusion that I want you to think about today in our opening session, that since the Lord has determined His church, draws His church, regenerates His church, justifies His church and brings His church through sanctification to eternal glory, this is all a supernatural work. It is also true and revealed in Scripture that this supernatural work is not apart from means through which God does His work and in which we all participate. It is nevertheless the Lord building, regenerating, giving life, granting repentance, giving saving faith to His church and it will not fall short by one soul.”
“Now I will acknowledge that there are many, many ways to build the first church of the tares…many ways. Behind which Satan is the real power. And it can be done very effectively. The church of the tares can be very effective, it can be big and it can be enduring. The Gnostics did it and it’s still around. The Roman Catholics have done it and its still around. The liberals have done it and its still around. The cults have done it and its still around. The church of the tares is actually bigger than the church of the wheat. And today those who call themselves evangelicals are busy doing it.”
“So, the Apostles went out with absolute disdain for…here comes the buzz word….any contextualization at all. The modern cry for contextualization is a curse…it’s a curse because people are spending all their time fussing around with trying to figure out whether they should have holes in their Levis and a skull and crossbones on their Tshirt as if that’s a means to drawing in the elect. Are you kidding me? This is a curse, instead of spending all their time trying to understand the biblical context. The Apostles and the prophets of the early church took their transcendent message from Jerusalem to Rome, from the biblical literate to the biblically illiterate, from slaves to slave owners, from bond to free, from Jew to Greek, they crossed hard national, social, cultural lines and the message never ever, ever, changed. It was the Word of the Lord.”
“There’s a trend today in reading about it to eliminate the Law from evangelism. I don’t know if you’ve been listening to this going on a lot now. Let’s not talk about the Law because absolutes offend people. Proverbs 16:6 says, “By the fear of the Lord, one keeps away from evil.” And you only know why you should fear God if you know what God demands. I don’t think you can take the Law out of evangelism. I know that’s the new idea, but I don’t think you can do that. One, because you’re going against the work of the Holy Spirit. John 16, the Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin, righteousness, judgment. Those are all legal issues. That’s the Law. You also have an ally in the human heart if you’re talking about the Law because according to Romans 2:15, the Law is written on every heart. There’s even an ally in the unregenerate man with regard to the Law. And in addition, he has a conscience that excuses or accuses him based upon how he responds to that Law. There’s much more about that in the epistle of Paul to the Romans.”
“The Lord builds His church around a transcendent message, a regenerate congregation committed to purity. You know, you have to be so careful in the church. The first instruction in the church is Matthew 18 and it says, “You would be better off drowned with a millstone around your neck than ever to lead another believer into sin.” That’s what Jesus said. The first instruction to the church is don’t cause one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble. You as a pastor, you as a church member never want to be responsible, directly or indirectly, for leading another believer into sin. Even the holy angels watch the face of the Father who shows His concern for His little ones and they’re dispatched to their aid because He doesn’t want any of His little ones to be devastated. As a pastor, I want to have joy with my people. But church is not about being a jokester, it’s not about funny, clever pop jargon, it’s certainly not about coarse, gross dirty talk.”