Church growth is a spiritual blessing given by Almighty God. Yet, His spiritual blessings are conditioned upon our obedience to Christ (Eph. 1:3), and He has given two conditions for church growth: sowing and watering (1 Cor. 3:6; Matt. 13:19). If we execute these conditions, God will give the increase.
What is involved in sowing the seed of the kingdom?
We must have the right seed, God’s word (Lk. 8:11; Matt. 13:19) because it is incorruptible, endures forever (1 Pet. 1:23), and God has predetermined that every fruit producing seed will bear fruit after its own kind (Gen. 1:12; Gal. 6:7). Therefore, the only seed we can sow which will bring souls into the kingdom is the word of God (Matt. 13:19).
Additionally, we must have faith in the seed. Why bother sowing a seed which we have no faith in? Even so, why bother teaching the word of God if we do not believe it can still prick a person’s heart (Ac. 2:37). We must have trust that the word of the Lord will accomplish its purpose (1 Pet. 1:22-25).
Finally, we must sow the seed. We cannot simply stop at believing in the power of the word (Rom. 1:16-17). We must preach and teach the powerful gospel of Christ (2 Tim. 4:2). Sadly, many in the church are standing around scratching their heads wondering why their crop has failed while the seed remains in their pockets. Until the word of God is sown into human hearts, we should not expect a thing!
What is involved in watering the seed of the kingdom?
As we know, a seed must have water to grow. In the Holy Scriptures, we learn that the word of God is the water of life (John 4:13-14). Therefore, we must use the word of God for our seed and our water. This means we must keep teaching the word of God by precept and by the right example. Yet today, many souls are perishing because of our failure to continue teaching them as we should have done.
Finally, to water is to go back and care for the seed that was sown. The Scriptures teach us to continue to love the lost soul, to care through praying, teaching, visiting, and serving. Rather than rejecting God’s conditions for church growth, let’s patiently obey and wait for His promised increase, just as Galatians 6:9 says, “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”