Healthy Church Growth
The best kind of church growth is that which is spiritual. Don’t get me wrong, I want our congregation to grow numerically. I would love for our giving to increase. I long for the pews in Lord’s Day morning and evening worship to be full of passionate worshippers. But more important than nickels and noses is the growing spiritual maturity of Christ’s flock. The shaping of mature disciples through the God-ordained means of grace is the primary goal of every biblical church (Matthew 28:18-20; Colossians 1:28-29; Acts 2:42). Making disciples starts right where we are, in our own congregation, and expands out to the world— from Jerusalem to Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8).
What a joy it has been over these past three-and-a-half years to see the Lord’s hand at work in your lives. Indeed, it brings profound joy to a pastor to see members of our congregation “walking in the truth” and “grow[ing] in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (3 John 4; II Peter 3:18). During pastoral visits, in conversation after Lord’s Day services, in prayer meetings, at the men’s Bible study, in hospital rooms, and in fellowship around our dining room table, I perceive a growing hunger for God, a deeper love for Christ, an increasing zeal for mission, and a more passionate pursuit of His truth among many of you. It may not always feel like it, but insofar as you are by faith appropriating the truth of God’s Word, you are growing in grace. God promises it! Even so, it is my prayer that you would “excel still more” (I Thess. 4:1) and persevere. My prayer is that Christ would increasingly become your first love and the treasure of your affections. My prayer is that your good works would not be motivated by guilt or shame, but by sincere gratitude and love for your blessed triune God; the One who loves you fiercely, steadfastly, and eternally in Christ.
We have so much to be thankful for, and one of those things is an opportunity to explore an option to purchase our very own land and facility at 1007 Johnnie Dodds Blvd, Mount Pleasant. The property is 3.6 acres with a 43,000 sq. ft. facility, and the price is $6,190,000. It is an exciting opportunity, and will take much wisdom and prayer if we are to move forward on it. As we begin to think through the nuts and bolts of a capital fundraising campaign, I would encourage you to pray about what kind of a sacrificial investment you might make to the Christ Church building fund.
I am really excited to announce that this summer we will have our first summer pastoral intern. Matthew Proctor and his wife Kelly will be coming from Philadelphia where Matthew is a full-time student at Westminster Theological Seminary. They will arrive the first week of June, and Pastor Ross and I will take Matthew under our wing for the summer. This is a great opportunity for our entire congregation to embrace and invest in this young couple that we hope and pray will be serving one of our Lord’s churches in the future.
For the last two years we have been walking through the pages of the Gospel of Luke. What an encouragement and blessing it has been to follow Christ from the womb to the empty tomb! This Sunday we will commence a four-week sermon series on the minor prophet Obadiah. I suspect that few of you will have heard a sermon series on this little one chapter book that is tucked away in the Old Testament. After the series on Obadiah, I hope to preach a 3-4 week topical series on the subject of the Christian and technology. With technological advances emerging every day, as Christians we need to know how to think biblically and not get swept up with the culture’s (often) mindless acceptance of it all. In the summer I will continue my Psalms series that I began back in 2015. We will begin with Psalm 16 and stay in the “Bible’s hymnbook” until the end of the summer. In September we will begin a series on the book of Daniel. I can hardly wait! Pastor Ross and I will continue to tag team our way through the challenging book of First Peter in our Lord’s Day evening services, which I pray many of you will begin attending. Please pray for your pastors— that our study, preparation, and delivery of the preaching of the Scriptures would glorify God, feed the saints, and save the lost.
It is an exciting time to be at Christ Church. Let each of us, in God’s strength, redouble our prayers and efforts for the sake of Christ’s Kingdom in Charleston and to the ends of the earth.
~ Pastor Jon