Progression – noun
a movement or development toward a destination or a more advanced state, especially gradually or in stages.
Synonyms: progress, advancement, movement, passage, development, evolution, growth “progression to the next stage”
This past year my church has made many changes seen and unseen some yet to be seen. One of the things the church did was move some bookcases which held some historical documents and pictures that may have been forgotten but I found very interesting… It was hard to place them back on the bookcase without looking at some of them.
There was a five-year plan to improve our church wrote 27 years ago that caught my attention. There is no mention of the author but I believe it would have been a leader in the church. The author was concern about the decline in the church. He wrote he had tried several different things over the past year or so. Things would improve for a period of time and generated temporary enthusiasm but little would come of it. Then he finally decided to give himself two months to study and pray about the problem…. I believe growth/progression in a church needs to start and continual with prayer and study. God needs to be involved with growth.
The report is the result of his study and pray. Here is what he wrote in the introduction of his report:
“The following pages are the result of that time (prayer and study). Though not perfect–nor–intended to be–I believe that this is a workable plan that can bring tremendous growth if we put it to work. The key word there is “we.” None of us can hope to bring this church growth alone. If every member of this leadership team isn’t 100% behind what we try to do here, we will fail.
This is my hope: Not that you will agree without comment to all I have put down, rather I would prefer for you to prayerfully consider this plan and make any recommendations you feel are appropriate. Then, once we have worked out the kinks, let’s move on to GROWTH.”
….Here is my challenge to those who are reading this: Most of us aren’t leaders in our churches. But we can support our leaders. We can pray for our churches and leaders. We can ask God to give them wisdom and strength. We can encourage them and be patience with them. We can be forgiving when things don’t work out well and not criticize them. God meant for us to grow physically and spiritually as a church in His Kingdom. Each of us has a part to play in that growth.
Here is another quote from the report: “If the church is to grow, then we must recognize that it will be a hard task. In fact, no church can grow unless everyone makes it his or her personal ambition.”
Ephesians 4:15-16 …. speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.