A church that nurtures disciples
The research showed that churches that were actively nurturing disciples were more likely to be growing. In seeking to grow in number it is important not to neglect growth in terms of spiritual depth.
Offering Bible studies, prayer groups and retreats was linked to growth as was the provision of evangelistic and nurture courses to teach the faith.
It was also shown to be important to help support people who attend church to live as Christians in their dialy lives.
Key facts from the research:
- Two thirds of churches which said they offered encouragement through specific discipleship courses or courses preparing members to be a Christian witness in their daily lives, showed growth. In those who reported none, or some emphasis through preaching, less than half were growing.
But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. Matthew 13:23