by John Armstrong
Howdy, and welcome to 2018! Now, cue music to Mission Impossible: Dun-dun- da-dah, dun-
dun-da- dah, dun-dun- da-dah, dun-dun- da-dah, Dadahda-Dadahda- Dadahda-Da- dum… (of
course you have to provide the timing and tune 🙂 ). I have a mission for you. Actually, Jesus
has a mission for you, you personally and the church corporately. Your mission is to go and
make disciples (Matthew 28:19).
So, what is this going to look like at Faith Church and in your life for 2018? Let me share with you what I’m thinking it will look like. I’ve been praying pretty consistently for several years now for us as a congregation to grow in “depth and breadth.” Depth and breadth is a great preacher hook, it is memorable. By “depth” I mean that we grow in depth as disciples, as individuals growing in grace as we are serving the Lord. The key here is growing deep in our love for Jesus and our becoming more like Him as the Holy Spirit works
sanctification in us. Thus, equipped as individuals and as a church together, we are then capable of and ready for growth in breadth. By “breadth” I mean that we grow in numbers as new disciples are added to the church. I hope you can see the connection between these two.
The more we love Jesus, the more we become like Jesus, the more apt we are to attract those that the Lord is calling to Himself. The Lord will build His church, certainly we must never forget that. However, the Lord will use means to build His church and many times and most times that is by disciples inviting others to meet Jesus and bringing them into the church. That is how
the church grows in breadth.
OK, we’ve defined depth and breadth as I have been using them in my prayers. Now, here is
the mission, should you choose to accept it. Should you choose not to accept it? Well, suffice it
to say, that is not a biblical option. We’ll leave it at that. The mission I want you to consider
and ultimately to execute is first, to pray and read your Bible. Get involved in discipleship
opportunities in the church. We begin with asking God to grow us in depth and then putting
ourselves in the way of grace by pursuing the disciplines of grace. So far so good, but here
comes the tricky part. For some of you this will sound easy, for others, it will sound like
climbing Mt. Everest. By God’s grace we pray for growth in breadth (that is not too hard). The
hard part is being the means that God will use to bring people into the church. That means you
will have to make yourself vulnerable and invite someone to come with you. If you are praying
about it, don’t be surprised if someone just kind of falls into place for you to invite. As your
pastor, I’m asking you to set a goal this year of trying to bring at least one person into the
church. What would that look like if we each brought one? Think about it, that is more people
hearing the Gospel, that is more people worshiping and serving the Lord. Let’s pray together in
2018 that the Lord would work mightily through us to grow Faith Church in depth and breadth.