Pastor’s Notes


 The Essentials for a Growing Church


Scripture background:  I Thessalonians 5:22-28

Paul closes his First letter to the Thessalonica church with 3 practical admonitions. 

These are essential if a church wants to grow. 



  1. Prayer:

“Brethren, pray for us” I Thessalonians 5: 25.  Paul’s experience only deepened his commitment to prayer as essential for a vibrant faith and a growing church.  It was a message he gave to other congregations in Rome, Ephesus, and Colosse.  Good programs are nothing without prayer.  Preaching is powerless without prayer.  Jesus said, “My house shall be called a house of prayer.”  A church that makes little of prayer will not grow.


  1. Fellowship:

Growing churches are known for their warmth of fellowship and genuine concern for people.  There must be authentic Christian love.  Jesus said, “Love one another as I have loved you” (John 15:12).  He was unafraid to share his life with others.


The church is called the family of God.  Is our congregation a family others want to be part of because they are loved?


  1. God’s Word:

A growing church gives priority to God’s word.  Preaching and Bible study are essential to a growing church.  Do we just have a condensed version of the Bible where people take what pleases them and ignore what they do not like?


Many things could be stressed to insure a growing church: adequate facilities, trained staff, good materials, finances, vision.  But if prayer, fellowship, and God’s word is missing, a church might grow, but it will not be the church Jesus is building.


What essentials might we be missing here at St. James UMC?



                                                                            Let’s grow together in Christ,

                                                                                      Pastor Clint