Church growth accelerates as the church is organized for service. Members mature in Christ and learn to lead within the church’s ministries.

“Go therefore and make disciples . . .” (Matthew 28:19). Jesus’ parting command is clear. Are we making disciples? The church is a movement, not a club. How are we treating it?  Our method of organization makes all the difference in how we answer those questions.

Church Organization: Jesus’ Way

Jesus carefully nurtured the growth of His disciples during His few short years of ministry. His hands-on teaching, preaching, and healing ministry showed them what it meant to be a disciple. Jesus empowered them with ever-increasing authority before sending them out on their own (Luke 9:1, 2). He laid a solid organizational foundation for the New Testament church so that it could grow rapidly after His ascension.

God doesn’t charge only a few chosen leaders with the gospel commission. That’s not His approach. When Moses was overwhelmed with the responsibility of leading the Hebrews, his father-in-law advised him, “Select from all the people able men . . .” (Exodus 18:21). Under divine guidance, he took the advice and empowered others. The New Testament church followed a similar course when seven deacons were chosen from among the congregation and given new responsibilities (Acts 6:3).

Organizing to Answer Jesus’ Prayer

Jesus said, “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore, pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest” (Luke 10:1, 2). When we organize the church through nurturing and empowering disciples, we are answering this prayer!

How do we organize the church for effective discipleship? In two key ways: 1) By establishing processes that nurture new believers and train them to become productive members of the church. 2) Empowering members with leadership potential to become leaders who can help the church to expand. When we invest the time and attention necessary to bring out the potential of every member, the church will flourish and then can replicate itself.

The Practical Side of Organization

The organization phase focuses on developing a unified church fellowship and streamlined church structure. This enables the church to have appropriate offices, focused ministries, and effective budgets that encourage consistent discipleship and growth. Ongoing ministries are developed as the unique gifts and interests of the church members become evident.  Considerable time is often spent in this phase.

Momentum growth will begin as the church emphasizes internal development so that each member grows as a disciple of Christ, and the whole body is unified and locked on God’s mission.

It’s time to “move forward solidly as a well-disciplined army clad with the armor of God” (Ellen G. White, The Acts of the Apostles, p. 95).

    1. Biblical principles at work: Nurture (discipleship) and empowerment (leadership development). 
    2. Type of growth produced: Momentum growth within the church fellowship.

Ready to Learn More?

We’d be delighted to help your church develop effective organization in your church. Subscribe to our RENEW Church Growth mailing list and we’ll let you know as we develop resources to help your church organize effectively.