Acts 16:4-5

Acts 16:4-5…”As they traveled from town to town, they delivered the decisions reached by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem for the people to obey. So the churches were strengthened in the faith and grew daily in numbers.” The churches grew in both quality and quantity of disciples as a result of submitting to their leaders. When godly and wise leadership are in place at the local church level, spiritual growth happens by God’s grace.

Two potential reasons you may not be growing spiritually:

1) Your pastors/elders are not wise/godly men in accordance with the qualifications laid out in scripture (1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1). Be very careful in choosing a church, because false teachers are not easily recognizable. False teachers will produce false converts, and false converts are like a little bit of yeast in the whole batch of dough (Galatians 5:7-12). Also, if the spiritual health of your church is a secondary interest of your pastors/elders, its time to find another church.

2) You are not submitting to the authority of your church leaders. So, are you obeying your elders/pastors as described in the verses above? One way to do this is to join a church. How are the elders/pastors to know who they are leading unless there are clearly people who are willing to submit to their authority in a covenant community with each other? This is part of being a disciple, and is part of God’s blueprint for the church.


Colossians 1:29

Colossians 1:29…”To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.” Paul is talking specifically about proclaiming Christ, and teaching and admonishing everyone with the end goal of the church body growing in spiritual maturity (sanctification). He says a very similar thing to Timothy (1 Timothy 4:13), and instructs him to devote himself to “the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching.” Does this correspond with what the pastors and elders in your church are doing? A healthy church will be marked by biblical church leadership, specifically elders and pastors who understand their primary responsibilities as preaching and teaching the flock. This may be public teaching or discipleship or small group leadership, or Sunday School teaching, but in any case the bible is clear regarding their essential role. Take time this week to encourage your pastors and leaders, as they are worthy of double honor (1 Timothy 5:17). Christ’s energy is in them according to this passage, so lovingly remind them of this, and thank them for their work.