9 On the first day of the first month the journey up from Babylon was begun, and on the first day of the fifth month Ezra came to Jerusalem, for the gracious hand of his God was upon him. 10 For Ezra had set his heart to study the law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach the statutes and ordinances in Israel.Ezra 7:9–10 (NRSV)
The following is sermon excerpt from yesterday. Click here for the podcast.
The paradox we face within the church is that a focus on growing a church is not the direction that the passage from Ezra describes as primary. It’s not a church we need to grow…it is our own personal discipleship.
For you see, if we make disciples, we will always get a church. If we focus on building a church, we may, or may not get disciples! Church growth is a byproduct of discipleship. Here is what we know, at the heart of every renewal within God’s people has been an emphasis on prayer and on his Word. These are two things given and readily available to us. We don’t have to wait on a move from God or a divine letter written on the clouds. We can pray, study Scripture, apply it to our lives and teach others.
Growing deep leads to growing wide.
What will you and I do intentionally this week to grow in our faith? Don’t be surprised to find it impacts all areas of our life – even our local church!