We probably have no dearer statement in Scripture on just how Christian growth comes than I Peter 2:2: “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.” There is set before us (1) The Word of God, (2) The purity of it, (3) The nutrition therein, (4) The appetite that we must have for it, and (5) The growth that thus comes. It could not be plainer, and yet many have expressed our day as being the “time for church growth emphasis.” By that is meant, meet and talk about growth, but doing very little of it! Why is so little accomplished in a time of workshops, seminars, and “encounters” supposedly related to growth? One thing is certain: In such meetings, very little Bible is presented. A second thing is evident: Fun, games, “Gymnastics for Christ: “Jogging for Jesus; “Kung-Fu For the King,” (and for the aged, “Dominoes for Deity”), etc., will entertain, but will not make for church growth. If a religious body drew from all over a metropolitan area, and had 10,000 people for every service, if drawn by the fun, the social, and the entertaining; growth, as God calls growth, is still not there! Application of the Word makes for growth. In what ways should one desire to grow? (1) From being a babe to being full-grown and mature, (2) From being non-spiritual to being spiritual, (3) From having no or very little knowledge to really possessing a fine Bible knowledge, and (4) From being one of little or no discernment to having great discerning skill. There is no way on earth to achieve this apart from a continual study of the Word of God!
A good portion of the problems to come upon the church in all of her history has been from those with little knowledge or discernment, grabbing a point of truth or a half-truth, and then rushing forward to divide the body of Christ; yea, desiring to be teachers, but understanding neither what they say nor the things which they affirm (I Timothy 1:7). When all is said and done, our need is to grow—to grow in keeping with what the Lord said about growth, and really, that is the one protection we have, if we do not grow, we will always be “fair game” for those out to damage our souls!