Spiritual Growth
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Third Servant's Mistake 22

Strive for Growth

Perfume BottleI feel it's important to understand that it's not being a small church that's bad but wanting to remain small. The third servant made an error of judgement in Jesus' parable of the bags of gold in Matthew 25.14-25. The story reads, "Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. The man who had received the five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master's money." The Greek word for a "bag of gold" was "a talent." A talent was worth about twenty years of a laborer's pay! Five talents or even one talent was worth a fortune to any of the servants! The third servant however was thinking that it was in maintaining the small amount he had that mattered, rather than putting it at risk so that it might grow in value. Church people must realize that even though their faith in Christ is like precious perfume in earthenware pottery to them, in order to keep it they have to keep on giving it away! Every church should be striving for growth, and the only effective means is evangelism. Like the chorus "Magic Penny" by Malvina Reynolds, "Love is something if you give it away. Give it away, give it away. Love is something if you give it away, You end up having more." Each church and every individual needs to practice giving away their love and their faith to people constantly, and giving away their money generously. As the second verse of the song says, "It's just like a magic penny, Hold it tight and you won't have any. Lend it, spend it, and you'll have so many. They'll roll all over the floor."

Budget for Evangelism!

For this reason, I would recommend that every local church people hold at least one dedicated piece of evangelistic work every year and set aside part of their annual budget accordingly. Better still, that every group of people within that church have one or more church growth activities of its own as well as a major thrust together! Before this can happen however, we need to shake off the idea that we are meant to be small. This is an obstacle to giving away growth.✞

"Spiritual Growth"
by Ron Meacock © 1982 - 2017

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