How does a Bible study of a few young boys grow into a thriving church?
This is church planting. This is a process. This is what we are doing in Pogradec.
But like its very name, a church plant is not an inanimate, or unchanging thing. It’s a plant. Its growing and changing and bearing fruit and struggling.
THRIVE SEEKS TO GROW DEEP ROOTS
& bear good fruit in the name of Christ.
We, right now, are church planting. This is an intensive process.
The goal is to plant a church in this city where no healthy church previously existed.
We began with what God gave us: a few young boys. But as these young boys grew in their walks with God, and they began to evangelize. They shared with their moms, their classmates, and their siblings. And from there a church began to grow.
And every step of the way we have worked to provide a place for every generation to be presented with the gospel and to have a place to learn and grow in their knowledge of the truth.
So from that single bible study, many more have sprouted up. When kids started attending the youth meeting, those youth began a children's meeting. When parents began to read the Bible and ask questions, we began a Sunday service.
And like a plant, this church has grown. There has been good fruit, there has been bad fruit, but God is faithful to grow His church.
And our church here has been built on the backs of many of those youth who first came to Christ. They are becoming the church planters right beside us.
But unlike an actual plant, this is an eternal venture. It is not only living, it is spiritual. It is not only physical, it is emotional.
The training, equipping, discipling, rebuking, exhorting, strengthening, encouraging of many new believers is a work and a ministry that is unending.
And while this church may not always be considered a church plant, the work is never done.
Paul’s letter to the Ephesians describes this work in chapter 4,
“And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds, and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of the ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.”
Our prayer is that the church here in Pogradec would continue to grow quantitatively and qualitatively. That many more would not only know and accept the truth but that they would grow and use their gifts in the body of Christ.
What an incredible privilege to watch the Lord grow His Church!