A Healthy Local Church

November 26, 2008

A friend asked me recently, “Did you ever think when you started Living Streams in your living room that it would become a church this big?

“Yes”, I replied, “I just never thought it would take this long.”

My desire from the day we started Living Streams, with one other family on the last Sunday in September 1984, has been to plant a healthy local church. A healthy church has members who love God and love each other. A healthy church should have people from every part of the local community; young and old, rich and poor. Every race and ethnic group should be represented in the family of God.

We have grown into a healthy church over these past years, but it has taken longer than I expected. I have learned that God is not in a hurry for us to accomplish His purposes. Healthy growth cannot be hastened. It has a pace that can be sustained without compromising character or integrity.

Jesus said that the Kingdom of God is like a man who plants a mustard seed. It starts as a small seed and grows into a big tree where the birds of the air can make their nests. Big trees need deep roots to support the tree when the wind blows. Sooner or later, strong winds of adversity blow against us all. When it seems like we are not able to grow outwardly, it is often because we are in a season that requires us to get deeper roots if we are to stay healthy.

The Lord has a big plan and a long term strategy for the growth of His kingdom on the earth. He wants us to bear fruit that remains, so that we leave a legacy of fruitfulness. None of us can bear this fruit alone. We have been placed into the family of God so that we can bear good fruit together.

Every believer is called to do ministry and every ministry has great significance. The Spirit inspires us with dreams and visions that motivate us to pursue God’s purposes. No matter how long your dreams take to be fulfilled, remember the power and faithfulness of the Lord will bring them to fulfillment.

Now to Him who can do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Galatians 3:20-21.