The following is a letter written by Rev. Phil Noordmans, pastor of Chinese Community Church in San Diego, CA. (www.ChineseChurch-SanDiego.com) recommending the Growing the Church conference to others.
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Who doesn’t want their church to grow?!?
Several years ago while walking with some friends on a beach I expressed a bit of frustration.
“I receive lots of invitations to go to conferences to learn the latest, greatest church growth techniques, but I rarely see anything about the Holy Spirit’s essential role in the process.”
I am happy to report that change is in the wind.
Growing the Church in the Power of the Holy Spirit by Brad Long, Cindy Strickler and Paul Stokes, puts appropriate emphasis on the Holy Spirit’s role in church growth.
The book and conference not only tell us what to do but also how to do it.
Virtually every pastor and congregation will agree that:
- Jesus promised to build His church and that the gates of hell will not prevail against it (Mt. 16:18). Jesus will see to it that His church around the world grows.
- The Holy Spirit is essential to the growth process. “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts,” Zech. 4:6, ESV.
- Although the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are able to do so, they rarely work alone. Rather, they include us in the process.
Hence, we use the phrase “dance of cooperation” to describe the dynamic of staying in step with the Holy Spirit.
Reading the book, Growing the Church in the Power of the Holy Spirit, is good.
Reading the book and attending the conference is better yet because you will witness the principles put into practice and hear current illustrations from real people in real churches who are being transformed by the Holy Spirit’s dynamic power.
Better by far is attending the conference with others from your community. Together you will begin to learn to ‘stay in step with the Spirit.’ You will have a running start on what needs to continue happening once you return home.
I highly recommend and strongly endorse Growing the Church in the Power of the Holy Spirit!
Every leader and every congregation start their ‘dance lessons’ at a different point. The church that I pastor has a long way to go (and, so does its pastor!).
One of my repeated prayers for myself is, “Lord Jesus, show me how to cooperate with You to grow this church in the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Little by little I see Jesus answering this prayer. We are experiencing greater freedom and joy in worship. The unity of the Spirit is strong. People are stepping-up to serve in ways that fit with their gifts and callings.
For all these blessings and many more I thank God! Join the “dance of cooperation”!
Let’s see what God will do through ordinary pastors and congregations who will learn together to stay in step with the Spirit.
Warmly in Christ,
Rev. Dr. Philip J. Noordmans