By Rev. James Wong
Go for 10 … are you one? is our corporate vision for all the eight EGC churches. “Go for 10 …” refers to 10% growth in membership and 10% growth in offerings. “are you one” is a challenge to every church member to be involved in achieving this vision of growth.
Go for 10 … are you one? is a shift of focus on moving our church from maintenance mode to growing mode. Such paradigm shift of emphasis demands us to think beyond our traditional methods of running our church. It calls for new strategies, new emphasis and new concentration of effort and resources to achieve our vision of a growing church through caring and loving and inviting friends to church.
1. Growth in membership by 10%.
Why must our church grow in numbers? We see a clear pattern of growth in the early church. The church grew tremendously after the coming of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost and three thousand new members were added to the church (Acts 2:24). The church continued to grow in great numbers (Acts 2:47, 4:4, 5:14, 6:1). Anything that is healthy will grow. A healthy church will grow in numbers as well.
2. Growth is the central heart beat of God
It is the central heart beat of God “who wants all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth” concerning salvation that is found in his son Jesus Christ. (1 Tim 2:3-4). In the parable of the lost sheep Jesus said: “I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent” (Luke 15:3-7). To Go for 10… is to, perhaps, leave the ninety-nine who are already saved for a while and search for that lost sheep out there. Heaven will rejoice more, as Jesus put it.
3. Growth in our local church. Few people are being added to the church today. According to the statistics of last year Jan—Jun 2011, All the EGC churches combined, every week we only had an average of 1,072 adults and 239 children in our Sunday services all over Sabah. The number is extremely small. We have big church buildings but small congregations. If we have a consistent growth of 10% per year, we will need 7.2 years to double the numbers. Even if the weekly attendance is doubled, it is still very small compared to the long history of each congregation. This gives us a general perspective of the future situation of our church.
Healthy churches average around 10% growth each year. Hospice churches, by definition, bring no one to faith in Christ. The time has come for us to focus on outreach—inviting our friends to all our services. Most importantly, being a loving and caring friend to them when they do come. People don’t care how much we know until they know how much we care. Let us bear fruit of salvation this year.