Preparing for Growth
Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes;
God is a God of growth. There are plenty of times in the Scriptures that God shows us His desire for the believer to grow as a Christian, and for the church to grow. 1 Peter 2:2 says to the believer, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby. God says to the believer in 2 Peter 3:18, But grow in grace…” In Luke 14:23, God tells the soul winner to compel people to get saved so that His house may be filled. Growth is very much a desire that God has for His children and church.
However, you must prepare for growth if you are going to grow. God says in the verse above to enlarge the place of thy tent. God was preparing Israel to understand that they cannot grow without preparing to grow. Now, what must they do to prepare to grow?
First, they had to make room to grow. To enlarge means they had to make more room. You can only grow once you make room to grow. If you don't have room, you must find a way to make more room to grow. God only grows you to the capacity that you can hold; therefore, if you want to enlarge the capacity of your church or Sunday school class, you must make more room for that to happen.
Second, you must stretch what you have. God told them as they enlarged the tent to stretch forth the curtains. You will never grow if you don't stretch yourself beyond your abilities by faith. Nobody has grown who has stayed comfortable where they are. Yes, growth is uncomfortable, and it will put pressure on you, but you will not enjoy the benefits of growth without stretching yourself by faith.
Third, you must lengthen the cords. In other words, tie yourself to God if you are going to grow. Nobody has ever grown without God getting involved because He is the God of increase. You can tie yourself to your own power and fail, or you can tie yourself to God, His Word, and His power and see God do great things for you despite the opposition of winds that you will face. My friend, if you are not tied to God, you will collapse when the winds of life come. Oh, how you need to spend time in the Scriptures and prayer to plead for God to help you as you grow. You will fail without God, but with Him there are no limits to what He can do through you and your church.
Fourth, you must strengthen the stakes. In other words, dig in and don't change. To strengthen the stakes you must make them longer so they can go deeper into the ground. You will never grow if you constantly change. We already know how to build churches because of those who have built strong churches in the past, so dig in deep and don't change what has already worked. Too many are trying new things, and they wonder why they continue to lose. Soul winning, holiness, and old-fashioned preaching should never be replaced with laziness, worldliness, and entertainment if you want to grow. You cannot grow by continually changing; you grow by digging deep and continually doing what you know to do.
I know these things are not always easy, but I can testify that these things work. Do you have the faith to trust God to grow? If you do, you will take these four steps and implement them into your ministry.