Increasing in Love for All

1 Thessalonians 3:11-13

Just read an article titled “The Demise of the Church Growth Model” that indicated that the “Great Preacher Leadership” model that worked best before 1965, the “Therapeutic Caregiver” successful before 1985, and the “Social Crusader” model that brought the crowd before 2001, are now all passé. What should we do now?

The article by Thomas Brady proposes that we should now follow the example of Philip, the Evangelist. He was an “influencer” who suddenly appeared in the Ethiopian eunuch’s life and then disappeared and let the Holy Spirit do the rest in making a disciple.

We can learn from Brady that it doesn’t work to pick and choose certain leadership traits, find examples of these traits in biblical characters, and then present this as the way to effectively reach others. But before adopting a caricature of how Philip ministered, we should listen carefully to what Paul stressed as the heart of his ministry in Thessalonica in one of his prayers.

“Now may our God and Father, himself, and our Lord Jesus, the Messiah, direct our way to you. And may the Lord cause you to increase and overflow with self-sacrificial love for one another and for all, just as we overflow with love for you. Our goal is to establish your hearts blameless in holiness before God our Father at the arrival of our Lord Jesus with all of his set apart ones. Amen.” 1 Thessalonians 3:11-13

Paul doesn’t challenge us to love only our fellow believers, but everyone. Our churches might not necessarily become megachurches, but if we love everyone enough to connect with them in personal ways, and they see that we love them, they will respond just as many of the Thessalonians responded.

LORD, thanks that the love that you create in our hearts through Jesus for believers but also for those who have not yet trusted Jesus is far more than a “growth model,” it is at the core of your heart. John 3:16 still begins with “For God so loved the world…” 

For more from Dave Wyrtzen please visit TruthEncounter.com!