Was that the ingenuity of a man? Were the Disciples holed up in the upper room, plotting how to create a worldwide phenomenon that would span two millennia? Did they just get lucky? Or was great grace upon them all?
Forget the spreadsheet, calculator, and pencil—you won’t figure out how the Early Church grew with logic alone. It’s no coincidence that the first time we see church growth mentioned, we hear that “The Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:47)
Please don’t misunderstand me: I’m not dismissing the importance of strategy or hard work. But they must begin and end with grace, or they won’t last. If I have to be smart enough and tough enough to do this all on my own for the next thirty years, please, just shoot me now! As I’ve told my church more than once, if you were thirty years old and had six thousand people showing up every week expecting to hear something new, profound, and biblical, you’d be preaching grace, too!
Our greatest efforts and best-laid plans won’t accomplish in a lifetime what God’s grace will do in a moment. His grace is the reason we are serving Him in the first place. It’s why we care about the lost and why we minister to people—even the mean ones. It’s grace that draws in hurting people who need to belong before they can believe or behave.
It’s grace that grows the church.