Healthy Churches Grow and Reproduce
What does an apple tree produce? This might seem like a simple question, but many times our answer is incomplete. The answer “apples” is correct, but on its own, it misses the true scope of the apple tree. Apple trees were meant to create more apples, which were meant to create more apple trees, which were meant to create more apples, which were meant create more apple trees. You get the idea. Apples alone are not what apple trees produce. A healthy apple tree has the potential to not only produce many apples, but many apple trees.
We love this picture of the apple tree as a metaphor for healthy churches. Healthy churches are not only passionate about growing their church, but growing other churches. Their influence and growth goes far beyond their walls. In the early church, you see this explosion of growth. It was not just people in one area being reached and changed, but pockets of people coming together from different areas to reach more people.
By the end of Acts, we see that the churches (plural) were strengthened and growing daily. That explosion of growth is why we are even reading this plan now! Growth isn’t an option for healthy churches; it is a responsibility. And, growth isn’t just about a single church. It’s about the “capital C” Church—the global body of Christ. Healthy churches grow and reproduce.
Acts 2:42-47 KJV
And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
Acts 9:31 KJV
Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.