In this post, we’re going to look at how six church growth scriptures apply to online church attendance. Many church growth reports show that church attendance is dropping, even as search engine data shows people are still looking for Jesus.
Life is different in our post-pandemic world. Livestream services are expected, and recorded sermons are available on countless platforms. Since church is done differently, we should also look at church growth with an expanded definition of what it means to attend church. We present the following six church growth scriptures as support to include online church attendance as part of church growth.
Church Growth from Knowledge
When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”
“Well,” they replied, “some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and others say Jeremiah or one of the other prophets.”
Then he asked them, “But who do you say I am?”
Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
Jesus replied, “You are blessed, Simon son of John, because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being. Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ‘rock’), and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it.Matthew 16:13-18 NLT
Peter got his nickname as the rock not because of his steadfast faith, as we know he faltered. Even just a few verses later, Jesus said to Peter, “Get behind me Satan!” The rock upon which the church is built is the knowledge that Jesus is the Son of God.
Peter knew Jesus as a man, but God showed Peter who Jesus really is. Peter didn’t learn the truth from attending a building, a sermon, or a book. God told him. The knowledge that Jesus is God’s Son is given by the grace of God, and our faith is built on that knowledge.
Church Growth from Hearing
So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ.Romans 10:17 NLT
The Bible doesn’t say how you need to hear the Word of God. When people hear or read the Word of God online, it’s just as powerful as it is in person, because the power is in the Word itself, not in the delivery platform.
Church Growth Through Outreach
Jesus traveled through all the towns and villages of that area, teaching in the synagogues and announcing the Good News about the Kingdom. And he healed every kind of disease and illness. Matthew 9:35 NLT
Jesus was always on the move to meet people where they are, just like our missionaries do today. In our post-pandemic world, people are online, so we take the Gospel to them through our outreach efforts.
Church Growth from Seclusion
Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God. Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy, for you have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ from the time you first heard it until now.Philippians 1:3-5 NLT
Like most of Paul’s letters, he wrote the Book of Philippians from prison. The prisons Paul was in make our prisons look like luxury country clubs, but the church still grew through Paul’s letters. Paul continues to help the church grow through his letters, even centuries after his death. If the church can grow from the grave, then it certainly can grow from the internet.
Church Growth Through Unity
I appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to live in harmony with each other. Let there be no divisions in the church. Rather, be of one mind, united in thought and purpose.1 Corinthians 1:10
Differing beliefs divided the Corinthian church. The building in which they met did not define their unity or support their growth. Their unity was defined by their hearts, minds, thoughts, and purpose. Gathering many people in a building means nothing if they are quarreling. But prayer from one person to another on the other side of the world unites us through Christ.
Church Growth Through Preaching
It’s true that some are preaching out of jealousy and rivalry. But others preach about Christ with pure motives. They preach because they love me, for they know I have been appointed to defend the Good News. Those others do not have pure motives as they preach about Christ. They preach with selfish ambition, not sincerely, intending to make my chains more painful to me. But that doesn’t matter. Whether their motives are false or genuine, the message about Christ is being preached either way, so I rejoice. And I will continue to rejoice.Philippians 1:15-18 NLT
The Bible talks about a lot about the importance of our motives and the posture of our heart, but even the Good News preached with impure motives can’t take the power out of the Gospel. No matter how the story of Jesus Christ is preached, God’s Word never comes back void. It will always accomplish what He wills. So, whether your church preaches the message at church or online, we too should rejoice.
The Bible makes it clear that it’s important to attend church in person, but our list of church growth scriptures proves we can’t treat our online community like a third wheel.
At Click Nonprofit, we’re here to help you amplify the Gospel to grow both your online and in-person church communities through the Google Ad Grant and the Microsoft Ads for Social Impact Grant. Schedule a free consultation to see if you qualify for up to $13,000 in free ads every month, or download our guide for How to apply for the Google Ad Grant by filling out the form below.