As SE7EN continues to build its ministry to reach the lost for Christ, its leadership and members have begun recognizing the importance of both individual spiritual growth and transforming the lives of others. In teaching on this very concept, Jocelyn discussed the power and importance of the internal/external growth principle. Derived from C. Peter Wagner’s important book The Everychurch Guide To Growth, the principle is based on two concepts:
-Internal growth: A process in which members of a local church body experience substantive spiritual growth on an individual level. This growth can include a wide range of things, including deeper commitment to Christ, prayer, fasting, work within the church or the removal of a long-standing stronghold. All of these things give us a greater ability to know God and do His will. The importance of the internal growth principle is clearly conveyed in Romans 12:1-2, where we read that we are to present our bodies as living sacrifices to God and be transformed by the renewing of our minds in order to know what His perfect will is.
-External growth: A process in which unsaved individuals repent, accept the salvation offered by Christ, and begin attending a local church. The importance of the external growth principle is outlined in I Timothy 2:3-4, where we learn that God wants all men to be saved and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
In understanding the definitions of internal and external growth, one may be able to discern the connection between the two. In short, external growth can happen at any time. Nevertheless, it often happens more rapidly when internal growth is transpiring. For this reason, it is important that God’s people pay attention to areas in their lives where they need to grow. This could include anything from doing spiritual disciplines such as prayer and Bible study more consistently or breaking away from an ungodly soul tie. When God’s people begin to display the type of spiritual maturity and authenticity that results from this kind of growth, the lost will see the personhood and principles of Christ and subsequently be drawn to Him. This is God’s heart for His people and the lost.