Enlarging Our Borders Through The Church

Bible Book: Matthew  6 : 13-19
Subject: Service; Church; Outreach

Our churches prayer ought to be, "Lord, enlarge and give a greater ministry to our fellowship?"

Now why is that so important? Because we need each other. We need the support and encouragement that comes from being with other Christians in a church setting for encouragement. Church life must be a vital part of our lives.

In the text we have read, Jesus makes a powerful statement. He says, "I will build My church." (v. 19) Jesus meant exactly what He said. He would build His church! It belongs to Him. It isn't mine or yours, it is His.

The church is not some institution, club or a social thing for us. The church isn't some physical location or buildings. The church is ekklesia, the called out ones. Those who have named the Name of Jesus Christ are part of the body of Christ. Wherever you go, the church goes.

Jesus intended for His body to be vibrant, nurturing, healthy, encouraging, strengthening, supportive, growing, and dynamic. How we need the body of Christ to expand. It will as the church grows.

Throughout the New Testament we see the early church multiplying, listen, not by tens, not by hundreds but by thousands! They're vibrant! They're dynamic, healthy! God greatly expanded their borders. There are certain ingredients that help us to know what it takes to be a vibrant church whose influence and ministry God can enlarge.

Let's look at three basic qualities of a growing, dynamic church that's being built by Jesus.

I. Vibrant in Worship

A. The Priority of Worship

Look at the priority of worship in the New Testament church.

In Acts 2 we find the birthing of the New Testament church.(Acts 2:1-41)

Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe. They were in the presence of almighty God! Just catch a sense of the worship that was taking place. (v. 44-47)

Did you catch it? The early church had a priority of coming together and worshiping.

B. The Purpose of Worship

Nowhere do I find in the New Testament where the purpose of the church in worship was to do church. Nowhere do I see where they came together to decide certain things about the church. Like whether or not they liked the music. Whether or not their needs were going to be met on that  particular day. Nor was their determination to worship dependent upon whether the Falcons were playing in town, the recreation league was having a cheer-off, soccer games, football games, baseball games, or any other games. They knew what the purpose of worship was all about. They were coming together so they might see God! They came together so they might catch just a glimpse of God today. They would gather to honor and praise Him. Do you know the purpose of worship today?

We should come together as the body of Christ for those of us who have named Christ to lift up His Name and to honor Him. When we come together, we should expect God to show up.

Nowhere do you read in the New Testament where the saints of God were concerned about themselves. When they came to worship they were concerned about the glory of God.


In his new book, Healthy Kingdom Churches, our member Dr. J. Robert White shares about his daughter, Karen, who is also a member of our church, going away to college and for the first time visiting churches that her Dad did not pastor. One Sunday morning Karen went to a large church that was known for its dynamic worship services and evangelistic outreach. She sat down next to a very nice senior adult lady. The lady kept glancing in Karen's direction, then finally asked, "Are you one of those sweet little college students?" Karen replied that she was a college student. "Are you visiting with us today?" Karen replied that she was a visitor. The lady paused for a moment and then with great enthusiasm said, "You're going to love our show!"

How many times have I heard in the hallways of this congregation people saying, "Pastor, we loved your show today!" Whether you understand this or not, we are not here to put on a show. We are here to usher the people of God into the presence of God to worship God!

The early saints understood that worship was coming into the presence of God to catch a glimpse of His glory. They were feeling a sense of awe at the many wonders and signs that were taking place through the apostles.

You'd better catch a glimpse of what true worship is. It's loving on Jesus Christ and God the Father. Remember, we're to love Him with everything that is us. From the very beginning pages of the Old Testament with the Ten Commandments we are commanded "...Thou shall love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul and with all thy mind and with all thy strength. This is the first commandment. (Deut. 6:4-5; Mark 12:29-30)

The very first of the Ten Commandments regulates worship. Thou shall have no other gods before Me. Jesus even said when tempted "...Get behind me, Satan, for it is written 'Thou shall worship the Lord thy God and only Him shall thou serve.'" (Matthew 4:10)

Throughout the Scripture, worship is central. Let me give you a glimpse of glory concerning worship. (Read Rev. 19:1-6) Does that sound like the great hallelujah chorus? And he shall reign forever and ever, King of kings and Lord of lords, Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

Let me give you a summation of the purpose of worship. When we gather here in this auditorium on Sunday, we're coming before the throne of God to worship Him and to sing praises to His Name.

The early church found a vibrancy in the body as they came together for worship. That is what I hope happens for you today. I hope we make it easy for you to find God and difficult for you to forget Him when you leave here.

Then there is another aspect of church.

II. Dynamic in Relationships

A. The Importance of Connection

These people didn't get saved and then just go back out into the world. There was something dynamic within their souls that said "I have to be with other Christians." They recognized the importance of being connected to other saints of God.

B. The Intention of Connection

Through being connected to other saints of God, you receive strength and encouragement. Sure you can't know everyone in large groups like this. But when you're connected to a smaller group in Sunday School, discipleship, encouragement groups, ladies Bible studies, choir, youth ministries, children's activities, you find a dynamic in building relationships that bring encouragement to your life. It is through these small groups and being connected within the fellowship that you have the opportunity to share more of what's going on in your life and receive encouragement.

By being connected, you are held accountable to continue to grow in your faith in Jesus Christ. As I am connected to people in this church, they push me to grow in my relationship with Jesus.

The New Testament says we need one another. Do not forsake our own assembling together as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another and all the more as you see the day drawing near. (Hebrews 10:25) Through Bible study, fellowship, prayer, the Lord's Supper, worship experiences, we grow to be more like Christ. When the early church gathered they were growing in their relationship together and growing in their relationship to God. How we need that today in the modern church!


Rick Rusaw shares about the time his sister was killed. He flew home from Cincinnati to Syracuse. He said he arrived early on Sunday morning. By the time he was picked up and carried to the house, it was about 9:30. His Mom and Dad were relatively new Christians. His Mom was there and he asked where his Dad was. Rick said he thought his Dad may have gone to the funeral home or maybe he had been over to the coroner's office to take care of some things. Maybe he was just taking a walk. But his Mom said "He went to church."

When his Dad came home, Rick looked at him and said, "Dad, what are you doing? Why did you go?" He said he would never forget his father's response, "Where else would I go?"

Do you understand the message? The only place he was going to find someone who cares for him was at the church! There among the family of God we should put our arms around them and love them. While many of them may not understand their exact situation, what they're going through, what the outcome is going to be, among the family of God they should at least find those who empathize with them and know how to go to the throne of God on their behalf. Listen, it was the only place where he was going to get a glimpse of God and know that God still cares for him. It was a place where he was going to find someone to put their arm around him and say, "I love you. I care about what you're going through. I hurt for you."

Where else could we go?

Church, we need to be dynamic in our relationship.

There is a third quality.

III. Intense In Ministry

The Actions of New Testament Saints

From the very beginning of the New Testament church, they were called forth to minister. The testimony of the New Testament church in Acts 2 says..."They were all together." They had all things in common. They began to sell their property and possessions and were sharing them with all who had need. They were continuing in one mind in the Temple. They were breaking bread from house to house. They were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart. They were praising God and having favor with all the people. They received spiritual gifts of ministry and they employed them in meeting the needs of those in the fellowship.

You and I need to understand the Holy Spirit of God has gifted each of us for ministry in this church. We will never be the church that we need to be if we're not intense and involved in ministry.

Let me ask you a question: How do you employ your gift of ministry in the fellowship of North Metro? Are you a taker or are you a giver? Are you one who serves or do you want to be served? Do you go the extra mile to meet the need of someone who is struggling or are you a passer-on? In other words, "Pastor, would you go do this? Pastor, would you go do that? Sunday School teacher, would you take care of this? Somebody ought to go check on them."

The churches that grow and make a difference are those who are intense in ministry. The churches that God can enlarge their borders are those who take seriously their responsibility to encourage and minister to one another.


Vibrant in worship, dynamic in relationships, intense in ministry paved the way for God to say, "I can trust North Metro with a greater scope of ministry. I can enlarge their borders."

Remember as we worship and build relationships and get out and minister in our mission field, we build such a reputation and witness that many people will trust Christ.

The Scripture says ..."And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved."

Oh, Lord! Let us be that kind of church!


Healthy Kingdom Churches, J. Robert White

Growing & Knowing Churches, Rick Rusaw