Its just been our third birthday as a church and it is a good time to reflect on what it means to grow, there are of course lots of different types of growth:
Numerical - this is the most obvious and though we know it isn't the best indicator the one we often look at first.
Spiritual - disciples of Jesus becoming more mature disciples of Jesus, fighting their sin and growing in putting God's word into practice and serving others.
Kingdom - Seeing people who were lost put their trust in Jesus as their Saviour and Lord, and seeing disciples made and grow who increasingly serve others both inside and outside of the church.
I think all three are intrinsically linked. As people grow spiritually it is attractive to their non-believing friends who want to understand more about what is changing their friend, this results in gospel opportunities and can result in kingdom growth as friends trust Jesus. This in turn leads to numerical growth. Growing disciples can also attract others who have left church to come back and see what is causing the difference. Fundamental to all genuine gospel growth is the teaching and application of the Bible to the lives of one another in a community of grace.