This article is from a message to Victory Outreach La Puente

Text: Acts 2:40 – 47

We just launched out a number of leaders, what I want to speak about this morning is in the area of ministry and also in the area of leadership. Now, what I am going to be speaking to you about is something that usually you speak to pastors and you speak to ministers. And just recently, I had the opportunity to share with all of our ministers at the Rosarito Retreat, and we had a time where I shared with them for about an hour and 45 minutes on the subject that I’m going to be sharing with you this morning.

I get excited to see what has taken place within our church, and I see a growth taking place. I see the Lord has positioned us and the Lord is beginning to bring growth to our congregation, numerical growth. And at the same time, we are also preparing for the outflow of the Holy Spirit that He wants to bring, and we are preparing our building. And then I have been hearing all the different reports. I hear the reports of the children’s ministry and how they are getting organized and teachers are being trained and how people are excited over there.

And then I also hear the reports of the youth ministry, and I do not get the opportunity to come on Wednesday night. And many of you don’t get the opportunity to come on Wednesday night, even though one of these days, I’m going to sneak in again, every once in a while, I sneak it to see what’s happening. But I have been getting some phenomenal reports of what is taking place in our youth ministry, and they tell me now that they’re over the 400 mark and they’re heading towards the 500 mark on Wednesday night in our youth ministry.

Now, one of the areas that I have challenged them, I said, “Well, that’s fine, but it will really impress me.” I said, “It will really impress me if I begin to see you bridging those people from Wednesday night, bridging them right into the Sunday Morning Celebration Service.” And it is very important. And that is the goal that they have. The goal that they have is to get all the young people that are coming on Wednesday night and be able to bridge them, not only Wednesday night attenders, or that they attend on Wednesday nights, but that you could take them from Wednesday night and bring them into the general service on Sunday morning and Sunday evening so that they could become part of the community and part of the fellowship. And then becoming part of the church.

That is the goal that we should have, is reaching people so that people in turn could be part of what God is doing within this congregation. The subject that I am speaking about this morning is because this church is very unique. It has been told to me, and I have asked Pastor Charlie, and I have asked Sonny Jr. and they tell me they’ve counted about 700 people that are actively involved in ministering within this church. And they may be even more than 700 people. So, you could see that this is a real ministering congregation.

And I would like to have you open up your bibles this morning. And I want you to turn in the book of Acts, just turn to chapter two of the book of Acts. And I am going to ask you to give me your undivided attention and let us try to minimize any moving around. Acts chapter two, and we are going to begin reading verse 40 of Acts chapter two. And this… What was happening here in chapter two is very similar to what is taking place here in Victory Outreach up on Wednesday. And if they had those results that they had in chapter two, I believe we could also experience those results.

And I want us to look beginning in verse 40, “And with many other words, He testified and exhorted them saying, be saved from this perverse generation. Then those who gladly received His word were baptized, And that day about 3000 souls were added to them. And they continued steadfastly to the apostle’s doctrine and fellowship and breaking of bread and in prayers.” And then it says, “Fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. Now, all who believe were together and had all things in common.” Now, notice the commitment of these people. Notice the commitment. And it says, “And sold their possessions and goods and divided them among all as anyone had need. So continuing daily with one accord.”

And what you have just seen here this morning, all these home studies and small groups, this is something that is happening daily. Daily, there are people that are in different homes ministering the word of God. So, “Continuing daily with one accord in the temple and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people.” And then notice what it says, when you begin to do these things, when a congregation and a people begin to do these things and begin to practice these things, this is the results. What does it say? Say with me. And the what? “And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.”

Every head bowed; every eye closed. Lord Jesus, this morning, I pray that you gave me the words and let me apply this thing, this message to the hearts of your people. Lord, you know who is here, and I just pray that you begin to speak to us. Speak to us in a very direct way. We pray it in Jesus’ name. Amen. You may be seated. Lately, we have been talking in the last few Sundays, about how God wants to take us into a miracle territory. And I think we’ve been challenged and stirred to move in that type of territory where we’re able to experience the miracle working power of God, and where God is able to manifest Himself in our lives and through our lives.

Now, there are two things. There are actually three things, but I just want to just mention two things that are very important if we’re going to grow and if we want to experience everything that God has for us. The first thing that is very important in any ministry and in any church is that the people or the church need to have a vision. That means that they need to know where they are going. And I do not think we have a problem with that. I think that we know where we are going. We have been on this journey for over 30 years. And God has not changed that we still have the very same vision, we still have the very same calling that God gave to us over 30 years ago. You say, “Well, what is it?” Well, in a nutshell, what God wants to do is to raise up a church and raise up a people, and that those people will catch the vision just like in the book of Acts, and that then we’ll not only be an influence locally, but an influence throughout the entire world. That is simple. That is what God wants to do.

We know where we are going. But it is not just good enough knowing where you are going, is also very important… The second thing that is very important is what I want to deal with here this morning. The second thing are the leaders. It’s very important for any ministry that’s going to grow, and any ministry, any church that’s going to be able to accomplish all that God has for that ministry, it’s important to have the right leaders, if they want to have the right results. In other words, we need to ask ourselves the question, “Who’s going to take the step?”

And that’s the question that we’re asking ourselves at this particular time within our ministry, at this particular moment in the history of our church, as we’re beginning to move forward and God is taking us into another dimension, who are the people that are going to take us there? Well, the people that are going to take this there, they have to be the leaders. There is no way the size of congregation that we have for just one person or just a ministerial staff to be able to meet the needs of all the people. As you see in the book of Acts in chapter two, there were over 3000 people in one day that gave their lives to God, gave their lives to Christ. That is a growth problem. That is a problem. All these people, 3000 people. I am sure that they had to somehow get into a discipleship program and develop leaders very quickly to be able to meet the needs of those people.

We even see that the apostles after a period of time they were even serving tables and then they said, “We’re not going to serve tables anymore, and we’re going to let the people do the work of the ministry.” And because it was an active ministering congregation ministering group of people, the bible tells us that God multiplied, and there was a multiplication that was taking place. And every day there were people that were converted and people that were added to the church. It was what you would call unlimited growth. And I believe that God wants to do that. Now, you say this, “God wants to do that with every church.” Well, there are some ministries that maybe is the Lord’s will for them to stay 300. I do not know.

I cannot speak about other ministries. There are pastors that I have met that they say, “Well, we feel that the Lord wants us where we’re at.” And that is their conviction. And it very well could be that maybe the Lord would have them be 300 or 500 or 200, and they feel comfortable leading that flock, and they feel that they are in the center of the will of God. They very well may be. But when I think about our ministry, I think of our church, just looking around you, look at the property at the campus that God has given to us. If God has given us a campus of 15 acres, then surely, He plans us to maximize and do something to maximize the campus and use it to the full extent of what He’s given unto us. That is what a good steward is.

A good steward is taking what He’s given us and maximizing it to the fullest extent that we could maximize. This is why we’re in a building program. This is why even before we started the building program, we went, and we put up a parking lot. When we started up, our vision, we were looking beyond these facilities right here. And we even built a parking lot to be able to accommodate what we are building now. And we did that over 10, 12, maybe 15 years ago. We were looking ahead and we said, “If God has given us 15 acres of land and He’s given us this campus is because God is a big God, and it’s God that going to take the seemingly simple people, ordinary people, and He’s going to do great and mighty things through these people.”

He could only work through people that are going to believe, people that are going to have faith to be able to step out and move out. In other words, step out and move out on God. Now, there is a number of things that I want to bring out to you this morning that’s very important. And I am just going to bring out three things and then tomorrow night we are going to continue on the same subject that I’m dealing with this morning. The first thing that is so very important again, I want to emphasize, the leaders in this church are the ones that are going to take us to the next step. There is no other way. It is going to be either the leaders doing it, and if the leaders do not do it, it is not going to happen. It can’t be done by Pastor Charlie, by Sonny yr., by the ministerial staff, but is going to have to be the leaders of this church that’s going to take us into the next dimension that God has for us That’s how important at this particular time the leadership is for this church.

Now, what kind of leaders do we need? Well, I will tell you the kind of leaders. The first thing that we need to bring up is the type of leaders that we need, we need growing leaders. If we are going to grow this ministry, then we need growing leaders. Now, the problem where ministries get stagnated is because leaders stopped growing, or Christian stopped growing. Let me again… I do not want to leave anybody out. And there are some of you who are not ready. I can feel the vibes that are saying, “Well, this isn’t for me. I’m not a leader.” Well, it is for you. I think what I was speaking about this morning is for every person that is in this auditorium. You say, “Well, how come? I’m not a leader?” Well, I would tell you this, if God saved you, there’s a ministry that God has for you.

I mean, everybody, whether you are a leader or not a leader, this pertains to you because I do not think there’s anybody in this auditorium that God has not given a ministry to. As soon as you have given your life to Jesus Christ, God has separated you for a divine work that He wants you to do. Now, it is up to you, whether you’re going to be obedient. And there are some people that are obedient, some people that are, like Max was talking about, running from God. And if you run from God, He runs faster than you, believe me He’s going to catch up with you. And that is a fact. You see Max up here. So, you cannot outrun God.

But every person that is in this place, this pertains to you because God has something for you. So, it is very important then that every person in this place, every one of us, we need to grow together. To maximize what God wants from us as a congregation, we need to begin to move together into the new realm that God is taking us to. And the reason why there are ministries that stop growing and they get stagnated is because people stop growing. If you do not grow, then we won’t grow. Leaders do not grow; the ministry don’t grow. That is as simple as it is. See, growing ministries require growing leaders and growing people. There is no growth without a person being willing to change. You see, this is the problem with people is that sometimes people do not want to change. But when God begins to bring growth to us, there is always growing pains. Growing pains means that we have been settled, and we like to be settled, but then God begins to unsettle us.

And He says, “Don’t camp out here. Don’t put your stakes too deep.” Listen, “Get up and loosen your stakes, I’m taking you on yonder.” And anytime that that happens, there’s always that element of faith that is needed, and we have a problem with that. And we stop growing because of the inflexibility to move when God moves and keep in step with God. In other words, there are people that say, “Well, we’ve always done it that way. This is the way I’ve always operated in the past, so this is the way I’m going to operate now.” I think a good example of that, we have someone in the bible and that’s Moses. I noticed with Moses in Exodus chapter 17, God speaks to Moses. And there was a scarcity of water. And then God speaks to Moses and He tells Moses to strike the rock. He says, “Moses, I want to work a miracle for you. You need water? Okay, then I’m going to provide and strike the rock.”

And Moses went ahead and struck the rock and water came out. But then we see that in Numbers 20:8-11, which we see that God, all of a sudden changed His style, changed His method. God is not going to operate the same way all the time. And then in Numbers 20, the Lord said… He did not say, “Strike the rock.” But He said, “Moses, speak to the rock and water will gush out of it.” But the bible tells us that Moses struck the rock two times, Moses was not flexible to God and he wanted to lead the old way and do things as he’s always done it. And when I read that and I read that account in the word of God, you know what I am thinking? The way God works with us.

I think in the beginning, Moses, he did not have much faith. He was immature, he was growing, maybe he was in a state of infancy, and then God had to let them touch and feel. That is where we are. In the beginning, God babies us. “I want to feel you, Lord.” Oh, you feel them all the time. “I need to touch. I need to see, give me a revelation, give me a vision, send me out.” Then God may accommodate you for a while. But then later on God says, “Okay, I’m changing my method now, I’m not going to do things the way I used to do them anymore.” And He says, “Now, I’m taking you into a higher level”. And I am taking you too in a place of spiritual maturity. And I want you to begin to act like a mature person, and I’m going to begin to deal with you as a spiritually mature person.”

Then He tries to deal with us like that, but we want the old school. “I want to see you, I want to touch, you got to confirm it to me before I step out.” And when we begin to do that, then we begin to not keep in step with God. Listen, we have to keep in step with God folks. Every one of us need to keep in step with God. God is taking us into higher ground, and every one of us together just like in the book of Acts. That congregation was so blessed because all of them moved together as a unit and as a body, and they moved together and they were stepping out in God, we had to step out in God.