In December, I visited a church in the Great Rift Valley of Kenya that has grown from 400 to more than 600 members in the last two years. It's grown so much that the pastor has enlarged the church building to almost twice its original size (see photo below).
They conduct two services, in order to accommodate the new disciples who've been trained and in turn have reached others. When I asked Reverend Francis why his church has grown, he said, "The growth is mainly due to people reaching other people, one on one, through Life Groups." He added that new believers were maturing quickly and that the church now had a "family atmosphere" with more of a sense of "community" because of the Life Groups. Francis noted that his job was easier because people were doing the work of ministry.
I'm encouraged by this church's growth in numbers, as well as in spiritual depth, and I can't help but think that at least part of it is due to the fact that Reverend Francis' wife is in our first generation of TLM leaders, as is Dorcas, another leading minister in his church. TLM's training introduced both women to Life Groups.
One major goal of this mentoring trip was to see how our first-generation leaders were leading and multiplying Life Groups. After visiting Reverend Francis, we attended the Life Group that Dorcas led one evening. Many women attended her group, which she led with skill and confidence. The Bible passage for the night dealt with forgiveness. A few Life Group members shared personal experiences that dealt with forgiving others. One lady shared that she was having difficulty forgiving someone. I was very impressed with the vulnerability of the group's members and how they could share so openly with international visitors present.
How heart-warming it is to witness a church that's been growing in spiritual depth as well as numbers!
So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.
— Ephesians 4:11–12