Why Grow? : Pastor Carter's Thoughts
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Pastor Carter's Thoughts and Comments.

Why Grow?

by Pastor Dale Carter on 09/26/16

Luke 4:18-19

 

18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,

19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.

Why do pastors put a number of people they want in their church? I believe that the majority of pastors today don’t know why they want to run 200, 250, 300 or even upward to a thousand people. What would they do different if they went from 15 to 500 people. First thing is that it would make them famous and spoke highly of among their peers and within the origination. People would point finger at them in a positive way and exalt them as an example of growth.

But my question is, “Why do I want to pastor 300-350 people, what would I do different?”  Most of you have heard me say several times over the last 7 years, I have a dream of pastoring 350 people at Harvest Fellowship. Almost every time I said that, there was a very dim voice that ask the question, why. I never had a real concrete answer.

Most pastors that maintain a large number drive a better car and live in a better house than those that run only fifteen to twenty. Well I knew that wasn’t my reason nor was it the purpose of my life or the purpose that God had when He called men to pastor. The Lord placed some in the church as pastors and other offices. A pastor is like an overseer, one who attends another’s needs.

 

When God places a man to pastor, God looks deeper into that person’s heart and sees the heart of a Shepard. Look at: 

John 21:15-17; 15 So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.

16 He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep 

John 10:11-14.  I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

12 But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.

13 The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.

14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.

Although God places pastors within the church for to many times pastor become hireling and therefore when the going gets tough they can move from church to church. They want to have a larger church but they really don’t know why.

 

There has always been a seed planted in my heart that involved those men and women that are controlled drugs and alcohol and other addictions. I didn’t know how to do what needed to be done to reach them. I never was weak enough or dysfunctional enough to allow some one deceived me into trying something I knew very little about except that it was hard to communicate with those I knew that use such substances.

 

And then came Scarlett Lynn Brooks-Hopkins. Scarlett first came to Harvest Fellowship about 4 years ago. It didn’t take me long for me to catalogue her as a loose nut attached to a crooked bolt. At that stage of my growth in ministry I didn’t have the foresight to see what was in her. I judged the fruit because I didn’t know how to look for the seed. I had some roads to travel and some pits and pot hole to go on my journey to becoming a pastor before I’d ever be fit to be what God had called me to be. Like me Scarlett had to travel some of the same roads.

 

Scarlett soon faded and her memories became dim but never forgotten. Then one day there came that call from a most unsuspected place that would lead to some eye opening events and some spiritual knowledge that would answer the topic of the title of this message. “Why Grow”  And it seems, just for me.

If anyone came to Harvest Fellowship that had a drug related back ground I thought, this is it and I’d invest my love and energy in them only to be disappointed and sometimes broken hearted. But this time there was a different spirit, a longing, a sense of belonging that would help me and Harvest Fellowship to a new dimension. A dimension that would consummate, Why Grow.

Over the past few weeks little by little God has shown me the WHY. Why we must become larger, draw more people accumulate more revenue so we can fulfill our scripture for today and our foundation scripture for Harvest Fellowship PCG until the Day of The Lord…….”to preach deliverance to the captive…..” How can one be made free if they are held captive to a broken heart, in darkness because of blindness and continually bruised by their past.

So now together with our church family Scarlett is going to establish a program that defies our government but Satan himself. From the things that she has learned from the offbeat roads, pits and pot holes there is complete deliverance for those that are weak and hanging by a then rope. It’s called “DADS” Drugs, Alcohol Deliverance Service. Instead of relying on a “higher power” people that attend this service will learn that, all, and everything they need is in Jesus. This is not and will not be a program controlled by government regulations. The foundation of this program was settled before the foundation of the earth and is for “Whoso ever will” 

Some of the chains that can and will be broken because we will look at what the true cause of each addiction is. What does the Bible say about addictions? What does the Bible say about:

Some of the chains that can and will be broken because we will look at what the true cause of each addiction is. What does the Bible say about addictions? What does the Bible say about:

Alcohol, Anger, Depression, Drugs, Food, Fornication, Gambling, Lust

And others some of which I never considered as being addictive.

“ONE STEP TO FREEDOM. There is a difference between Freedom and Victory. Victory means you won that battle, Freedom means that you have been delivered from those chains and bondage. Thought you were one in bondage, Jesus paid the ransom and now you are free. 

Why Grow? Well most of the time growth means a health environment. A healthy environment means most things will grow as God plans them to. The Lord said, “Go Ye Out”  

Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 

Rom 10:13-15 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? 

We must grow to the point that Scarlett can be a full time drug minister.

If we are going to keep young people then we’ll need a full time Youth Pastor. 

It will take a congregation of 3-350 people to continually support a church with that out-reach. Now I know why we must grow and why the number “350” has stuck in my mind for most of my ministry. It was a seed that God planted that is about to germinate and grow a plant that will produce a harvest that will cause a fellowship of people that the world threw aside. Maybe that is why we named our church Harvest Fellowship Pentecostal Church of God. It’s that Pentecostal power that binds us together with unwavering Love and a never ending, heart saturating, super-natural desire to fulfill Luke 4'18-19. 

18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,

19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. 

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