What you see here is a picture of a church. I know it looks like a chart, but it really shows a picture of Peace Church. In 1966, this church averaged 146 in attendance. By 1969, it was at 188. In ten years, by 1979, it had grown to 487. After a little plateau in the ‘80's, we took off again in the 90's, reaching 569 by 1999. By 2009, we had reached an average of _____. Now, there have definitely been faster growing churches, and, by the way, numbers certainly aren’t the only measure of growth, nor maybe even the best, but they do tell a story. My point is not to make us feel good about numerical growth or anything like that. My point is to try to connect you with why this church grew.
Now, let me say right off the bat that genuine spiritual growth must come as a work of the Spirit and we must rely on Him, not ourselves. But let me also hasten to say that through the Spirit there has been an ingredient here at this church that is often lack in some other places. That difference is this: There has been a strong desire to grow. Back in the 70's it was scenes like this. That guy with pie on his face is Rodney Whaley. This church was always having contests like this to get people to come to church. It was a lot of work, but we had a strong desire. In the last ten years everything from Christmas Theater, to camp, to Upward Basketball has been used. It took a lot of work but there was a strong desire. Whether you’re talking about corporate growth or personal spiritual growth there is one common characteristic: Desire. It catalyzes growth and 1 Peter commands us to have it.