Vital Church Expansion -- By: William McCarrell
BSac 110:438 (Apr 53) p. 147
Vital Church Expansion
[Editor’s note: For the past forty years Dr. McCarrell has been Pastor of the Cicero Bible Church, Cicero, Illinois. His outstanding work in the field of church expansion prompted the editor to request this article on his experiences. It should meet a widespread need for similar activity in every community.]
When Jesus said, “Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest” (John 4:35), He was speaking primarily of nearby fields. A tremendous mission field is increasingly developing in the United States. Yearly reports concerning continuous closing of rural works is alarming. The total number of closed Protestant works in the United States startles. It totals many thousands. Population shifts increasingly, building projects multiply, and with little thought or desire concerning Bible works. Shallow, non-biblical enterprises are usually encouraged. Increasingly, zoning ordinances seriously hinder establishment and operation of Bible works. Apostate denominational missionary societies evidence a diminishing desire for such works. They often hinder through endeavors so to portion fields for certain forces as to exclude Biblically conducted works. Apostasy has closed thousands of fields; its deadly fruitage will increase as the spirit of antichrist prepares mankind for the tribulation and Antichrist. Twenty years back Dr. James M. Gray and the writer agreed that the unchurched areas of the United States comprise one of the world’s greatest, if not greatest, mission field.
Present-day challenging need can be effectively met through servants, local churches, and missionary societies paying the price and working along Biblical lines. The first qualification is a passion for salvation of souls through
BSac 110:438 (Apr 53) p. 148
Gospel proclamation, setting forth God’s Word and advancing Christ’s cause. The second qualification is a vision of the need for, the advantages of, establishing independent Biblical works. When established, these works are home missions. They also assure future foreign missionary support. They offer fields to young men entering Christian service, especially the many who are tested concerning service opportunities because of their uncompromising Biblical convictions and stand. Establishing and building these works develops lay workers, any Christian servants involved, and churches that support such projects. The church that so functions, though tested in various ways, will in due time strengthen itself. Conduct of the work will develop full-time Christian workers. For thirty-seven years the Cicero Bible Church of which I am pastor has struggled to build a work in a har...
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