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I recently moved to Colorado Springs, Colo., to plant a church. As I seek the direction the Lord would have us go, the one thing He keeps telling me is to develop deep roots.

It’s easy for me to want to jump ahead of the process and do what I think is right, but I keep being reminded to develop those roots. I need to follow God’s process instead of trying to help it along. I need to have patience, knowing that He is the One who will cause growth.

I love this line in 1 Cor. 3:6 (NRSV): “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.” So often we think that our church’s growth is our responsibility. We think that if there is no visible sign of growth (either numerical or otherwise) we are failing. Our focus becomes the growth rather than the One who gives the growth.

Eph. 3:17-19 (ESV) says: “… that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”

When we are rooted and grounded in love, we have the strength to understand the love of God. We are filled with the fullness of God. No longer do we find ourselves dwelling on our loneliness and self-doubt. No longer do we play the comparison game. Our perspective becomes God’s perspective.

Everything that Paul did was for the sake of the gospel (1 Cor. 9:1-18). We have been entrusted with this good news. We get to tell people about Jesus! But first, we must let the roots go deep. We need to sit at Jesus’ feet. We need to be overcome by the gospel, to let it seep into the soil of our souls. Only then can we effectively plant and nurture the seed of the gospel to a broken and hurting world.

I don’t have a list of 10 surefire ways to grow your church. I only have one: Develop deep roots.

Be still in His presence (Ps. 46:10). Let His Word dwell in you richly (Col. 3:16). Be constant in prayer (Rom. 12:12). Love one another deeply (1 John 4:7). In doing so, may your roots go deep, and may God cause His church to grow. 

By: Whitney Lewellyn, a Foursquare credentialed minister and church-planter in Colorado Springs, Colo.

is a freelance writer and editor. She lives in Orlando, Fla.