Growth is “the process of increasing in amount, value, or importance; similar to expansion, multiplication.”
Growth is one of the Village Schools of the Bible’s values. We value growth because it is on God’s heart for the nations to know Him and there is a desperate need for Biblical literacy, which leads to transformation. Growth is centered in the promise that God gave to Abraham and the commission that Jesus gave his disciples. We desire to grow because Abraham’s seed was to bless all people’s (Gen. 12:3). God’s covenant of unconditional love and Jesus’ sacrificial provision for sin were for both Jew and Gentile. According to the Bible, every person needs an intimate connection with their Creator. This is a powerful equalizer of all people; rich or poor; healthy or sick, from Liberia to Japan to Ireland we all need forgiveness so that we can experience restoration in our relationship with God.
We value growth because Psalm 2 says the nations are given to Christ as an inheritance, even to the ends of the earth (vs. 8). In Jesus’ last charge to his disciples, he commands us to go to the entire world to make disciples in His name. Our students who take Cover-to-Cover grow as disciples of Christ. As their confidence in who God is grows, so does their desire to tell others. Many of our graduates become disciple-makers. Knowing God’s Word equips them to multiply their faith into the lives of others. This is Kingdom growth.
Practices that Village Schools of the Bible does to ensure growth are:
· Prayer: in faith we ask God for what we don’t yet see.
· Discernment: we seek God’s direction as a community.
· Planning: we strategically allocate our resources toward our future vision.
· Learning: we change due to evaluation and feedback.
There is a desperate need for growth:
Village Schools of the Bible’s value of growth is also fueled by statistics that focus on both need and opportunity. While these statistics are US focused, they also inform our desire to grow globally. According to Barna Research Group, rates of Bible reading have been dropping for decades. “Generation Z: Born between 1999 and 2015, is the first truly ‘post-Christian’ generation”. The implications of this are staggering. Biblical illiteracy affects marriages, education, our judicial system, our healthcare system, etc.
Our opportunity is also clear in data gathered from Barna Research, which reports that 58% of Americans wish they could study the Bible more often, including 22% of skeptics. So, we have open doors to reach people who don’t yet know Jesus by offering our Bible Survey course.
Together, as the Board of Directors and the staff of Village Schools of the Bible, we invite you to view our value of growth in our vision:
Imagine a day when even half of our Cover-to-Cover students become fluent in the gospel and become mobilized to reproduce their faith in others’ lives. Marriages will be strengthened, children will be instructed in God’s ways, grace and truth relationships will flourish in their community, the physically and spiritually hungry will be fed! We will live biblical justice out as hundreds of Holy Spirit empowered, scripture grounded believers will take the gospel next door and to the ends of the earth.
Village Schools of the Bible intends to help fuel a significant movement that spreads globally to lift Jesus and witness His Kingdom come!
by Laurie Besonen