Masterplanning for Church Growth

An adequte masterplan is based on the Great Gospel Commission of Matthew 28:19, 20:
Going therefore disciple all the nations, baptizing them to the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you.
The Interlinear Parallel New Testament in Greek and English
The purpose of the Masterplan is to make disciples. A disciple is a self-reproducing follower of Jesus Christ, who uses his/her spiritual gifts in ministry. Therefore, a masterplan is based on utilizing every spiritual gift of the church members as being of equal value. A masterplan envisions every church member having a job, task, role or position in which they will work within the masterplan.
In Matthew 25 Jesus makes it clear that Christians must minister in order to be saved. The sheep minister and they enter the kingdom, while the goats do not minister and they end up in the lake of fire [see Matthew 25:31-46]. Ellen White adds, “In the Lord’s work there are to be no idlers.” [Evangelism, p. 115]. An adequate masterplan plan makes provision for every member to be trained and employed in ministry.
A masterplan is further based on the six steps required to produce a Seventh-day Adventist disciple, with ministries designed for each step:
1. Acquaintance. People have to learn about Adventists before they can become one. The church spends millions of dollars annually, by newsprint, television, radio, colporteurs and other means to acquaint people with Seventh-day Adventists. Not much is done to follow-up these contacts. Therefore, an adequate masterplan must employ a database.
2. Participation. Generally people participate in some program(s) sponsored by the church before they decide to join. The programs must be at the church facility (Acts 5:42).
3. Friendship. People do not become permanent, active members of the church unless they form friendships with active Adventist church members. Most of the people who leave the Adventist church do not leave because of doctrinal disagreements — but because “they did not have any friends in the church.”
4. Attendance. For a person to become assimilated into the Adventist fellowship, they must attend Sabbath School and worship services. If they do not attend they soon leave the church.
5. Doctrinal understanding. People cannot become Seventh-day Adventist disciples without a thorough understanding of the Biblical teachings of the Seventh-day Adventist church. This is best accomplished in a pastor’s Bible class.
6. Involvement. If new members are to remain as members of the church congregation they must have a meaningful role or task within the church program. The difference between a sheep and a goat is that sheep minister while goats do not. While the sheep find a place in God’s eternal kingdom the goats are cast into the lake of eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:31-46). The church is responsible to provide ministries for every gift of the church members and to train church members to use their gifts in ministry. This is a vital part of the masterplan.