Effective Church Growth


This scene is from El Orno, Nicaragua, last year.

We had been on a ministry trip and were visiting the home of a local pastor.

His daughters were sick.

As the power of God stirred, folks from an adjacent church saw it and rushed to us.

It reminded me of the Book of Acts.

Those who suppress the power of God commit spiritual suicide for the growth of the global church occurs mostly by the power gifts of the Holy Spirit.

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How does Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Delivers us from Religious Legalism?


Like 8:11   Now it came to pass afterward, that He was traveling through every city and village, preaching and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom of God, and the twelve were with Him,

2  and certain women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities; Mary called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out,

3  and Joanna the wife of Chuza, a supervisor of Herod, and Susanna, and many others who were ministering to them from their belongings

I was intrigued by these scriptures after my wife pointed them out.

What can we glean about Jesus from them?

  • The twelve disciples were with him.
  • There were also a number of women whom Jesus had delivered and healed.
  • I checked out the original Greek, and the “many others” in verse three,  is in the feminine tense.

So the picture of those with Jesus was generally  twelve male disciples and a number of women.

  1. The first point is the importance of investing in other’s lives.

Those whom are most apt to follow you are those whom you sacrificially invest into their well being.

Give, and it shall be given back to you. Jesus is not simply talking about money.

Make it a point of investing freely into other’s lives. Don’t be selfish and just think about yourself. You will be blessed by God.

2. The second point is that most of Jesus’ financial supporters were women.

  • In our own ministry, the majority of supporters have been women.

As a matter of fact, in our global travels, the majority of supporters and attendees are women, regardless of country.

  • I thought that God  had called the men to take the rein of leadership?

Where are they?

  • The lack of male leadership in the church is a global crisis which paralyses it.

We can’t blame the attack of the devil on these poor men.  I’ve  heard this before. Nonsense!

The devil can only attack when a door is opened to him. The bottom line with many  Christian men is one of blatant disobedience to God.

Men of God, you need to repent, and repent now!

Most people whom we counsel are godly women, who have husbands dragging their feet for Jesus. These women suffer immeasurably, hoping for their men to  one day join them in the ministry.

How dare we say that women don’t  belong in the pulpit, when they assume the load of the churches’ ministry?  This is the hypocritical and must be stopped!

3.The third point is that of Joanna, the wife of Chuza.

Joanna, is a most interesting figure. Her presence, theologically challenges us.

  • Chuza, was one of the premier officials in Herod’s administration.  He was his trustee, administrator, or manager. Chuza could have administered Herod’s royal properties or even the head of his estate.
  • Thirty years earlier, another Herod had attempted to kill Jesus. Was that the father of this Herod, or an uncle?  I don’t know.

It’s interesting how God works. Whereas one Herod tried to exterminate Jesus, now a top official in another Herod’s administration is one of His biggest financial supporters. God is funny. It’s astounding how He turns the tables upon His enemies.

4.Point four. I assume that Joanna was wealthy?

  • So the wealthy were financially supporting Jesus? Wow, what a concept!

How many times do we pastors get dragged through the ground for having wealthy people give into our ministry. Some want us to be paupers in poverty, barely making it, and suffering for Jesus. We get accused of milking the flock, or of being lazy, or of doing nothing, while taking people’s money. Such a double standard! LOL!

Not only did Jesus have a wealthy person financially supporting him, but many other women which ministered to his needs from their possessions! Did I hear the word, many?

  • We pastors are indicted by others of not working or not having a real job.

Somehow the notion of traveling globally, counseling and praying for people, teaching the Bible or writing books, is not a job.

Full time ministry, they say, is not a real job!

  • But look at Jesus! He was in full time ministry. He did not have a “ nine to five job.”. He had a number of women  monetarily supporting him, because most of those whom he ministered to gave him nothing. And so it is with us today.
  • So when you are tempted to religiously  harp upon your pastor, bite your tongue and meditate on the story of Joanna,  the wife of Chuza!

Many blessings!

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Most of these women are pastors. On a trip that we took to Kenya in 2010. Where are the men?