And the Lord Added to Their Number Daily: A Historical Overview of the Growth of the American Evangelical Church
School of Music
Master of Arts in Music and Worship (MA)
Jerry L. Newman
church, growth, evangelical, worship
Wrench, Erica Morgan, "And the Lord Added to Their Number Daily: A Historical Overview of the Growth of the American Evangelical Church" (2021). Masters Theses. 813.
Of the many mysteries of God, one that is equally humbling and strengthening, directly impacting the entirety of human history and all that is to come, is God's allowance and invitation for mankind to come alongside and join Him in His plan and works. Philippians states, "for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure" (2:13, New American Standard Bible). From the outset of Genesis, mankind is created in the image of the trinitarian God, declared "very good," and told to procreate and hold dominion over all the earth (Gen. 1:26-31). In this context, humanity shares aspects of both function and intrinsic nature with God, and as McConville suggests, the exercise of divine rule on the earth is not merely a delegated task but rather a representative role that man is called to undertake. Only one who is like God can represent Him. However, as the work of Genesis soon furthers, mankind's representation of his Creator and continuation of His work quickly falls short (Gen. 3). As the fall of the first Adam occurs, God instantly sets into motion a quest to rescue and redeem humanity once again to Himself, culminating in the incarnation, mission, sacrificial death, and magnificent resurrection of Jesus Christ, the "New Adam" (Heb. 1:1-3; 1 Cor. 15:45). It is Christ who then sends out His disciples and all who put their hope of salvation in His Name to be the salt and light to a lost and dying world (Matt. 5:13-16). It is the body of believers that gathers together in Jesus' name, the Church, to continue the imperative mission of Jesus.