Having grandkids has built a fresh new understanding about growth in my mind. With my grandkids now a month old we have a benchmark of how they are doing. Grace Lynn was four pounds and five ounces at birth while Sean Patrick was four pounds two ounces at birth. Grace is now six pounds and nine ounces while Patrick is six pounds and eleven ounces. That's over two and one half pounds for Patrick in his first month.

There is a term attached to these wonderful children; premature. They came into the world before they were supposed to according to the calendar. They were six weeks early. But they were both home from the hospital within eight days of birth which, I am told, is pretty good for "preemies." That term will always be a part of them; they will always be premature babies.

But, my, how they've grown. They have gone from these tiny creatures with little skinny legs to the point where there actually seems to be a marked improvement of muscle tone in their legs to the effect of a measure of firmness. What have my son and daughter-in-law been doing to spure this remarkable growth and improvement in strength? Just feeding them and loving them.

Amazing isn't it? No special regimen of care or special protein drinks or dietary supplements. Just the right food at the right time from two people who love them with all their hearts. The church could learn something from this. Church growth is very much the same as child growth. Feed a church the right food at the right time and love it patiently and it will grow.

"Speaking the truth in love, (that we) may grow up in all things into Him who is the head, Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love." Ephesians 4:15, 16 The right food and love. Growth. Pretty simple.