So the churches were strengthened in the faith, and they increased in numbers daily.
Strong churches... healthy churches... grow. They are strong with the gospel and preach it, proclaim it, and live it in such a way that outsiders hear the gospel, believe it, are converted, and are added to the church. As Paul began his second missionary journey in Derba and Lystra, he delivered the apostles' decision from Jerusalem to these gentile churches. The result of good doctrine was that they were strengthened. And the good response to sound doctrine was gospel growth. That's the way it should be.
I need no "church growth" strategy from the latest mega-church rockstar pastor. I always want to lead the church with sound doctrine just like this passage shows! Without that, we have nothing strong. But doctrine never pulls us from the glory of the gospel. It builds us up to boldly proclaim the death and resurrection of our Savior and His atoning sacrifice. Doctrine all points to Jesus and our salvation. That should make us gospel preachers while we are simultaneously doctrine teachers!
May this pattern of sound doctrine strengthening the gospel proclaiming church always mark my pastoral ministry until the day You are done with me!