“Resolution One: I will live for God. Resolution Two: If no one else does, I still will.” - Jonathan Edwards -

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Church Growth

So, I come to the question of "How do you stay true to Biblical truths when the church down the street grew from 5 - 5000 in the same timeframe by giving away a car and flat-screen TVs?"

Well, it is fairly straight forward -- recognize a couple of things:

1. - Churches have traditionally not been 5000, 6000 and up. There were a few but overall, churches tend towards 150 - 200. This is a size in which the pastor can come to know all the members. It is also a size in which people have an opportunity to be involved in ministry as opposed to being spectators at their own church.

2. - Staying true to Biblical truths has nothing to do with how big your church is. This myth has been propagated and circulated by those within the CGM leadership. It is in their best interest to lead everyone to believe that a healthy church is one that doubles their congregation regularly. This sells conferences, and books on CGM. A healthy church can be very modest in their growth, yet be true to Biblical truths. They can also be modest in their growth (numerically) as they grow spiritually.

When we compare our church to others they will inevitably look either much better or much worse than they truly are. In some small churches, every other church is 'missing it', and 'only we' have it figured out. Bad idea! In other small churches, they believe that they are bound for failure because all the churches around them are growing at a much larger rate. Another bad idea!

Truth be told -- most churches in our country are smaller, and most churches do some things well, and others poorly. Do not compare yourself to the most successful or the least successful church in town - compare yourself to the Biblical admonition that we have.

Remember, what you 'win' them with, you will have to 'keep' them with. If you bring people in by giving away a TV, then next week you will need to give away something better, and you will be stuck in a world of responding to the congregation rather than responding to the Holy Spirit's leading, and the clear direction given us in the Bible.

Stay the course!

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