I’ve wanted to talk about numbers and church growth for a long time, and this month we finally dove into it with this series. I said at the beginning that I don’t know everything, and I stand by that claim. I’m learning as I go, so it’s great to get feedback and responses. I also initially said that this was a touchy issue. And it is. But as we dialogue about it I hope we’re learning something. I know I am.
Several people have said that I’m making strawman arguments, debating against something that isn’t the real issue. And I probably have over-simplified things and missed some of the issues, especially in the beginning. That’s the point of dialogue, so together we can get it right.
But I’ve noticed that when we (myself most definitely included) disagree we tend to assume the worst.
- If you’re for church growth you must be only in favor of large churches, you focus on numbers alone, you forget God and you’re a complete sell out.
- If you’re against church growth, you must want tiny churches, you don’t care about evangelism and you’re petty and jealous.
Wrong on both counts, I hope. Sometimes we may not actually think this, but we give the impression with our words (I’ve certainly done this). And it definitely goes both ways.
I hope through this dialogue we’ve come to understand both sides a little better. I don’t expect to ever give a definitive statement on this issue and have it be concluded, but if we can come away with a broader understanding and respect for the issues, I’ll take that.
Here’s the complete series in case you missed it: