Start talking about church growth and things can get ugly. Eyebrows raise. Tempers flare. Comments explode. Just ask any blogging pastor who has broached the subject. It’s as if growing your church is taking the on-ramp to the highway to hell.
This is the first in a multi-part series on the supposed evils of church growth.
Churches Should Grow
The bottomline is that churches are supposed to grow.
“I don’t think anyone who is intellectually honest can say that God isn’t into the church growing.” –Perry Noble, pastor of New Spring Church.
“Since the church is a living organism, it is natural for it to grow if it is healthy. … If a church is not growing, it is dying.” -Rick Warren in his book The Purpose-Driven Church (16).
The New Testament church grew daily (Acts 2:47). I think it’s hard to deny that the purpose of the church is to grow, to bring in new people and increase numbers.
And perhaps that’s the rub. Some people are concerned with motivation or focus, thinking numbers have suddenly become supreme. Others wonder if a successful church always has to be growing. Others ask if it’s ever healthy for a church to be declining. Some might just be jealous.
It’s a critical—and foundational—question as we talk about marketing strategies. If you think the church shouldn’t grow, or are more perplexed with how the church grows, marketing becomes futile.
So we’re going to spend some time looking at church growth and numbers. We don’t know everything and haven’t read every book on the subject, so please share your thoughts in the comments, or feel free to step up as a guest blogger and offer your perspective.
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