Friday, November 04, 2011

The Gospel of Chuch Growth

I am more convinced than ever that most of us have been raised on the "gospel of church growth" so thoroughly that we can't bring ourselves to see the simplicity of what God really wanted the church to be. The church is a family not a corporation that judges itself by a growth chart and a data base. Many church families have many amazing people doing all kinds of amazing acts of service, sacrifice, and sharing. People who are quietly glorifying God and causing others to think positively about His church family. BUT, we still find ourselves moaning and groaning because our church family is not generating more visitors, baptizing more people, and causing an electrical stream of excitement to be shooting through every member. We still want something new, something innovative, or something magical that will cause our family membership to explode and do amazing things as we impress the religious world with our success!
I love excitement. I love new people, new things, and new ideas. BUT, we are in the "maturing in Christ" business not the worldly success business. God placed shepherds, evangelists, and teachers in his family to guide every single member of His body to a deeper relationship with Him! His plan, which is usually ignored and/or forgotten in the pursuit of church growth, is for each member to grow in Him and help each other grow in Him. When that happens, people WANT to serve others, they WANT to share His Good News, and they WANT to be involved in whatever they can to help others grow! When that happens - how can a church family not grow?!!!
There is no magic bullet, special program, or dynamic ministry that will make that happen. It can only happen when spiritual leaders learn the old old story from Jesus about the value of one wandering sheep. Most leaders would rather meet and have discussions about how to get the ninety and nine more involved. Spiritual formation in Christ is the only goal, and that is a one-on-one mentoring proposition.
You want to see some excitement in a church family? You want to see some spiritual electricity shoot through every member? Forget the program, the ministry, and the new idea. Follow Jesus' lead and personally guide the weak, the marginal, and the wandering back into His family and a closer walk with Him.


...Jim said...

I find your message "right on." Martin Luther posted his ninety-five theses because the Catholic church was getting away from that the Bible said. The restoration movement of the Christian Churches made an effort to return to the New Testament from the then current man-made additions to Scripture. A church has no other basic task than to "preach the word" and to "teach the word."

Anonymous said...

Great message, sweet boy!