Brian Orme writes about some ‘old wives tales’ about church growth. The first one he hits strikes a little nerve with me. :)
Read this and tell me what you think. Do you agree with Brian?
If growth and a bigger crowd is “always” the result of obedience then some of the OT prophets will have some serious explaining to do.
Of course, if you’re not growing—or you’re declining—I think it is cause to evaluate what you’re doing, but it’s not a given that something is always “wrong.”
God could be doing something different—more Jeremiah and less Peter.
Also, while we’re at it, let’s stop using the Acts 2 passage as a normative prescription for every church today. It’s an amazing description of something special God was doing in history to launch his church, but it’s not a church growth manual. A casual reading of the NT will show churches of all different shapes and sizes, and never once is there a declarative statement that the church should be growing faster than it was—more obedience, yes; helping the poor, yes; staying true to the Gospel, yes; practicing the Lord’s Supper and baptism, yes.
I guess the bottom line question here is: Shouldn’t ALL healthy churches be growing (not just in discipleship, but also through new converts)?
To be honest… there’s a huge part of me that says… if your church is not growing… something IS wrong. It could be a ton of different things.
(And please don’t bash me… I think there are a good number of GROWING churches that aren’t healthy; and growth should not, by any means, be the ‘be all end all’ criteria for determining health.)
But… really… shouldn’t your church be growing?
What do YOU think?
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