Mar 2, 2012

So, What's Keeping You?

I find it interesting and sad that in church circles we seem to treat church growth as an exception to the rule rather than the norm.

When we hear of some church growing we want to know what they did and how they did what they did to get the church growing.

It seems to me, as I read the New Testament, that church growth is assumed...that churches and Christians would be about the ministry and the mission of Jesus Christ, and through sharing the gospel new people would come to the faith and grow to be disciples who share the faith with others.

Am I getting that wrong?

Living things are, by nature, things that are growing and maturing. That's normal.

Not growing is abnormal.

When there's no growth, something is wrong. 

When it comes to the church we're asking the wrong question if we're asking, "What will help my church to grow?"

The question we should all be asking is "What is currently keeping my church from growing to its full potential?" and then be about the business of getting rid of all the hindrances to what a healthy church should normally be doing...GROW.

It's the same with our spiritual maturity. We ought never stop growing. Spiritual maturity should always be happening.

When we stop growing, something is not right.

The question we ought always to ask is, "What is keeping me and my church from growing to our full potential?"

So what's keeping you?


Beloved Spear said...

If a church is not growing numerically, but is holding ground...and is constantly growing and learning spiritually...does that count? I can say, for instance, that my little church building might be a cap on congregational size. But is that the growth we're asked to engage in?

Interesting thoughts.

James Kim said...

Beloved Spear,

I think there are contexts for which numerical growth is not possible. When a church finds itself in a small community that is declining in population numerical growth may not be possible. I've met some a pastor who was ministering at a church of 12 people in an isolated fishing village in Alaska with less than 150 people. That church is not likely to grow numerically.

Having said that, if we find ourselves in a community where there are many who are unbelievers and our church is not growing numerically, then I think we would have to spend some time with God to see if we're doing all that God's calling the church to be.

I'm a simple guy. I think if a church is sharing their faith, and disciples are growing in their discipleship, such discipleship includes evangelism - being about the ministry and the mission of Jesus Christ - in word and deed.

And when such ministry is being done, I think numerical growth is the natural by-product.

Thanks for reading and leaving a comment.

I am by no means an expert. Just a fellow journeyer doing my best to serve Christ's church.


James <><