November 6, 2009

Which Church Do You Want To Grow?

This thought came to me yesterday in the only room in my house where a person can really think: the bathroom. So many church leaders & church members talk about church growth, but I wonder which church they are really talking about. Are they talking about THE church (Big C, the Kingdom, etc.), or are they talking about their church (you know, Fill in the Blank Baptist Church, Methodist Church, or Community Church). Experience has shown me that most people are talking about #2. They want their church to grow. In fact I've watched people get mad when other churches are growing which leads them to criticize the other church saying that the church is shallow or only trying to entertain people. The problem is that I think we're all missing the boat if all we are talking about is our church growing & even if we're being very spiritual & talking about the Kingdom of God growing. I've decided I don't want the church (institutional or global) to grow. I want the church (remember? the people, the real church) to grow.

I know what you're saying, "Why can't we have both?" Yes, we can, but most of the time we as leaders plan & program to grow our church (institution) without really evaluating whether or not we're growing the church (people). If leaders focus on growing the real church (the people), then the institution will grow, & it will grow properly. It will grow because God's people are being transformed, & they are living that transformation out in front of a world that is searching for change. Jesus didn't die for an institution. He died for people. We must seek to redefine church growth as growing people. Out of that kind of church growth flows all of the other stuff that many of us have become preoccupied with.

What do you think? Which church have been trying to grow? Have you been guilty of putting the institution ahead of the people?

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