Sunday, 13 January 2013

Why You Should (Definitely) Want Your Church to Grow

Why You Should (Definitely) Want Your Church to Grow

The title of this post alone will be sufficient to send some into a fit.
Why don't I up the ante and say I want to see our church outgrow our current location again, launch new church plants, and start new campuses.
Uh-oh, I just sent somebody into overload.
“C’mon church growth isn’t important…you shouldn’t be all about the numbers!” Wrong.
Numbers represent people, and people are the reason God sent Jesus on His redemptive mission to our planet!

Why do I want to see our church grow?

Because it means that:
More people will turn their lives over to Jesus (as long as we’re not just stealing sheep from other churches, which I’m really not interested in). Depopulating Hell gets me excited! Not to mention giving people the hope, healing, meaning, and purpose found in Jesus!!
More people will grow in their faith (you cannot grow spiritually mature apart from a local body of believers).
More people will get on mission to make a dent in serving and reaching out to the people in our community with tangible expressions of the love of Christ.
More people means more opportunities for current church members to serve and step into expanded roles of leadership (thus continuing their discipleship).

You see, I just have these crazy beliefs…

I believe to my core that the entire world needs Jesus desperately.
I believe that our church is a good place for people to experience God because Jesus is magnified, the Bible is taught, and God is honored.
I believe that God has assembled an amazing group of people: our staff, our volunteers; everyone! So I know that a new Christian comes into a loving, supportive environment.
I believe that church growth honors God (the Bible teaches we are to be faithful AND fruitful).
Because of my beliefs, I let go of my career path over a decade ago and committed to serving God fulltime. Therefore, I pour my all into what I do every single week. So OF COURSE, I want to see that my family and my church family are all making a difference with what we’ve committed our lives to!

My Motives?

Some will question the motive of me or others who also want their churches to grow. “You just want bragging rights…”
God knows my heart, so I won’t bother defending that. But can’t we learn a lesson from Paul and rejoice wherever Christ is made known instead of being caught up in someone’s motive?
“It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. But what does it matter?…The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this, I rejoice. Yes, and I will continue to rejoice.” (Philippians 1:15, 18 NIV)
Lest I be too misunderstood, church growth has never been the measure of our success.
We look to “changed lives” as the metric for whether or not we are succeeding at our mission. This places us in dependence upon God’s Spirit because we’re not capable of changing anyone’s life.
However, the greater the number of people in your church, the greater opportunity there is for changed lives. So while church growth isn’t the measure of our success, it is a goal and something we desire and plan for without apology.

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