Thursday, December 30, 2010

Day 197: Forced Growth

I have always been a big advocate of outreach and doing things for a community in order to accomplish two things:

1. 1. Get the name of the church out there and that God loves them.

2. 2. Show people random acts of kindness that it might be contagious causing them to be interested genuine Christianity.

If you will notice I never say anything about “winning lost souls” or “getting our church to grow”. I have always been intentional about this and thought I would finally share my thoughts on this matter. Did you know to "go out soul winning" isn't even scriptural? That's for another time.

I always have viewed big productions, evangelism projects, etc. as “forced growth” programs. What I mean by this is that many times a church will do something with one thing in mind even though they do not promote it that way and it is “grow OUR church”. Many churches become very disappointed and will even discontinue a yearly event that might be well attended because they don’t see the numbers in their church go up.

What I have come to discover is when we do events only to grow OUR church, we are basically forcing growth to happen rather than letting the church body grow in a more organic kind of way. What I mean is people finding out who you are by discovering who you are. When people come to Radiant Fellowship they will love it, tolerate it, not like it or try and rebuke it. This is not a bad thing however because the growth we have happening at our church is somewhat slow but very solid.

What can happen with crazy rapid growth because of some rally you did, etc. is many people come into the church and immediately people want the services catered to their likings. They want ministries they can run and on and on what seemed to be great growth is now a nightmare.

I know of a Lutheran church that has seen magnificent growth over the past few years. The only problem now is that they are feeling the repercussions of it because people from many different denominations are insisting on what they want in a church when in fact this church is Lutheran. There is nothing wrong with Lutherans but when you draw all types in, you can expect this kind of thing to happen.

Am I saying never to do outreaches again? ABSOLUTELY NOT! What I am saying is don’t expect a whole lot of church growth to happen from the outreaches that you do. I would say expect more of a kingdom growth and pray that whoever comes to your event will find God and settle into a good bible believing church because of what your ministry did. A LOT of pressure is taken off of you when you go into it with that mindset.

Be true to the DNA of your church (even if that means some don’t like it and leave) and there will always be people attracted to that which will lead to a solid church growth.

2 comments:

  1. Great post Pastor... To many churches are only concerned with numbers. A church with only a few discipled and "sold out for Christ" Christians is going to do a lot more for the Kingdom than a church with thousands of members who just go through the motions.

    A church body that goes out into the community and serves others is what it's all about. By living out the gospel you will draw people to the ministry. Don't get me wrong, big churches do some wonderful things... but true soul winning and discipleship is a one on one process.

    My 3 cents worth... lol. Keep up the good fight. May God continue to bless you and the ministry He has given you. May the coming year be one a great joy and satisfaction for you an yours.

    In His Love,
    Tim

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  2. The only One who can 'win souls' is Christ.. from Proverbs "HE who wins souls is wise"... 'wise unto death'. Now He gets to love others through us. He did the winning, we get to love.

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