Okay, some of you that know me well may get mad, confused, or you may just "Amen" as I write about this interesting subject of church growth. There is so much pressure on the pastor today to grow the church. As a matter of fact, most search committees want to know how a pastor plans to grow the church. There are tons of books written by pastors who have been successful in growing the mega church. Unfortunately we see pastors who use churches as stepping stones to reach the next "better and bigger" church where he will make more money and end up retiring in a mega church at a ripe old age. That is success!! (I hope you know I am being sarcastic in that last line) In this grand land where we live, we are measured by success and why shouldnt it be the same in the church.
Church Growth now means physical growth. We are very unconcerned with the spiritual growth of churches. I mentioned Sunday in my sermon on Romans 1:16-17 that someone sent me a forwarded email about how wonderful Paul Harvey and how he was standing up for Christianity against the tolerance of all things in our nation. Do you know how many Christians were listed on that forwarded message? They don't have time to stand up, they just have time to forward. We have forgotten what it is like to live out our faith..........that is success in God's eyes....that the RIGHTEOUS would live by FAITH. We are saved by grace through FAITH. How strong is our faith...really?
I still believe that spiritual growth is the key to success as a pastor and church. We should ask ourselves each year: In what ways are we helping people to grow spiritually? I never want to worry about physical growth or gauge myself by it with success. A church member said last week that "Since Bro. Brian has been here our church has grown" meaning our attendance has increased. I would much rather be encouraged about the spiritual growth in Sunday School, sermons preached, worship, Bible study, personal quiet time, or any way someone has grown because of their faith in Christ Jesus.
Church growth has become such a passion of the church, the church has lost its impact in the community and in believers lives. Churches are dying today due to the lack of spiritual growth. We are all about show and being sensitive to everyone's feelings instead of delivering God's truth about how to be a true servant of God. I hope and pray that my focus will remain the same and my passion to teach and preach God's Word will never dim. I counted 4 times a week that I have the honor to teach or preach the Bible. Boy, am I blessed!!! Where do you stand on the matter of church growth?