Churches today seem to “grow” in proportion to which church has the better programing, clearest messaging, or even sometimes the most edgy worship style.
What this growth often reflects, however, is Christians as sheep going from church to church. In other words, sharpen up your program and develop a good message series, and you may attract Christians from another church.
This is where the statement, “God isn’t as interested in the size of the church as He is the health of the church” is particularly applicable.
If “church growth” simply represents convincing already-saved people to come to our church, not only is that shallow growth (not to mention sometimes unethical growth), but it also has a tendency to blind a congregation to their deficiency in reaching the lost with the gospel.
The fact is, there are two kinds of growing churches—soulwinning and sheep stealing.There are two kinds of growing churches—soulwinning and sheep stealing. Click To Tweet
Healthy, New Testament church growth comes as a result of a church obeying the Great Commission of Christ.
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.—Matthew 28:19–20
Don’t get me wrong. God’s work does deserve excellence, and for His glory, we should give attention to our facilities, care about our program, and provide clarity in communication. So this isn’t to say that we there is honor in being a church nobody would want to attend. Also, there are indeed times when a person or family goes to a different church as a result of the Lord’s leading in their lives.
But the point remains that church growth that is inflated with sheep stealing or exchanging is shallow and unhealthy. And that real church growth comes as a result of leading the lost to Christ. This is the mission Christ gave His church!Real church growth comes as a result of leading the lost to Christ. This is the mission Christ gave His church! Click To Tweet