12 thoughts on “Mission: Metanoia – Church Growth [video]”

  1. I can’t help but think that this video is an example of what you are ranting against.

    You cover many topics, but none of them with much depth or backing. The style of the video may be appealing, but after watching it I’m not left with much other than “Big church bad! Wanting growth bad!”

    I have no problem with church growth being a goal alongside of other goals. I want my church to grow, and it is *one* of the goals for my church. Here is why: I believe everybody needs God in their life. I also believe that the church I serve has and can help people find God. Therefore I want my church to grow so that more people have an opportunity to find God.

    I would hope that every member and minister thought their church was valuable in helping them find and follow God. And I hope that they thought it was so valuable for being a disciple that they wanted as many people as possible to be a part of that church, so that more people could find and follow God.

    A different example, if I know a flood is coming to my town and I start a sandbagging team to help protect the local hospital. One of my goals is going to be growing that team as big as possible so that more work can be done. It’s not growth for growth’s sake, but it is still growth as a goal, a very good goal in my opinion.

    You may be suspicious of big churches, but I am suspicious of churches who say that growth isn’t one of their goals. I think they are either deceiving themselves or they don’t think their church has much to offer to people or the world.

    The goal isn’t growth for growth’s sake but growth is definitely a goal. I’d say Jesus had growth as a goal as well, sure sounds like it when he sends the disciples out several different times to teach and preach.

    We are also considering whether or not to hire a consultant, but not to learn how to get more money and more people. We need some expert advice on how our facilities can best accommodate our current ministries and ministries we plan in the near future. We want someone with experience in a number of different churches to help us figure out if our current staffing model can be improved.

    Your sweeping generalizations

  2. Never afraid of the fray, eh, Shawn?

    I’m not sure that you and I would disagree about much of what you’ve written in response to the video. As I said briefly in the vid, if we’re doing what God has called us to do, then some measure of growth can and should be expected. And I think we can expect it for exactly the reasons you state: if this thing is good, then we will share it with others.

    But that only goes so far til and can’t be sustained forever. We start worrying about cash and budgets and our message is watered down to the point of preaching a be nice and be happy message. I’m not saying there aren’t exceptions (I acknowledge those and know a few of them), but those exceptions prove the rule, I think.

    But I would push back on you about your open statement, that the video is an example of the content of my rant. I spoke with brevity because I wanted it to be accessible. That, in my opinion, in a far cry from watering down the Gospel and purpose of the Church to “be nice and be happy.”

  3. I confess to being suspicious of big churches, but I confess that it is tainted with more than a little envy. I’d love to be on a multi-staff church where I could collaborate with other professionals in ministry.

    The way would phrase what I believe you are getting at is that growth in discipleship ought to take precedence over numerical growth. If, as a congregation, and as individuals we are maturing spiritually, then whether we are growing numerically or not is of secondary concern. If we are not growing spiritually than numerical growth is no concern at all and perhaps even a distraction.

    1. @Aric – I, too, confess a desire to be a part of a multi-staff congregation. I once applied for a position where all I would have done was preach. Sounds like heaven….

      I like your rephrasing. Thanks for that.

  4. Landon, I have no doubt that you and I have much we agree on.

    I agree with you %100 that it is Wrong to change the content of what a church teaches or preaches simply to get more nickels and noses. Our message should only be determined by what God calls us to do and be.

    But I think it is silly not to aim for, work towards and plan on church growth by devoting resources to the physical, staffing, and financial components that help or hinder adding people to your church.

    Churches can often benefit by finding the right consultant who has more knowledge and expertise in these areas. For example, space at my church is tight. Our sanctuary is at capacity when snowbirds are here, we have no more classroom space for kids or adults on Sunday morning, the layout of our church is not conducive to being as welcoming to visitors as we would like.

    We have many option before us: do nothing, rearrange space, remodel, build any number of new facilities. But we don’t have the expertise to really evaluate the cost/benefit of all these options. This is why I want to hire a church consultant. Not too tell me what to teach and preach but to look at our current numbers and use, and give their advice based on training, knowledge and experience about what options we have available to us.

    And what I meant in my initial statement about your video was that you cover multiple topics very quickly, too quickly, IMO. Consequently, you don’t make a solid argument for your positions on any of them. Span vs. depth, if you will.

  5. Don’t forget denominationalism vs big church in the community. Where I am, if you took all of our singular churches of the same denomination, we would far outnumber the big, shopping mall church. They don’t mention that though when they say (with regularity as I hear it) that our churches are dying while they are growing. The problem is that the big church up the road from me that I drive past is a “personality” driven church and when their current pastor of 1100 years retires (which he says he has no intention of doing) there will be a leadershiop vacuum and “founder’s syndrome” all the while our churches are used to, and expect, that ministers will move on.

    The fact that we should be making better Christians instead of more Christians (all the while our goal of bringing people into community is in place) resounds strongly with me at this phase of my ministry.

    1. I think he’s on to something here. I am sad to report that all of the churches that i have visited that have their parking lots full to capacity, would rather bring someone to church with them and let the pastor share JESUS with them, because they can’t. Churches reek of similac walking in the door, because of the seeker sensitive marketing scheem, therefor it stays that way, and holds the pastor captive in his mind, that because if he preaches the wrong message the people will leave. Doesn’t anyone see this. There is no meat being feed that will develop mature christians because thats how satan can hold people captive aswell,and as far as a consultant…… Brother why would a pastor want an earthly consultant when he is supposed to be hearing from GOD? Didn’t GOD tell us if we lack wisdom to pray for it, and he would lead us in all things? I’ve been guilty of doing things in what i thought was right in my eyes, and GOD quickly showed me, mans ways are not HIS……. Now lets look at all of this and ask ourselves. What is the end result?…… The church has has plenty of income, but lacking of spiritual maturity.. that sound like the church of the last days to me according to revelations…lack of nothing and increased with goods? The scripture says examine yourselves to see if we are in the faith? What faith? The faith of the SON of GOD who loved me and gave HIMSELF for me. If I asked you what is your churches focus, what is the object of their faith, what is their power source,and what you think the results to that are? I love it when we can discuss things in the same spirit and never in the flesh, it always edifies and never destroys. I love you all!!!

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