Church growth is all the rage. For pastors, the focus is on leadership. For laymen, on “reaching people.” In the church world, church-growth is the standard of success. If a church “reaches people,” and the pastor is a “visionary leader,” then the church will be considered a success. If a church makes it into somebody’s bogus “Fastest Growing Church” list, then the growth frenzy continues with the sheep flocking to check out what innovation has been initiated to reach the masses for Christ.
Personally, I think the Emperor has no clothes.
For at least four reasons, I reject the church-growth and church-health principles taught at almost every pastor’s conference, and expressed in almost every church. Our church will be different, because I reject these principles. Although different will likely mean odd, behind-the-times, and shrinking in size, I go there anyway.
1. I refuse to believe that a “Christian community” will save anyone.
2. I reject all manipulation and aim toward persuasion.
3. I refuse to let my congregation be deceived by good feelings.
4. I reject the church as a program organization over which I am the CEO.
by Ronnie Rogers, pastor
Trinity Baptist Church
Ed.’s note: Pastor Rogers is on sermon research/study sabbatical and will not be responding to comments on this blog post.
“And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age”’ (Matthew 28:18-20). (underline and embolden added)
Most often, this passage is referenced in order to emphasize missions and evangelism, and those are indeed vital components; however, the teaching task is often, albeit unwittingly, reduced to a secondary or tertiary status. Additionally, the essentialness of the breadth and depth of the teaching component is often obscured by our words and practice.
by Jim Davis, pastor
Grace Bible Church (SBC)
My name is Jim Davis. I am a Southern Baptist pastor, and I am reformed.
by Walker Moore, founder/president
As I write this article, I’m in Mexico with a group of students doing mission work. Forty-nine of us are jammed together in a church, living and eating, and serving God together.
The difference between my age and the students’ is getting increasingly wide. One of them asked me how old I was, and I told her “62.”
“Wow! You’re older than my grandparents!” she said, then caught herself and added, “Oh! But you look and act younger than they do.”
by Walker Moore
During the past few weeks, I’ve been trying to think of some of New Year’s resolutions. As hard as I’ve tried, I couldn’t think of anything I wanted to change. I like my life the way it is. My wife could probably give me a hundred ideas, but I haven’t finished the last list she gave me.