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.