Question(s): Feedback Required

Written by Mark Van Steenwyk : July 26, 2006

I hope some of my lurkers come out of the shadows and weigh in:

Is church growth a justifiable goal? When is it a worthy goal? When is it not?


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6 Responses to “Question(s): Feedback Required”

  1. Justin on July 26th, 2006 12:04 pm

    Maybe I am too idealistic but:

    I don’t think church growth is ever a justifiable goal. Our one and only goal should be to love God with all that we are and to love our neighbors/enemies as ourselves.

    If this brings growth (as it did in Acts) then embrace the new people into your community.

    If there is no growth, then keep following Jesus. Don’t sell out your faith for a full church.

    It is something that we strive for because (to quote a recent article in Christianity Today) “we too easily imagine that growing numbers are an infallible sign of faithfulness. we confuse righteousness with arithmetic.”

    Now it’s time to return to the shadows and lurk!

  2. Laura on July 26th, 2006 4:30 pm

    Church growth is a justifiable goal if what we mean by this is making more disciples (and indeed, making better disciples–an important part of church growth). In fact, if these two are not together–growing larger and growing deeper–then church growth is merely a numbers game.

  3. JVD on July 26th, 2006 6:56 pm

    An engaged church is a goal - a result of an engaged church will be growth. An engaged church has people volunteering, inviting their friends, giving to the church - find those results and you will see growth.

    But, it is the ethos of the church that produces those things - you can’t start backwards saying growth is your goal. JVD

  4. Nathan on July 26th, 2006 6:57 pm

    Church growth is justifiable if we mean making disciples of all nation, making true worshipers of Jesus, and not if we simply mean filling seats in a building.

  5. Van S on July 26th, 2006 7:04 pm

    Nathan…I followed your link and read about your U of M 24/7 prayer room. I’d love to hear more about that. I’m planting an InterVarsity Chapter (a joint venture with my faith community, Missio Dei) and would eventually like something like that on the West Bank too.

  6. Nathan on July 26th, 2006 7:15 pm

    Van S

    I’m planning on visiting your Sunday night gathering this Sunday. We can talk a little there.

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