In this post on church growth, I am not addressing church growth necessarily from the numbers standpoint. I want to approach it from the aspects of people within that body of believers growing spiritually, active in serving, etc. Some of these facts will be what I observed personally within my own ministry contexts.
- Churches do not grow when power struggles exist. I have seen and experienced times when an individual or group of individuals wanted my position and thought they could do a better job. Groups hold secret meetings about the pastor without the pastor because they are “concerned” (obviously not about the pastor or his family). People love power. This is nothing new. The devil is who he is today because he thought he could be better than God. The apostles had those in the early church who wanted to be top dog. Pride does go before a fall, and God will not bless a body of believers who exalt Jesus with their lips while their lives contradict it.
- Churches do not grow when sin is tolerated. Read Joshua 7. The Israelites thought they had the battle in the bag but lost because there was “sin in the camp”. When sin is dominant, especially among leadership, God will not put His stamp of approval on a church that parades people on stage who sin and don’t care. Holiness should not be compromised in order to bring in people.
- Churches do not grow when programs take precedence over the Lord Jesus Christ. I know many who have “churchianity”. They are not passionate about worship, Scripture, prayer, or anything of substance. I will never understand someone who says he or she is “saved” and never talk about how good the Lord is.
What have you seen in your experience? I would love to hear what you would add to the list.