I recently wrote a post about church growth and received some good feedback from many. I promised I would continue some thoughts on this subject, so I will follow through with my promise. God, however, enlightened me with something other than what I originally planned to write.
Someone has recently shared with me about a personal growth process. This growth process has involved the removal of some friends she thought were great, but she has discovered they were toxic. This removal was necessary for growth.
Let me illustrate this on a church level. Several years ago, a year had an issue with a secretary. This secretary had been in this role for a long time, had several family members in the church, and was married to a staff member. The “board” was afraid to address the issue. After several months, the pastor moved forward to remove this secretary, knowing that her spouse would also leave. Nearly 15 percent of the church left. The result was like any surgery. You grow through a healing process from the removal of the diseased organ, but health is restored in a better way than before.
You might ask what the biblical principle behind this might be. Galatians 5:9 says that a little leaven leavens the whole lump. In the context of Galatians, Paul was addressing a group of people who were attempting to make certain works necessary for salvation. When we tolerate a little false doctrine or a little immorality, it affects the whole body like a small area infected by staph infection affects a person’s whole body.
The biggest hindrance to your church growth or personal growth may be something that needs to be removed. You will feel the effects of the removal for a season, but the long-term results are what you must keep in mind.