10 OLD WIVES’ TALE ABOUT CHURCH GROWTH

14 05 2013

From Outreach Magazine ….

BY BRIAN ORME

There’s a lot of discussion that goes on about church growth: what causes it; how to generate it; prepare for it; launch it; build it; cultivate it and even, to some degree, manufacture it. Many of the discussions are helpful, but there are a number of subtle beliefs that still creep up that aren’t healthy. In fact, they’re downright superstitious and, at times, dangerous to the church.

I’ve collected these myths over many conversations, coffees and lunches with church leaders and I’d like to share them with you.

 

10 Old Wives’ Tales About Church Growth

 

1. If You’re Not Growing, Something’s Wrong

 

If growth and a bigger crowd is “always” the result of obedience then some of the OT prophets will have some serious explaining to do.

 

Of course, if you’re not growing—or you’re declining—I think it is cause to evaluate what you’re doing, but it’s not a given that something is always “wrong.”

 

God could be doing something different—more Jeremiah and less Peter.

 

Also, while we’re at it, let’s stop using the Acts 2 passage as a normative prescription for every church today. It’s an amazing description of something special God was doing in history to launch his church, but it’s not a church growth manual. A casual reading of the NT will show churches of all different shapes and sizes, and never once is there a declarative statement that the church should be growing faster than it was—more obedience, yes; helping the poor, yes; staying true to the Gospel, yes; practicing the Lord’s Supper and baptism, yes.

 

2. The More You Grow, the Healthier You Are

 

We would love to believe this one. It certainly feels good to have a bigger crowd. There’s a built-in justification for ministry leaders when more people show up, I know. However, just because your church has more people attending doesn’t mean your church is completely healthy. In fact, it might be cause to closely evaluate the message the crowd is hearing.

 

Growth can be healthy, and it can be a very good thing—it’s just not an automatic four-stars for healthy spirituality. Large numbers are no more an indicator of health than great wealth is an automatic indicator of wisdom. You can be wealthy or impoverished and still be wise or a fool. The same goes for church growth. You can have a lot of people or a little and still be healthy/unhealthy. Health deals more with what’s going on below the surface. Growth tells us something’s going on, but whether it’s good or bad, that’s another issue.    READ MORE …

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UPDATE ON BRIDGEBUILDERS – PART 1

4 05 2013
BRIDGEBUILDERS - Building bridges to the Bridge

BRIDGEBUILDERS – Building bridges to the Bridge

God has been busy growing Bridgebuilders as a ministry to help churches reach their unchurched neighbors.  Here are some highlights.

Bridgebuilders has recently changed its workshop tag line.
Because our ministry philosophy and tools are not just for traditional churches, we have dropped that work from the title.  It is now called Bridgebuilders Seminars-Helping Churches Reach Their Unchurched Neighbors. 

We now partner with the Commission on Evangelism of the Eastern Regional Conference as the foundational element of their mission to equip local churches to make disciples in their local context. As the ERC uses Bridgebuilders, they use the tag line Building bridges to the Bridge.  The lower case bridgebuilders refers to people and churches. The upper case Bridgebuilder is , of course, Jesus Christ.  They also now use an email address tied to the conference web site for all Bridgebuilders and School of Evangelism ministries.  It is ercbridgebuilders@erccog.org.

Bridgebuilders is now providing two biweekly on-line publicationsFanning Into Flame is the tool for the Allegheny Regional Conference of the Churches of God to assist them in their vision for being “the best churches for the community” and to make new disciples of new generations.  Following the theme noted above for the ERC, their publication is called bridges to the Bridge.OHC-2.0_NEIGHBORHOOD-STATIC-04 Bridgebuilders is committed to resourcing other conferences and denominations along these lines.  If you are interested in a publication like this, including your local church contact:

Bridgebuilders Ministries

225 Lurgan Avenue

Shippensburg PA 17257

717-471-3018