Yesterday I got frustrated while reading Tony Morgan’s latest blog post.
But it wasn’t Tony’s fault.
In the first sentence, he warned his readers that "several of you probably aren’t going to like this series of articles." Why? Because “the Unstuck Group wants to help churches get healthy and grow. The fact that I’m going to write about strategies to help grow your church, though, will certainly offend some people.”
As soon as I read that, I got mad. Not at Tony, but at a toxic environment that makes it necessary for him to spend most of this initial blog post preempting the opposition he will inevitably receive simply for writing about church growth.
As a supporter and encourager of healthy small churches, I wasn’t frustrated that Tony will be writing about church growth. I was frustrated that he felt the need to defend himself over it.
Let’s Hear from All Viewpoints
If you're a church growth proponent, you must be against small churches, right?
And if you love and support small churches, you must be against church growth, right?
But those opinions persist. Frustratingly so.
This is the reason I gave The Grasshopper Myth the subtitle Big Churches, Small Churches and the Small Thinking that Divides Us. Because this kind of small-minded thinking needs to stop.
Tony Morgan and I have different approaches to church health and growth. Tony focuses on helping stuck churches grow. I focus on helping small churches get healthy. We need both.
I don’t know Tony, and I haven’t read any of his upcoming blog posts yet, so I have no idea if I’ll agree with his advice, but that’s beside the point.
Even if I disagree with specific points, there’s no reason to get upset at him for writing about church growth.
Read What You Need
I don’t write about church growth. But it’s not because I’m against it. It’s because I’ve never been good at it.
Tony Morgan writes about church growth because he and the Unstuck Group are good at it.
Big or small. Healthy or unhealthy. We can all get stuck. As Tony wrote, “It’s possible to grow a church that’s not healthy. It’s also possible for healthy churches to get stuck.”