Church Growth
Why I’m Not Pushing For Church Growth Any More
For years I pushed for growth. And it nearly pushed me out of pastoral ministry.

Church growth is great.

But I’m done with pushing for it.

Done with making it the reason I wake up in the morning.

Done with obsessing over numerical increase or decrease.

Done with thinking that our church has to be bigger to be better.

Church Growth Is Not Enough

Years ago I pushed for growth. And it nearly killed the church I was trying to grow. Then it nearly took me out of pastoral ministry.

So I’m done with pushing for church growth. Not because church growth is bad. In fact, church growth is great!

But it’s not enough.

Church growth is great! But it’s not enough.

I want more than that. I need more than that. The church I serve deserves more than that.

And the mission demands more than that.

So what does the church deserve and the mission demand? Keep reading.

Pushing For Health

Today, I still want the church I serve to grow.

I keep learning about church growth. We all work really hard to make sure our church is prepared for growth. And we’re even experiencing some growth.

But preparing for it is not the same as pushing for it.

Instead, I’m pushing for health.

  • For renewal
  • For discipleship
  • For outreach
  • For worship

For all the characteristics that make for a strong, vital, God-honoring, community-changing, world-shaking church.

Not because those elements will lead to church growth, but because those elements are what matter. Full stop.

They’re not a means to an end.

They don’t lead to something that matters.

They are what matters.

That’s what every church deserves and what the mission demands.

Better, not just bigger.

Contributing To Christ’s Mission

It’s okay if all those healthy-church characteristics happen without adding a whole lot of butts in our seats.

Because a church that has

  • strong discipleship
  • deep relationships
  • passionate worship
  • and transformative outreach

is contributing to Christ and his mission on earth, whether or not it results in the numerical increase of our local congregation.

Celebrate Effective Ministry

I’ve learned to celebrate effective ministry even if it doesn’t result in obvious numerical increase.

To find my place in what Jesus is doing and participate in it with all the faithfulness and passion I have.

Not for numbers. Not for attendance. Not for church growth.

For Christ. For his mission.

And for God’s glory.

Support our work. Subscribe to CT and get one year free.

June 17, 2019 at 6:00 AM

Join in the conversation about this post on Facebook.

Recent Posts

Read More from Karl

Follow Christianity Today

Free Newsletters

More Newsletters ...