There's a pastor I know across town. His church is not growing, so he envies me. I know that because he told me.

I know this man well, and I'd say he's more godly than I am. He prays more, studies harder, and preaches more enthusiastically. He visits more, counsels more, and even makes evangelistic cold calls. Yet I make three times as much money, get invited to speak at other churches, and enjoy the highest ecclesiastical accolade of this age: "He pastors a growing church."

Please don't give me the managerial platitudes that say I must work smarter while he works harder. Honestly, in every way that counts before God, I believe he's a better man than I.

So I would like to propose a toast-er, a blessing: "God bless the pastor of the nongrowing church." He may be much more like the Lord Jesus than I am.

Some folks may not like that statement. They'll argue that it's God's will for each church to grow, and I agree. They'll argue that growth should be numerical, the fruit of evangelism, and I ...

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