Church Growth

28 Dec

Most pastors want their churches to grow. That’s a good thing. In Ephesians 4, Paul says straight up, “We are to grow…”

I wonder however if we are always as concerned about the kind of growth that Paul was concerned about.

I recently read an invitation to a pastor’s conference where they described each speaker by how many people were coming to his church, success and being worth listening to in other words, equals having a tremendous growth in numbers.

While it can be a tremendous thing to see growth in numbers, there are other kinds of growth that should be of even greater concern to us as members of Christ’s church. Here are several questions we are asking at our church to determine whether we really are becoming the kind of local church God wants us to be:

1. Are we growing more and more united in the faith?

Are we increasing in our concern for one another?
Is there less gossip here than there was at the beginning?
Are we dealing with problems that come up between us in a more and more loving and gracious way?
Are we becoming more and more passionate about the truths that matter to God and less and less concerned about preferences and opinions that matter to us?
Are we growing closer?

2. Are we growing in our knowledge of and love for the person and work of Jesus Christ?

Is the Jesus we talk about and worship the Jesus of the Bible?
Are we coming to a better understanding of exactly who this Jesus was and is?
Is Jesus getting bigger and more important to us?
Are we as a church more excited about Jesus than we were at the beginning?
Is it evident to all who is the most important person in this church?

3. Are we growing more and more holy in our behavior? More and more mature?

Are we changing?
Are we putting off sinful habits?
Are we becoming less and less childish in our ways?
Are we dying to self?
Are we putting on the kinds of characteristics that were true of Jesus’ life like patience, compassion, love, and gentleness?
Are Jesus’ priorities for life and ministry our priorities for life and ministry?

4. Are we growing in our ability to discern the difference between truth and error?

Do we know and understand the most basic truths of the faith well enough to explain them and defend them?
Can we say what we believe and why we believe it?
Are we able to tell when someone is using the Bible and religious language and something is not right and then go back to the Scripture and explain what is not right about what they are saying and why?
Are we becoming more and more confident and certain of biblical truths?
Are we able to tell the difference between good teachers and bad ones?

5. Are we growing in our desire to make Christ look great?

Are we wanting more and more to tell others about Christ?
Are we caring less about what people think of us and more about what they think of Christ?
Are we spending less time on self-promotion and more time on Christ promotion?
Are we willing to make more and more sacrifices so that others can come to know and enjoy Christ?

6. Are we growing more and more characterized by radical and sacrificial love?

Are we feeling more and more tender and positive feelings of affection for one another?
Are we more and more willing to do hard things for the good of the others in our church?
Are we more and more willing to disadvantage ourselves that others might experience advantage?
Are we moving past loving with words only to really loving others with words and actions?

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One Response to “Church Growth”

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  1. Church Growth « Faithful Discipleship - December 28, 2011

    […] of conversation the focus is often on growing in numbers – becoming a bigger church. In this blog post, Josh Mack points out a few areas Scripture says churches should grow. Good things to […]

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