A friend of mine brought up a very thought-provoking observation (thank you Mr. Schultz!):
Ask most people how they measure the success of their church and “growth” is almost always the first answer. We generally acknowledge that a church “bursting at the seams” is doing well, while a church whose members are dwindling is looked upon as a sad, unfortunate plight.
And while there is a whole different discussion about the inaccuracy of our measurement of Kingdom growth (Jesus’ entire earthly ministry solicited less than 100 followers) as it relates to numbers, I find it entirely ironic and downright ignorant on our part that church growth is celebrated while family growth (where Christians should assume that added members will be discipled and brought up in the faith) is frowned upon and even discouraged.
Do we not ever think about our logic? Why can’t we at least be consistent?
What would you say (would you be bold enough to say anything) if when you arrived at church Sunday with a visitor, standing at the door is your pastor.
“I’m so sorry, she can’t come in.”
“Excuse me?” You ask.
“We have too many members and quite frankly our budget won’t allow for another one. Not only that but we’re just too busy to tell another person about the gospel. What with all the new buildings and activities–we can barely keep up with the ones we have…are you crazy? Do you honestly think adding another member is a wise decision?”
Go ye therefore, and ponder.