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Thursday, September 15, 2016

Maybe Church Growth Isn’t the Point


Those of us involved in church leadership, ministry, and interested in church grown often talk about how to make it easy for those who are not yet a part of a church family. We plan events and services and outreach programs designed to ease new folks into our communities. We do all that we can to eliminate obstacles and barriers.

But

In Luke 14: 25 – 33 Jesus seems to be taking the opposite approach. Instead of trying to make it easier for people to join his group, he is making it harder. “Great crowds” were already following him at that point and, in what seems a deliberate attempt to drive them away, Jesus gives the following directions:

“Anyone who comes to me without hating father, mother, children, brothers, sisters, yes, and his own life too, cannot be my disciple. No one who does not carry his cross and come after me can be my disciple…None of you can be my disciple without giving up all that he owns.”

This is not easy church growth. This is not removing barriers. This is a program designed for church decline; this is putting up barriers. This is driving people away.


Maybe church growth and numerical attendance statistics isn’t the point.

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