Church (or organizational) Growth

According to the evidence at our disposal, the expansion of the churches was not organized, the product of a mission program; it simply happened. Further, the growth was not carefully thought through. Early Christian leaders did not engage in debates between rival “mission strategies.”

Alan Kreider

As one grows older and stays observant, recurring patterns of behavior occur. I took a “church growth” class in the late ’70s. I later knew several pastors with advanced degrees with that speciality. Same basic knowledge.

What I learned—it’s all about leadership, not so much knowledge.

Many businesses and churches have vision statements and mission statements. (Side note: I wonder why have both. Seems both redundant and confusing. Which are the people to follow?)

My studies over many years agree with Kreider’s. Many people joined the new first century movement because of the types of lives they saw among the believers. I’ve read histories of the plagues in Rome under emperors such as Marcus Aurelius where Christians came out of hiding (a dangerous thing) to serve the sick and dying in whatever way they could. These acts of selfless love also spurred tremendous growth of the movement.

I don’t think Jesus was confusing. Matthew says that just before he ascended, Jesus just left one mission statement—

GO into the entire world,

TEACH what he taught,

MAKE disciples (that is, followers who would presumably do this same thing),

LIVE knowing Jesus is still with them (us) guiding the way.

The question to us—are we content to sit in our little circle of friends or are we living an inviting life of service and joy?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: