Jesus said, “I will build My church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it!” But because we live in a global business age of organisation, efficiency and profit, there are thousands of books on growth. If you are more organised, more efficient and more profitable, you will grow….if you stick to our new-fangled formula!
The Western church has been swallowing this bitter pill for decades. We’ve put down our Bibles, and picked up secular ideas and initiatives – why? church numbers are declining, people are leaving the church, pews and seats are becoming empty, coffers are down, bills are up, and then someone said, “Hang on a minute, if we just branded ourselves like Nike, or glamorised ourselves like L’Oreal, or popularised ourselves like celebrities, we too can achieve what they achieve! And should the gates of hell get too close, we’ll just sloganeer them out of town with a TV ad campaign!
What does it mean to be a growing church in this context? In fact, what does it mean to be a growing church and be faithful? Can the Church ever be faithful and successful? Can we do sexy marketing, or shall we just stick with cheesy slogans to do with baby’s and mangers, bunnies and daffodils? How can we claim to proclaim something better, something the world needs, something unknown and un-buyable? Can the church compete with a world that clamours for everything but Christ and him crucified?
Can we ever be faithful and successful? What does it mean to be a Growing Church?