A question about church growth
How do we measure discipleship? We can measure attendance and dollars and therefore they become the driving force behind our decisions in the church, just like in the business world if we are not careful. While exercising in the gym the other day, I read an advertisement for measuring body fat, saying what you measure you can change. This is very pragmatic and modern. But how do we measure spiritual growth and maturity? How do we really measure whether our congregations are being successful?
“It is one of the remarkable features of contemporary church life that so many are attempting to heal the church by tinkering with its structures, its services, and its public face. This is clear evidence that modernity has successfully palmed of one of its great deceits on us, convincing us that God himself is secondary to organization and image, that the church’s health lies in its flow charts, its convenience, and its offerings rather than in its inner life, its spiritual authenticity, the toughness of its moral intentions, its understanding of what it means to have God’s Word in this world. Those who do not see this are out of touch with the deep realities of life, mistaking changes on the surface for changes in the deep waters that flow beneath. An inspired group of marketers might find a way of reviving a flagging business by modifying its image and offerings, but the matters of the heart, the matters of God, are not susceptible to such cosmetic alteration. The world’s business and God’s business are two different things. The fundamental problem in the evangelical world today is not inadequate technique, insufficient organization, or antiquated music, and those who want to squander the church’s resources bandaging these scratches will do nothing to stanch the flow of blood that is spilling from its true wounds. The fundamental problem in the evangelical world today is that God rests too inconsequentially upon the church. His truth is too distant, his grace is too ordinary, his judgment is too benign, his gospel is too easy, and his Christ is too common. “ Wells, David F. God in the Wasteland, p. 30
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