This is a great article by Thom Rainer, President and CEO of Lifeway Resources. As someone who regularly communicates with hundreds of pastors, I always appreciate his perspective. -Matt
I heard it again just a week ago.
And I bet I’ve heard it nearly a thousand times.
“The search committee,” the pastor began, “said they really wanted the church to grow. Now I am leading them to do some things to reach people, and those same people are out to get me.”
You will rarely find a church member who says he or she is not for growth in the church. But many church members have unspoken, perhaps unknown, conditions attached to the statement. In other words, I am all for growth in the church unless it impacts me in some way.
Let’s look at seven of those “unless” conditions:
I really want to see growth in our church . . .
Unless we have to change the worship style.
Unless we have to add more worship services.
Unless I lose my parking spot and my seat in the worship center.
Unless the new people who come to our church look differently than we do; dress differently than we do; or speak differently than we do.
Unless we have to spend a lot of money on “those” people.
Unless the new people mess up my current fellowship circles and groups.
Unless we have to change the facilities in any way to accommodate the growth.
For certain, not all church members have such attitudes. Similarly, don’t assume those church members who act enthusiastically about potential growth have really considered the consequences. Stated simply, reaching people with the gospel always has a cost.
Unfortunately, many church members do not want to pay that cost.
Let me hear about your perspectives and experiences regarding this issue.