Monday, May 04, 2009

Church growth

Conversion is God's success and not our own.

On the blog
In Defense of Landmarkism, the author wrote the following:

Church growth is building up the church in spirituality and then (as a result) in numbers. Church growth depends on these factors: (Based on 33 years experience preaching and pastoring churches)
1) Christ centered, Bible preaching 1 Tim. 4:2
2) Lifestyles that reflect Christ Matt. 5:16
3) Good fellowship Acts 2:42
4) Faithfulness Heb. 10:24, 25
5) Prayer John 14:14
6) Witnessing Ps 126:5, 6
7) Sacrificial giving (tithes and offerings) Mal. 3:10
8) Worshipful music Col 3:16
9) Strong teaching ministry 2 Tim 2:2
10) Right literature Matt 28:20; Luke 1:1; Jude 3
11) First love is Christ Eph. 2:5
12) Right love John 13:34, 35; 15:12
When a church struggles with a lack of growth, one or more (usually several) of these factors are lacking. God's power still blesses His Word. His churches that work by His plan do not need music that is not worshipful, literature from outside the associated work, gimmicks, compromise, fund raisers or self help seminars. What we need is to work God's plan! His plan still works when we work the plan!

What do you readers think? Is a strict following of this plan like a "step-plan" that will always lead to the expected results? Do any of the proof texts actually say that doing those things will lead to church growth?


Jokers55 said...

It seems to me that the reasoning is sound as far as the 12 points are concerned. They look to me to be Biblical.I don't think I've ever been in a church where it was spelled out this way. Maybe this is what is needed as too many churches are addicted to gimmicks and come-ons that have no spirituality.

These points are, after all, straight out of the Book.

On the other hand while the proof texts do say these things ought to be done, I don't see any promise from them that the hoped for results will occur. They ought to be done regardless of results.

It is like when I used to tell my daughter to be good. She asked what would I give her if she was good. I told her that sometimes she just had to be good for nothing! :)

R. L. Vaughn said...

Too many churches are definitely addicted to gimmicks! I think your conclusion is correct. They ought not be done to produce church growth, but be done because they are right.

[Note: I might quibble about the meaning of a few of them; e.g., what is meant by "right literature"?]

Jokers55 said...

Right literature I take to mean material that is true to the Bible and not heretical. I guess you could go in all kind of directions with that term "right".It is a little vague.

R. L. Vaughn said...

Probably immaterial to the big picture for the most part, but I didn't want to agree something was right when I wasn't sure what was under consideration. I usually think of literature as something like Sunday School quarterlies, etc., since we don't use them.