|(Photo by Szabi237)|
Many churches embark upon "growth" campaigns without clearly identifying just what that growth means to them.
In an article for The Huff Post Religion Blog, Derek Penwell points out that church growth is not just a numbers game, but also a maturity gain. However, maturity is much harder to nail down than either membership or financial statistics.
Penwell discusses the usual claims about how many new members have joined the church this year, and then compares them with this other (all too rare) type of assessment: "We've had to grapple with some pretty tough issues lately. Some have even left our church because of it. However, those who remained have experienced a deepening of their faith commitment."
He emphasizes that growth is not necessarily about "bigness." Nor is it necessarily about anything that can be easily seen or quantified. Just as we (hopefully) don't judge all children, frogs, or stones in the same manner – neither should we assume that all church growth should be about outward expansion.
Copyright August 24, 2013 by Linda Van Slyke All Rights Reserved