How to Be Sure Your Church Won't Grow

There are five simple ways to make sure that your church will not reach its full redemptive potential. Follow one or more, and you can just about guarantee your church will not grow.

First, make your church all about the people it already has. Their care, their comfort, their concerns, their sense of being "fed." Your mantra should be, "It's all about them." This means you spiritualize the idea of discipleship as the ultimate endeavor and then interpret the meaning of discipleship to be a weight-gain program of knowledge. Do not, under any circumstances, interpret the goal of discipleship to be for any sense of sacrificial mission to the least or the lost.

Second, cast a small vision. Or at least an insular one. There is a vast, lost world, but keep that from anyone's thinking. Make the vision about something much, much smaller. As in… them! Cast a vision for deeper community and fellowship, small groups and men's/women's ministries – but be sure to stop there. Don't go beyond the community of the already convinced.

Third, don't talk about evangelism. If anything, put down churches that emphasize evangelism as if they are the shallow, undiscipling churches. Yes, you have to say you care about lost people, but keep it in a muted, vanilla way that never captures anyone's attention. And for goodness sake, don't make ANYTHING about evangelism seem as if it's actually urgent, to be prioritized, or that heaven and hell are on the line. Then people might get exercised and want to actually do something.

Click here to continue reading this post and to view the blog archive.

Daily Headline News

The baby-name trend that unites America

The fact that today's top baby names are so rare, and unconventional, is its own noteworthy trend: New parents today prize individuality, and an unusual name can help a person stand out. (Wong, The Atlantic)


Why is everybody getting married in a barn?

Millennials, in staggering numbers, are choosing to start their married lives under high eaves and exposed beams, looking out over long, stripped-down wooden benches and lines of mason jars. (Kitchener, The Atlantic)


The growing trend of gender-reveal parties

"The early parties were very simple, cutting into a cake, opening a box and it's blue or pink balloons. Today these are really choreographed events. Couples are trying to reflect something about themselves, their interests and their points of view." (Samuels, The Washington Post)


White House to ban federal funds for clinics that discuss abortion with patients

The White House is expected to announce Friday that it is reviving a rule similar to one proposed during the Reagan administration that bars groups who provide abortions or refer patients for the procedure from receiving federal funding. (McCammon, NPR)


It's Time

Why has Nike's phrase, "Just Do It," resonated so deeply in our psyche? It's simple. We know it's true. Sometimes, you have to determine to do things and then just do them. But the importance of this idea goes way beyond sports or getting in shape. It has to do with key life decisions and actions, including spiritual ones. During this series, James Emery White explores the most important "just do it" act - baptism - that creates spiritual breakthrough on countless levels.

Click here to see this product and more.