Three Reasons Churches Struggle With Growth

 
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Manage episode 238226535 series 19179
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Episode Summary As church leaders--we have to STOP feeling guilty about wanting our church (or ministry) to grow. When more people show up to an athletic event--it's because the team is winning. When a concert is sold out--its because the artist is good. When a restaurant has a long wait list, it's because the food is amazing! However, for some reason - it seems when lots of people begin to attend a church, that church is either compromising (aka "not preaching the Gospel) - or it's a "feel good church" (I guess churches are supposed to make people feel bad!) The biggest resistance we receive to church growth is not from atheists or anti-Christian establishments--but rather from the people within the actual church. Why? Three Reasons... #1 - Comfort When people fall in love with the way things are--the church is dangerously close to becoming a dinosaur. "I want to go to a church where everybody knows everybody," is a popular saying among the church crowd; however, it's not about everybody knowing everybody--but rather everybody knowing Jesus. (And - if we took the "everybody knows everybody" approach to life - we would never go to the store, attend sporting events or even go to a restaurant!) I understand people loving a system and routine - and if new people show up parking spaces could be lost and, gulp, someone may actually sit in someone else's spot. However, the call of Jesus for His followers was "take up your cross and follow me," not, "take up your mattress!" #2 - Fear In the majority of churches in the US everyone looks the same (and...acts the same, votes the same, etc.) This being the case - a huge "what if" lurks in the minds if someone who looks or acts different walks through the doors; after all, if "they" come to our church, then what will others think about us? This is a thought pattern completely motivated by fear - and - as followers of Jesus our motivation is to be faith, not fear. If Jesus would have taken the approach that He was only going to welcome and embrace people who were just like Him--then none of us would have made the cut. If Jesus welcomed people who were nothing like Him...the His church must do the same as well. #3 - A Lack of Vision One of the greatest mistakes I made as a leader early on in ministry is I told people WHAT we wanted to do (grow/reach people) - but I did a horrible job of explaining why! What engages the mind--but "why" engages the heart, and that is what really moves people. "The Great Commission" is a passage at the end of the Gospel of Matthew that all of us are familiar with; however, years ago I discovered there is actually a "Great Commission" passage at the end of each Gospel (sorta seems like God is trying to get a point across!) Matthew 28:18-20 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Mark 16:15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Luke 24:45-48 45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 46 He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. John 20:21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” Acts 1:8 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Jude…

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