Acton Institute's "Reclaiming the West" Conference

December 8, 2017

IRD Co-Sponsors Acton’s “Reclaiming the West” Conference

One Response to IRD Co-Sponsors Acton’s “Reclaiming the West” Conference

  1. UM Christian says:

    It is good to read of another successful evangelical United Methodist Church. At the same time, however, there are myriads of other UM churches–even evangelical ones–barely hanging on, who could not possibly become such a “wonder church,” regardless of what pastors of growing churches and other church growth experts advise. Occasionally, an older, smaller congregation starts growing and continues to grow as long as there is an extraverted, energetic pastor, but let that pastor be replaced with a more introverted faithful pastor whose understanding of church priorities is different from those of the preceding pastor (even if the new pastor is as much an evangelical as the predecessor), and see what happens.
    All pastors would like to pastor a growing congregation, but some faithful pastors are not willing to make the desire for growth a “passion,” and some are not gifted with the personality traits to turn a church around in a short time like others can do. Their mind may be as keen as the most successful of pastors, and their hearts may be as pure as Jesus’, but they cannot produce exciting results like others with different gifts. When such pastors are labeled as having little ambition, or just lazy by their D. S. or bishop, it is so sad!
    I realize the growth experts all have “solutions” to offer those pastors who don’t produce successful results, but in all honesty, some of us think nothing could be further from a biblical view of a church’s priority than the numerical growth of a local congregation. The Scriptures offer no commands to grow a local church numerically, nor are there explicit instructions on how to grow a church.
    There are indeed reports in the Bible on the extent to which the church grew, but look at what produced the reported growth–things very different from many of the things highly valued in growing congregations today.
    I fear that the distinction between true evangelicalism and growing congregations is an increasingly blurred line. Besides that, look at what some of our well-known church growth pastors are doing now to help destroy God’s Kingdom on earth. These pastors seem to be addicted to all the power they have gained through their phenomenal numerical success.
    Give me a church where any excitement is natural, and where the people and pastor are little more than people filled with a holy love for God and other people, and whose lives are entirely Christ’s. That’s a truly successful church whether it is growing numerically or not.

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