Church Growth Series Wrap Up

June 27, 2006 by

I’ve wanted to talk about numbers and church growth for a long time, and this month we finally dove into it with this series. I said at the beginning that I don’t know everything, and I stand by that claim. I’m learning as I go, so it’s great to get feedback and responses. I also initially said that this was a touchy issue. And it is. But as we dialogue about it I hope we’re learning something. I know I am.

Several people have said that I’m making strawman arguments, debating against something that isn’t the real issue. And I probably have over-simplified things and missed some of the issues, especially in the beginning. That’s the point of dialogue, so together we can get it right.

But I’ve noticed that when we (myself most definitely included) disagree we tend to assume the worst.

  • If you’re for church growth you must be only in favor of large churches, you focus on numbers alone, you forget God and you’re a complete sell out.
  • If you’re against church growth, you must want tiny churches, you don’t care about evangelism and you’re petty and jealous.

Wrong on both counts, I hope. Sometimes we may not actually think this, but we give the impression with our words (I’ve certainly done this). And it definitely goes both ways.

I hope through this dialogue we’ve come to understand both sides a little better. I don’t expect to ever give a definitive statement on this issue and have it be concluded, but if we can come away with a broader understanding and respect for the issues, I’ll take that.

Here’s the complete series in case you missed it:

Post By:

Kevin D. Hendricks

When Kevin isn't busy as the editor of Church Marketing Sucks, he runs his own writing and editing company, Monkey Outta Nowhere. Kevin has been blogging since 1998, runs the hyperlocal site West St. Paul Reader, and has published several books, including 137 Books in One Year: How to Fall in Love With Reading, The Stephanies and all of our church communication books.
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4 Responses to “Church Growth Series Wrap Up”

  • Mark Ribado
    June 27, 2006

    Do you think churchs will start advertising on tv? Maybe they do already and I’m unaware. I have mixed feelings about TV. I have two children and I find TV just terrible? What do you think about this. Post a blog, I’m sure everyone would like to read!

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  • Jim from
    June 27, 2006

    I don’t agree with your conclusions much of the time, but I do appreciate your willingness to interact with the other side in a reasonable manner. I respect your willingness to listen. Thank you.

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  • Rick
    June 27, 2006

    Jesus never said, “Go to your churches, sit in a pew, and don’t worry about it if people don’t come through the door.” He told people to preach the Word and baptize the people. That’s Church growth, and that’s what we’re all about. Your series here has been outstanding.

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  • Tiffany Nevil
    June 28, 2006

    Church growth is one of the very issues our church is currently evaluating right now, but on a broader scale.
    My perspective is that it all goes back to the basic foundation of knowing who you are. That includes knowing who your church is and who it is not.
    Each church has a culture and a distinct set of values it operates under. Understanding what those things are, identifying the good and the bad and then opening both up to how God would lead is what I have found works.
    Our church is using a book called “Advanced Strategic Planning” by Aubrey Malphurs. It’s been a great book and a great process so far. My only criticism is that it is lacking in explaining how important communication strategies are within that context.
    Thanks for the conversation Kevin.

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