Mark Batterson on Church Growth

March 3, 2009 by

The lion-wrestling, wild goose-chasing, Church Marketing Sucks-supporting Mark Batterson had some insightful comments to add to our recent discussion on church growth.

He talked about outcomes vs inputs in a recent blog post:

“I’m at a place in my life where I don’t care about outcomes. I’m focused on inputs. I don’t care about extrinsics. I’m focused on intrinsics. If we simply do the right things, God is going to bless it. Period.”

He went on to add:

“I’m not concerned about church growth. I’m concerned about personal growth. And if you’re experiencing personal growth, church growth will take care of itself.”

Another perspective to add to the mix. Whatever you take away from the post, I especially liked his closing remarks, which could be summarized as: do less, pray more.

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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9 Responses to “Mark Batterson on Church Growth”

  • Andrew VanderPloeg
    March 3, 2009

    I struggle with this concept.
    We seem to have this complex in the modern Christian church that tells us that evangelism/outreach and building mature believers are mutually exclusive activities. I don’t believe they are. Why do we have to be ‘about’ one of the two things? Why can’t we preach to the lost and the saved? I truly do appreciate Mark’s heart in the comments above, but at the same time, I really wish more people were trying to answer the question of how to speak to both audiences rather than saying they’re about one or the other.

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  • Tim Ayers
    March 3, 2009

    Growing the christian will grow the church is a sound concept except that it doesn’t really work. Personally, I think it is a cop out. Growing the church grows the christian. Excitement and challenge creates the soil that a christian heart grows in. Then again we over complicate church growth. It is simply getting more in the front door than go out the back door. The secrets lie in effective assimilation to keep the back doors closed. Let’s not cop out when we are called to grow the church. What we need are more relevant concepts on what the church can be. We need to reach people where they are and how they communicate to one another. Might I say (with tongue in cheek), we need a new paradigm.

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  • Do less pray more. Great insight. Thanks.

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  • MikeS
    March 3, 2009

    Tim – I’m struggling with your statement that we are called to grow the church. I thought we were called to make disciples and it was God’s job to grow the church. In Acts it was God adding to the numbers as the disciples were making disciples. Paul himself said that he planted, Appolos watered, and God added the increase.
    I think we do need to be careful with outcomes v. inputs. We need to make sure we ARE making Christ followers and not just church attenders. But part of that equation is what we invest in our folks.

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  • Jason Pauli
    March 3, 2009

    I know what Mark is trying to say and I believe his heart is in the right place. But there’s more to it than this.
    “If we simply do the right things, God is going to bless it. Period.”
    We can’t manipulate God. But then again what is prayer? Made me think of Job.
    If I do all the right things and growth happens then I praise God. If I do all the right things and growth doesn’t happen then I praise God.
    God gets the credit (or blame) either way.
    This also sounds like the prosperity gospel.
    Again… I believe Mark’s heart is in the right place. There’s just more to it than “do ‘x’ and ‘y’ will happen”.

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  • Guy
    March 4, 2009

    I have a hard time with the whole idea of church growth, it derails us from the real purpose of the gospel! But I will save that for later.
    The thing that bothers me about Mark’s statement is right on with the typical American thinking of pull yourself up by your own boot straps, the rugged reliance on SELF. If you beleive that the better you are the better God blesses, you too fall into that same mentality and caught behind that cultural lens mentioned above.
    God loves us. Any statements that put qualifications, such as the more you pray, grow et al, God will love you more…just are, well WRONG! Somewhere it says that while we were yet sinners…. isn’t that the ultimate blessing??
    The reason a church grows is varied, and a lot of it has to do with the cult of personality. Ever notice how the “in” churches the “hip, cool” churches are led by good-looking white males?
    We need to wake up and be honest and realize it may not be God blessing us if our church is growing, it could be that the pastor is a good writer/speaker, white handsome, hip, cool dude, in a big city that puts on a cool show, uses a mac, twitter, facebook and other social tools and so people are buying the product they are marketing with the rock star persona.

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  • phoenix insurance
    July 4, 2009

    Well, I have to say I love your mission statement at the top of your blog.

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  • Digger Derrick Trucks
    February 16, 2010

    Time to wake up Christians!!

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  • phoenix glass
    May 5, 2010

    You may see tithing decrease once all these government programs hit and the feds need our money to support them, over and above what we already pay in taxes.

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