Tuesday, December 10, 2013

0-40; 40-200; 200-450; 400-800; 800-1800+

       What do these numbers mean to you?  To those of us familiar with Church Growth methodologies we recognize that they represent church growth sizes: House Church, Small Church, Medium Church, Large Church, and Mega Church.  We are told that the Mega Church is the sought after dream and we are told that they are successful because they satisfy the following needs: Excellence in quality of programs, Wide choices of programs and styles of worship, Openness to change that attracts younger people, Low pressure on visitors, and Being Multi-Cultural.

       The first and most obvious observation is that this Church Growth analysis is not biblical.  The assumption that God wants each Church to grow numerically is too simple.  God wants His Kingdom to grow, but the prevalent New Testament pattern is the multiplication of smaller Churches, not necessarily the growth of Mega Churches. 

       Second, there is considerable arrogance in the assumption that small churches cannot have excellence in their worship and programming, or that they are not open to change, or that they are not multi-cultural.  What is true is that each individual small church will of necessity not provide a wide variety of options; unless of course they are related to other small churches that have access to “diocesan” programming.  The other thing is the implication that low pressure on visitors is necessarily a positive value.  I would venture to suggest that the prevalent Church Growth philosophy is determined by American cultural triumphalism rather than by biblical theology.