Pastor's Corner

Strategic church growth tools are…? I don’t know. I don’t know what it actually means to possess strategic church growth tools. Is church growth even something that God calls us to worry about? Isn’t it written in Matt 16:18 that He will build His church? Doesn’t Christ call His bride in 1 Cor 4:12 & Eph 4:11-16 to participate in building up the church using His strategery? A quick view of these passages seems to show a difference between building up the church and current church growth models.

Strategic church growth seems to be focused more upon contrived methods of growing the commercial structures of the church, which jive with the world in a consumer driven society. These strategies are more about pleasing a consumer than anything else. It's like growing the brand, for the expansion of a service. Are these God’s ordained methods? Frequently these strategies rival those of a fortune 500 company.

Again, what are these tools? Are they ideas? Are they tangible tools? Some consider these tools necessary components. These tools are often advertised as the only way God will bring blessings of corporate expansion. What are these tools? They are digital e-giving platforms, the idealogical shift from theological purity to the contextualized spirituality, or concert style worship music, along with other forms of modern tech. To some, these things must be used or we will be irrelevant. It is as though Christianity will be left behind if they don’t catch up to the modern trends, both technologically and ideologically.

Don’t misunderstand some of these things can be good. They can also be damaging—such as reducing tithing to a click of a button, or an automatic withdraw, or feeling as though one cannot truly worship God unless there are 98 decibels and a rocking musical performance.

The goal isn’t to challenge the notion of e-giving, or technology by and for the church. Unrighteous mammon must be utilized for God’s glory. Maybe 103 decibels will be necessary, I don’t know. What is being challenged? A handful of phrases and ideologies that sound good from the outset, but are misleading and damaging in the end.

Much like the sons of Sceva in Acts 19—who most assuredly had a strategic plan to expand the ministry, to increase influence for the good of the ones they serve. Can casting out demons be bad? And it worked for others who used the name of Christ, so, why not us? These men used the name of Christ to gain some sort of advantage. It is not as though their motivation was malevolent and filled with treachery. It seems along the lines of an intermingled motivation of doing good and receiving recognition.

God has a strategic model for the expansion of the gospel and His glory, that strategic model is the church. The church cannot subject itself to every modern trend that claims to be the best way. If that happens, then the church may not be found much different from the sons of Sceva.