When I first began my blog years ago, I wrote about church growth and how to move beyond 100 people in attendance. Even today, the huge majority of churches in America have less than 100 people on a typical Sunday. I wrote about ways to move beyond 100. You can read that here.
By the way, I don’t necessarily believe bigger is better. I love small churches and the people who lead them. But I strongly believe all churches should seek to grow by reaching others for Christ.
Last week, I received a reply to that long ago blog asking me for three reasons why churches should grow. Instead of answering the reader (I really appreciate her reading my earlier blogs!) in the comments, I think it merits a more public answer.
So, here are my three reasons why a church should seek to grow.
First, obedience to Christ. Like everything else we do, church growth should be because of what Christ wants us to do. The Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) is very clear that the Kingdom of God should grow. In order for that to happen there must be more churches and established churches must be involved in reaching the people around them. We are to take the gospel to all the world beginning with the people around us (Acts 1:8).
Second, churches should grow because of the example of the early church. The early church reached its unchurched neighbors. The example of the church at Philippi shows how the church reaches diverse people from many different backgrounds. The people we know in Philippi were Lydia, a successful business woman, and the jailer of Paul and Silas.
Those people needed to be reached and they were. The result was the growth of the church.
Third, churches need to grow to influence the community. The more people in the church working, serving, and living in the community the more the church can be an influence. Remember that we–the individual members of the church–are the church. When we let our light shine in our community, we begin to influence the culture for good.
Its wonderful for children when there are many churches and those churches are growing. I have seen how hard it is for Christian children and young people when they are the only believers in their classroom.
A bonus reason: if the local church doesn’t grow , the church and its ministry will eventually cease. That is happening all over America. It happened recently to the church who let me be their pastor at age 18. I so regret that that church is no longer ministering to its small community. Communities need churches–whether large or small. Communities need the power of the gospel that only churches can give.
Gina, thanks for asking that question. I hope it has helped.
May God bless His church and may His church bless its community.