Monday, August 31, 2009

Do Church Growth Strategies work?


I spoke recently with a Salvation Army leader about "Church Growth Strategies". The discussion focussed around their effectiveness; are they effective or are they a hindrance?
Interestingly, after attending a conference with both speakers from Baptist and Pentecostal circles, there were different emphases. The former would speak about the importance of planning strategically for church growth, with intentional focus on connecting (assimilating) new people to the church, on discipleship, etc. The later would speak on the absolute importance on relying on the power and work of the Holy Spirit, because God in essence is the one who "grows the church".

We like to divide the issue, and say, "Yes, its just about the Holy Spirit', or "No, its all about how we sow the seed, and where we sow it". It's really about both.

You could say, strategically, God said to Paul, 'Go to Macedonia and preach the gospel' because this was a strategic decision that would benefit the Kingdom of God. But on the same hand, you could say, Paul was Spirit-led and Spirit-inspired to travel to Macedonia and preach the gospel. See how they are one in the same?

Did the Spirit of God lead Peter to the Centurion? Yes. Was it a strategic move of God? Seems to be. The choosing of David as king, was a Spirit-led decision, but also a strategic decision.

You get the point. Strategy is important. The Holy Spirit's guidance in that strategy is even better.

God bless you.

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