There’s one, or two, or twelve in every crowd.
Every time I write a post that includes tips on how to grow a healthy church, I’ll get one of these comments.
“That’s very western focused and doesn’t help those in other countries.”
“Unbelievable, this post doesn’t even mention preaching or praying.”
“Systems and strategies don’t grow the church, God grows the church.”
So, I’m going to make it my new year’s resolution to no longer get into debates with the people who leave these comments…
Instead, I’ll just share a link to this post with my thoughts.
So, here we go.
- “That’s very western focused and doesn’t help those in other countries.”
You’re absolutely right, it doesn’t. I’m from a small town in Tennessee. I know what works in my community. The ideas I share don’t work in Africa. They don’t work in Australia. They don’t work in India. If you’re in a different part of the world, my ideas probably won’t work for you, but I’m also not writing for you. I’m writing to pastors who are serving in small rural towns mainly in America. You just happened to find my site, or you’re in a group I posted to that has American pastors in it. You’re upset at me for no reason. It’s like going to McDonald’s and getting mad at them because they don’t serve pizza.
- “Unbelievable, this post doesn’t even mention preaching or praying.”
Over the past several years, I have written almost 400 posts on a variety of topics related to church growth. Every one of them could begin by saying you need to be praying and you need to make sure you’re preaching God’s word. I don’t do that because I like to assume that the pastors who are reading my blog are already praying and preaching God’s word. It’s what pastors do. If they’re not doing it, they’re probably not going to be pastoring for very long. If you’re still concerned that I don’t mention it enough, by all means you can go to my blog and search pray and preach, and you’ll find 25+ pages of results for each of them.
- “Systems and strategies don’t grow the church, God grows the church.”
Then why do thousands of churches close every year? Does God just not like those pastors? Does God think we just have too many churches in America already? Don’t get me wrong, I certainly believe that God sends the increase, but there still have to be men and women who are planting and watering. And some of them are better at planting and watering than others. You would be incredibly naïve to believe otherwise. There was a small community church in Kentucky that had about 40 people coming to it for decades. In 2005, they brought in a new pastor, and today they have over 2,000 people attend on a Sunday. So, did God all of a sudden want them to grow, or did God want them to grow all along He was just waiting for the right person to step up and make the changes necessary for it to happen?
This blog is not for those who want to appear super holy. It’s not for those who want to make excuses. It’s not for those who would rather criticize what’s working instead of learning from it. And it’s probably not for those in different parts of the world.
This blog is for the men and women who want to see God do incredible things in their small towns and who are willing to learn and work hard to make it happen. If that’s you, I’d love to connect. You can find me on Facebook, or send me a message through my contact page.