For the past six years I’ve created what was called a “30% Growth Plan” for whatever ministry I was overseeing at Cornerstone. The task was basically to plan out the steps it would take for our ministry attendance to grow by 30%. So, if my ministry was 100 students deep during my presentation, I had to talk about how I was going to get another 30 kids to come and stick by the end of the year. Just about every ministry had to do this.

Today I thought about this quote from Dallas Willard’s “Divine Conspiracy” (which you must, must, must read… over and over again). He was talking about what a church that was determined to look like Christ would prioritize. He says that its a risky thing to inject a value like this one into your church. He talks about the effect it might have on something like a 30% Growth Plan:

“We may not soon have bigger crowds around us- and in fact they may for a while even get smaller- but we will soon have bigger Christians for sure. This is what I call ‘Church growth for those who hate it.’ And bigger crowds are sure to follow, for the simple reason that human beings desperately need what we bring to them, the word and reality of The Kingdom Among Us.”

This sort of backwards thinking doesn’t seem popular in the church. Why not?

4 thoughts on “headcounts”

  1. I think churches are concerned about them getting into the cycle of going to church, not actually getting the meaning and message of Jesus.

  2. not that this makes any difference to you, but my whole thinking on the Church is changing. Well…i shouldn’t say the Church, the American Church is what i mean to say. I’ve never been good with it and the way its done, but lately its becoming more of a philosophy differnce with me. Not just R.E. mind you, but American Church.

  3. Audra and I saw the movie 21 last night. It was lame. But in the pre-previews, there was an ad for cornerstone with Jim Caveetzel. Having famous actors is a good 30% growth plan. Maybe if you preached less gospel, and had more famous actors and plasma tv giveaways at high-school group, you wouldn’t have gotten fired…

  4. Many churches in America have traded in God’s kingdom for America’s kingdom and then declared it as God’s. In the process, it seems that America’s church in many senses have become wolves in sheep’s clothing because it has bought into satan’s lie. There are many social issues that the church discusses, but if I had to look at it, i would say it most resembles the realm of capitalism, and viewing members as consumers and trying to market to fit the consumers “needs.” I think, however, that many in church with a genuine desire to seek the kingdom of God are becoming more aware of this. It is essential, however, to not be deterred by this and leave our faith behind.

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