The God-exalting love of Jesus makes our earthly ambitions of "growth" so much garbage.
When you look out at the people in your church, be they 5 or 500, 100 or 1000, do you ask yourself first "How can I bring in more?" or "How can I disciple the ones I've got?"
It sounds like an obvious question, and you can certainly ask both legitimately, but the bursting-at-the-seams megachurches who are now measuring the dissatisfaction and relative spiritual immaturity of their multitudes are evidence that only one question has predominated.
T.M. Moore writes:
We’ve been seeking crowds, not disciples. We’ve considered every possible means of getting the most people into our buildings and keeping them there, and we’ve attracted people on the basis of mere self-interest, so that what we have are congregations ecstatic to belong to some place that, in the name of the Lord, takes their self-interest as seriously as they do.
The American Church is addicted to the conspicuous consumption of the culture it means to transform.
Would that we were as focused and intentional on the integration of current attenders into the radical life of discipleship to Jesus as we are on accumulating more and more and more bodies in our worship programs.
HT: Cruciform Life