Posted tagged ‘Church Growth’

Mark Dever on Numbers and Faithfulness

May 30, 2012

I think if we would be honest with ourselves, our default position is to elevate fruitfulness over faithfulness. The two should not be at odds with one another, but when they are, fruitfulness tends to win out. This discussion is one that many are having in evangelical circles today, and I think we need to think it through without making excuses for neglecting either (those not seeing any fruit from their ministry saying all that matters is being faithful, and those with significant fruit saying all that matters is being fruitful).

In light of that, I commend the balanced, wise counsel of Mark Dever regarding the ministerial responsibility to be faithful in discharging the duties of a gospel minister while recognizing that the results belong to God.

Tozer on Masterful Psychologists

March 5, 2012

A.W. Tozer:

Much of church activity and fellowship also falls back upon the practice of psychology. Many church leaders are masterful psychologists. They know how to handle people and get the crowds to come. Their operation qualifies as an amazingly “successful” church. Part of the success of that church depends on people with business talents and part of it depends on people with natural gifts as salespersons and politicians.

A Christian congregation can survive and often appear to prosper in the community by the exercise of human talent and without any touch from the Holy Spirit. But it is simply religious activity, and the dear people will not know anything better until the great and terrible day when our self-employed talents are burned with fire and only what was wrought by the Holy Spirit will stand.

 – Tozer, Tragedy in the Church: The Missing Gifts, 22-23

When we assess spiritual leadership, let us not be guilty of evaluating psychologists, salespersons, politicians, and talented businessmen rather than shepherds of the flock, servants of Christ, and stewards of the gospel.

Structuring the Church for Maximum Edification

February 6, 2012

Along with the resurgence of Reformed theology and gospel centrality, I believe there is a resurgence of biblical ecclesiology taking place as well. I’m grateful for the influences of organizations like IX Marks, and even more churchmen and practitioners who are bringing reformation to local churches according to the Word of God.

One of the practical benefits of examining our ecclesiology is being more deliberate and intentional in what we do as a body of believers. What is the nature of the church? How should a preacher handle a text? What should covenantal membership entail? These are questions reflecting a pursuit of a healthy, robust ecclesiology.

Being intentional not only means that we consider the practices or marks of a healthy church, but we also need to examine structures and systems to best accomplish the purposes as well as honor the marks of a healthy church.  In this post, I want to consider the need for structure for maximum edification.  Let me explain.

When Paul addressed the church in Corinth, there apparently was confusion and selfishness when it came to the exercise of spiritual gifts.  Some were given special recognition while others were devalued. The improper exercise led to further division instead of unity. Some were used for self-promotion instead of building up the church.  So what Paul does is lay out five overarching principles for the church to understand and implement:

(more…)