I began a new series last week on building community in the church to reach the community around the church. It’s good timing for our church because we’ve been experiencing a steady growth surge all year. We’ve got so much to be thankful for. This is what pastors yearn for and what most church members say they want. The reality is, however, that not everyone really wants their church to grow. Put another way – they’re okay with church growth as long as things stay the way they like it.
Yet growth happens because of good change. The church has survived over 2000 years because of it’s ability to spread a timeless message of God’s love by adapting to an ever changing world.
So, we say we want to grow, but we want to stay the same. Ain’t gonna happen. That’s the definition of insanity: wanting different results while doing the same things.
Pastors of growing churches understand the sad realities. No matter how much any change is applauded by the majority and produces better results in reaching people, there will always be some who resist. I’ve gotten used to that fact, yet it’s always frustrating and a bit draining at times.
Craig Groeschel, pastor of LifeChurch, blogged this week about letting people go with grace. His church was recognized last year as the most innovative church in the country and is one of the fastest growing churches right now. A great church and a great bunch of leaders. Yet, it appears sad realities of church growth exist no matter where you are, what size of congregation, how many people are being reached.
I’m speaking at a local church conference this week on leading a church through change. I don’t know anyone who has the final word on that subject – I know I don’t – but I know that building His church can’t happen without change. So we just keep moving forward.