Church Growth Reimagined

Services

Sundays - 8:00 AM Liturgical & 10:30 AM Contemporary

by: Pastor Tom Vanderbilt

07/04/2022

0

I remember hearing a story about a little girl who thought that the taller a person was, the older that person was. So, because her brother was taller than her, she knew he was older than her. Because her mom and dad were taller than her, they were older than her. She was a little confused as to why Grandma, who was shorter than Dad, could be older than he was. Then one day, this little girl had the opportunity to meet a seven-foot-tall college basketball player. “Wow,” she gasped, “he must be REALLY old!”

The problem with the little girl’s theory is that she assumes that something keeps getting bigger the longer that it lives. We know that this isn’t the case. There comes a time when every living thing stops growing in size and starts to grow in other ways. We see this in plants, animals, and people.

So why don’t we see this in churches?

A church is a living thing, made up of people moving through various stages of their lives. When I talk with people who have been away from Mt. Calvary for a while, they often ask about numbers: membership numbers or worship attendance. If those numbers are bigger, Mt. Calvary is healthier; if they’re smaller, there must be something wrong with it. This is a lie that we need to stop believing.

In his book, “Small Church Essentials,” Pastor Karl Vaters gives an extensive list of ingredients for a healthy church. Here it is:

•    Love and worship Jesus

•    Love, serve, and make disciples of others

He then says, “That’s it. If you’re doing the Great Commandment and the Great Commission, you have a great church, no matter the size, the denomination, or the liturgy” (pg. 86).

It’s easy and tempting to look at attendance numbers, offering numbers, or any numbers and use them as a measurement of success or failure. We must always remember that our success or failure is measured only in our love and worship for Jesus and how we love and serve others. If we’re doing these things, we’re triumphant.

In Christ,

 Pastor Tom Vanderbilt

Blog comments will be sent to the moderator

I remember hearing a story about a little girl who thought that the taller a person was, the older that person was. So, because her brother was taller than her, she knew he was older than her. Because her mom and dad were taller than her, they were older than her. She was a little confused as to why Grandma, who was shorter than Dad, could be older than he was. Then one day, this little girl had the opportunity to meet a seven-foot-tall college basketball player. “Wow,” she gasped, “he must be REALLY old!”

The problem with the little girl’s theory is that she assumes that something keeps getting bigger the longer that it lives. We know that this isn’t the case. There comes a time when every living thing stops growing in size and starts to grow in other ways. We see this in plants, animals, and people.

So why don’t we see this in churches?

A church is a living thing, made up of people moving through various stages of their lives. When I talk with people who have been away from Mt. Calvary for a while, they often ask about numbers: membership numbers or worship attendance. If those numbers are bigger, Mt. Calvary is healthier; if they’re smaller, there must be something wrong with it. This is a lie that we need to stop believing.

In his book, “Small Church Essentials,” Pastor Karl Vaters gives an extensive list of ingredients for a healthy church. Here it is:

•    Love and worship Jesus

•    Love, serve, and make disciples of others

He then says, “That’s it. If you’re doing the Great Commandment and the Great Commission, you have a great church, no matter the size, the denomination, or the liturgy” (pg. 86).

It’s easy and tempting to look at attendance numbers, offering numbers, or any numbers and use them as a measurement of success or failure. We must always remember that our success or failure is measured only in our love and worship for Jesus and how we love and serve others. If we’re doing these things, we’re triumphant.

In Christ,

 Pastor Tom Vanderbilt

cancel save

0 Comments on this post: