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Friday, 1 November 2013

A Critique Of Modern Church Growth Strategies

A Critique Of Modern Church Growth Strategies

THE Afire Hedge plant

Part 9 Size 2, July 2003

Prabhudas Koshy

Churches wherever are lured fashionable adopting modern promotion techniques in order to enhance their church size. Churches are exhorted to change direction in the role of the yet to come and the ways of a modernised alliance wolf distorted. It is alleged that adopting modern promotion philosophies and techniques is to the church's benefit. Pastors at this moment air to wolf lost their rely on that the way the church should sprout is to bind selfish philosophies out and the truth of God's Gossip in. Give is a indispensable request to spill the beans against the dangers of applying terrestrial promotion methods fashionable church ministry. These methods desire sympathetically flag the spiritual fact and vacancy of the church.

The terrestrial promotion philosophy of today appears to be as settled as the life of the printing plug in the time of the Reorganization for the dissemination of God's truth. Very well as the reformers hand-me-down the printing plug to gain the gospel, so the church today basic use eddy promotion strategies. Such a comparable is fabricated to say the minimum. One is an feeling, the other an means. It is deceptive to consider apples with oranges.

The Reformers, in correct to God's Gossip, rejected the selfish philosophies of their era. Their ministry of the Gossip was governed by the Gossip alone-Sola Scriptura. Their battle cry was, "Suffer to the Bible." They resisted every nonsensical philosophy. It is entirely in the Set apart Scriptures that the church should find its wisdom and power.

If any lesson may be conversant from the Reorganization and the printing laptop, it is that the church should produce benefit of advances in message techonology to gain the gospel of Christ. The internet for part of a set, is a physically powerful tool for the distribution of God's truth.

The printing laptop is a colorless thing and cannot on its own implication the jovial of Christian ministry, Innovative promotion items quieten are based on a set of selfish presuppositions and principles that do not help the exercise of the church. On the opposite, it would dispatch the deformation of the church. The church to a certain extent of since an ecclesiastical organization becomes boss be inclined to a firm collaboration with the cleric as the Outdo Authorized Officer. To the same degree is drop is that many churches are no longer be attracted to seats, but digression centres. The Church's submission of the heed and items of the promotion world is no exercise but deformation.

Now, let us benefit three premeditated promotion models for church lump.

Proficient Stereotype

It is alleged that the world today looks for specialised services in all areas of life. So the church is told to go with this "scientific heed" of the payer world. The church basic furthermore specialise. The church basic start to make happen specialised services (e.g. phonic classes, cooking lessons, handle frolics etc.) to attract the normal.

Everywhere in the Bible do we find such a church lump campaign since taught? Assuredly not in the Solid Indictment (Matt 28:18-20). The Noble Jesus Christ who gave His Church the Solid Indictment understood this entirely too well. Jesus drew the multitudes. They packed full on all sides of Jesus. But what did the residents want. They accept physical healing, free food, and miracles to excitement their argue. Were they inquisitive in spiritual things?

Committed food is what sin-sick residents request. Previously the Noble preached the gospel and called sinners to repent of their sins and store on Him, they responded, "This is an harsh saying; who can entertain it?" The multitides spent Him (John 6:66). Currently they crucified Him. Jesus employed no selfish techniques to win the lost.

Run wolf not distorted. Sin has not distorted. And the answer to sin remains the exceptionally. It is Jesus Christ. He is the reply to life's harms, and He is the exceptionally, yesterday, today, and evermore. The Gossip of God basic change direction profane residents, and not vice versa. Jesus let the multitudes go. He did not try to win them back by softening His words. Neither did He change direction His line up to make the gospel boss soft-hearted.

The scientific solutions that many churches dish out do not transmit true spiritual lump. For typical case, the in name only "Christian psychology" unfilled by in name only church specialists or Christian counsellors wolf hunger betrayed the competence of God's Gossip (2 Tim 3:16-17). The church's amalgamation with psychology has ingenuous the residents to the sinfulness of sin. Peace and moderation are unfilled fading any demand for accurate spiritual renewal and misgiving.

One can be confident that such crowds that group in scientific churches desire fast diminish as against the clock as God's Gossip is unequivocally expounded and realistically preached. Run are engrossed to scientific churches with their specialised frolics. Yes, the crowds desire come, the pews ample, but how many come in the role of of this: "Noble, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life" (John 6:68)?

Superstore Stereotype

We are told that the church basic contain a "one frame, shop all" philosophy so that residents can see the church not austerely as a place of be attracted to but moreover a place that provides for all their physical requests. This may be an effective descent towards promotion a product in the firm world, but it is a badly refusal taster to contain for the church. The supermarket campaign operates under the principle: "the spender is sovereign." Employing such a contour would mean that the church basic be customer-centred somewhat than God-centred.

George Barna, in his book, Publicity the Church, urges the church to contain such a supermarket campaign. He alleged that portray are awkward types of promotion that are all geared towards making "every one the producer and payer contents." Purchaser success, subsequently, requires the jovial of preaching to be in tune according to the guarantee levels of the residents. The addressees determines the jovial and qualities of the podium ministry. It goes fading saying that sermons desire become very dim. In order to bring in the crowds, pastors are pressed to tell "feel sorry free sermons."

The firm heed towards ministry desire not enhanced a church's spiritual fact and lump. What time such a heed is adopted, the church desire become boss inquisitive in switch off and arrival, and not truth and holiness. Demographic information, community surveys, door-to-door polls, and congregational questionnaires become the new tools. Particulars waxen from such sources is considered essential to simple a tractable promotion imply for the church. In many seminaries, to order in the States, pastors under training are told that they cannot competition residents close to fading making use of such promotion tools.

The most distant misconstruction of modern-day church lump strategies is that it denies the autonomy of God and the competence of Scripture.The modern cleric does not store that the church would sprout by plan of God's predetermined line up of preaching the artless Gospel and teaching the whole let know of God.

The Solid Indictment is not a promotion manifesto. Preaching the Gospel fading any potency of its words is what God stress. The Apostle Paul wrote, "For I am not horrific of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto champion to every one that believeth; to the Jew primary, and moreover to the Greek" (Rom 1:16); "And my express and my preaching was not with provoking words of man's wisdom, but in authentication of the Attempt and of power: That your religious conviction should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God" (1 Cor 2:4-5); "For the preaching of the petulant is to them that die out foolishness; but unto us who are saved it is the power of God" (1 Cor 1:18); "For at the back that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it delighted God by the lack of caution of preaching to care for them that store. For the Jews oblige a sign, and the Greeks intention at the back wisdom: But we tell Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, every one Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Like the lack of caution of God is wiser than men; and the cell of God is stronger than men" (1 Cor 1:21-25).

Care Stereotype

It is alleged that seeing that we are living in a vexing alliance, the church basic make happen strut groups and other stress-relieving programmes for all who come to church. The church basic appointment the "felt requests" of the residents. The "felt requests" of residents are possessions be inclined to aridity, fear of crime, a sad self-image, moodiness, indignation, spite and other expressive or mental difficulties. Such difficulties are not due to sin but to the milieu or to job. Run are counselled to the way you are seen fading not within, to challenge others and not oneself. Run are taught to take up well of themselves, and ended to feel good about themselves anyway their profane watch out, feelings and behaviour. "Care groups" are formed for this conference. It is evident that in typical church lump strategies be inclined to the strut taster, people's expressive requests are conquered boss roughly than their real but unfelt spiritual deficiencies that Scripture addresses.

But what does the Bible teach? How can a celebration find the quiet of God? The entirely way is for him to be reconciled to God completed the Noble Jesus Christ. So what we request urgently is not the strut groups where residents sit in circles and hot air about their entity struggles, but pastors and teachers who are biblically and theologically trained to analyse people's harms in the light of Scripture and let somebody know them where they wolf gone one-sidedness, and how they can be reconciled to God who is their entirely basis of help and guarantee.

The church has the hard work to strut and let know the feeble but not in the ways of the world but in the ways of God. Sin basic be confronted. Peace desire not come until sin is dealt with. "Give is no quiet, saith the Noble, unto the wicked" (Isa 48:22). "But the wicked are be inclined to the unruly sea, what it cannot rest, whose waters cast up squalor and smut. Give is no quiet, saith my God, to the wicked" (Isa 57:20-21).

Always, today's church leaders are becoming be inclined to the leaders of the ancient Israel of Jeremiah's time. They satisfy residents of quiet fading concern with their sins. It is a spurious quiet that they grant. In Jeremiah 6:13-17 we read,

For from the minimum of them even unto the most distant of them every one is limitation to covetousness; and from the prophetic even unto the priest every one dealeth speciously. They wolf healed moreover the prick of the teenager of my residents unimportantly, saying, Peace, peace; what portray is no quiet. Were they horrific what they had firm abomination? nay, they were not at all horrific, neither may perhaps they blush: that's why they shall fall surrounded by them that fall: at the time that I jaunt them they shall be cast down, saith the Noble. As a result saith the Noble, Leg ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they alleged, We desire not walk therein. As well I set watchmen from side to side you, saying, Hearken to the statement of the orate. But they alleged, We desire not hearken.

The Apostle Paul wrote furthermore, " And the way of quiet wolf they not known: Give is no fear of God yet to be their eyes" (Rom 3:17-18).

Rock-solid long-lasting quiet exists entirely what one comes to Christ on His but. The Church requests to emphasise that it is entirely completed Christ and His promises that quiet comes. "I desire entertain what God the Noble desire speak: for he desire speak quiet unto his residents, and to his saints: but let them not turn another time to folly. Indeed his champion is nigh them that fear him; that take pride may reside in our land. Humanity and truth are met together; good quality and quiet wolf kissed each other" (Ps 85:8-10). "Solid quiet wolf they which love thy law: and zip shall mix up them" (Ps 119:165). "Thou wilt bind him in buff quiet, whose mind is stayed on thee: in the role of he trusteth in thee. Organization ye in the Noble for ever: for in the Noble JEHOVAH is perpetual grit" (Isa 26:3). Jesus alleged, "Peace I evidence with you, my quiet I hired hand unto you: not as the world giveth, hired hand I unto you. Let not your heart be unruly, neither let it be fearful" (John 14:27). He moreover alleged, "These possessions I wolf understood unto you, that in me ye world power wolf quiet. In the world ye shall wolf tribulation: but be of good cheer; I wolf get the better of the world" (John 16:33). "For to be carnally minded is death; but to be stanchly minded is life and quiet" (Rom 8:6). "And the quiet of God, which passeth all understanding, shall bind your hearts and minds completed Christ Jesus" (Phil 4:7).

Rock-solid gold mine is not accomplishment have a row at any regard. It is not prosperity, power, tor, prominence or any other selfish design of gold mine. Rock-solid gold mine in ministry is con the desire of God regardless of the fallout. The political are biblical principles for accurate church lump in these ride days. They are conquered from 2 Timothy 4:1-5.

(1) Come and get somebody your profession (v1)

(2) Preach the Gossip (v2)

(3) Be austere in and out of idea (v2)

(4) Reproof, scold and ambition (v2)

(5) Don't yielding in grouchy era (vv3-4)

(6) Be grave in all possessions (v5)

(7) Abide hindrance (v5)

(8) Do the work of an evangelist (v5)

(9) Function your ministry (v5)

"Rev Das Koshy is the cleric of Gethsemane Bible-Presbyterian Church, and narrator in Hebrew at the Far Eastern Bible Studious".