Here are things that I hear people use as growth limiters when they talk about the vision and day-to-day action of reaching a community with the Gospel.
- Budgets – I would do x, y, or z if I had more. More often people talk about too much money in the church being allocated for one ministry while the thing they think will really reach people is under-funded.
- Buildings – Either a ministry has too much building so they need to have programs that justify the building or a ministry has not enough/no building and they use that as an excuse to not do something.
- Boards – The board is asking too many questions. Or the board doesn’t care. Or the board cares about the wrong things. Or the board doesn’t support your vision.
- Butts – We don’t have enough people. Or, more likely, we don’t have the right people. Or maybe too many of the wrong people. But I never hear someone complain of having too many people, in general.
- Boundaries – Some congregations are limited by physical boundaries while others are limited because they have no boundaries.
All of these are just excuses.
All of these imply that the spread of the Gospel in your community is somehow tied to the growth of your fiefdom.
All of these are just as much asset as they are liability.
All of these imply that church growth is about the organization and not the individuals leaning into their walk with Jesus.
All of these imply that its our job to grow the church and lead people to Jesus and not the other way around.
This I know to be true.
When you love your neighbors, when you meet practical needs, when you speak the truth in love, and when you lay aside your aspirations for the aspirations God has for your community… nothing can stop the spread of the Gospel message. It is too powerful.