Home > Brian's Blogs, Missional Church > The Present Future: Church Growth to Kingdom Growth (2)

The Present Future: Church Growth to Kingdom Growth (2)

Yesterday I began discussing Reggie McNeal‘s new reality number two: the shift from church growth to kingdom growth. However, I never made it to the “wrong question” that churches ask in light of this new reality. The wrong question is: How do we grow this church? (how do we get them to come to us?).

It was largely a result of the church growth movement that churches began asking the question “how do we grow this church?” And the church growth movement provided plenty of answers via classes, books, seminars, etc, etc. The church growth movement added “corporate marketer” and “corporate manager” to the list of skills that a successful pastor must possess. But, here is the sad reality:

Keep in mind all of this has been done with what result? Diminishing returns!

Not only has the church growth movement not grown the church, but it has created a culture of churches and church leaders that continue to ask the wrong question:

“Unfortunately, several decades of the church growth movement’s emphasis on methodologies have conditioned church leaders to look for the next program, the latest “model,” the latest fad in ministry programming to help “grow” the church. I am constantly asked “what’s next?” The focus of the church is on itself, on what it takes to succeed.”

Here is McNeal’s difficult conclusion:

“More energy expended on the church’s survival or success is misplaced. With the collapse of the church culture eminent, it makes little sense to continue pouring all ministry efforts on the institutional church. However, the focus of the last few decades in the church growth movement, with its addiction to methodological fixes, makes this shift almost too much for many to contemplate. To suggest some other agenda raises anxiety as well as bewilderment. That’s the problem with tough questions.”

So what is the tough question? That next time…

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