Ministry Is Not Mastery

For all that I learned and tried one aspect of the church-growth movement, perhaps the most fundamental aspect, always made me uneasy and makes me uneasy to this day: the church-growth model was a theology of glory and it turned ministers, who should be theologians of the cross, into theologians of glory. The selling point of the various methods and mentalities was numerical success: look at this congregation. Their pastor and leadership adopted this model and look how many people came. Congregation after congregation was shown to be growing and exciting and influential. Why could we not do the same thing? The possibility was very attractive and it was easily clothed in the pious language of “reaching the lost.” I did want to reach the lost but I also wanted to be “successful.” Continue reading →