“Love for others grows in response to Jesus’s great love for us. Have you seen Jesus this way until it overwhelms you to the point that all your relationships are different? How you treat your spouse? What you do with your money? What you do to those you hate, to those who’ve hurt you, whom you consider your societal enemies?” — J. D. Greear
In my post on Monday, I asserted that a revitalization wave is about to come to our churches, and I am really serious and optimistic about it. In that article, I shared how churches will be impacted from a high-level perspective. In this post, I will explain why I see this major trend on the horizon.
Yes, I tend to be an optimist.
I am not, however, that type of optimist who refuses to face reality. If you have been a reader of my blog or listener to my podcasts, you know I am not hesitant to face harsh realities head on.
First, a caveat – I believe in evangelism programs. In fact, here are some to consider (Three Circles, The Story, Share Jesus without Fear, Two Ways to Live, or digital apps from Cru). On the other hand, here’s why I’m arguing in this post that evangelism programs often aren’t effective:
The title of today’s post is based on a question that I read in a Facebook group for pastors.
While I seldom take such discussions into a public forum like this, I think this question is important enough to answer here. So here’s the longer version of what was asked:
Over the past decade, New York City has grown rapidly. In 2008, the population was 7.9 million; today, it’s 8.6 million. The city has about 6,000 churches, many of which have been planted over the past 10 years.
Church planting is not an end in itself. We keep our foot on the pedal of church planting because we want to get somewhere.
We talk about church planting, preach about church planting, pray about church planting, write about church planting—we even sing about church planting—all because we have a destination in mind.
There’s nothing quite like it, though most people can’t understand it. I share my thoughts about it today because I want churches praying more intentionally and regularly for those who are gifted to do it—that is, to preach His Word. When that calling hits you, everything changes:
What‘s the best church size?
Some church growth proponents might argue that, whatever your size, “just a little bigger” would be better.
Many house church attenders would propose that smaller is better.
There are followers of John Wesley’s Rule of 150 who make a good case for the idea that limiting a local church to 150 people is ideal.
I don’t have an answer for that question because I believe the question is flawed.
It’s incomplete at best and absurd at worst.
In January, various news outlets reported that a pastor left no monetary tip to a waitress in an Applebees. Instead, she left this note as a tip: “I give God 10 percent. Why do you get 18 (percent)?”
The waitress posted it online and subsequently got fired.
Her reaction to getting stiffed: “I come home exhausted, sore, burnt, dirty and blistered on a good day. I’ve been stiffed on tips before, but this if the first time I’ve seen the Big Man used as reasoning.”