John Alan Turner

Speaker, Author, Mentor, Coach, Facilitator

Growth for Growth's Sake?

One of the churches that's approached me recently has created a document profiling who they are and who they want to become. Documents like these can be very helpful and very revealing when read properly. For example, this one has a section containing three lists: (1) What they want to preserve; (2) What they want to achieve; (3) What they want to avoid. That's a good exercise, and I think more churches would benefit from creating those kinds of lists periodically.

However, I ran into something in this particular instance, and I'd like to ask for your help decoding it.

On their list of things they want to achieve, they list "Growth" as number one.

But on their list of things they want to avoid, they list "Growth for Growth's Sake" -- which they define as "Growing too much and losing the small church feel, becoming a megachurch".

In the words of Dennis Miller, "I don't want to get off on a rant here, but...." So many questions come to mind. How much is too much? Who gets to say when we've lost the small church feel? And...this is big...I thought it was God who would provide the increase. Should we pray for God to increase us but not so much that we might qualify as a megachurch?

Let me stop myself before I really get going and ask for your input. Am I missing something here? What do you think may be the reasoning behind these two seemingly incompatible statements?