Number Worship and Strategic Salvation

“The church is dying!”

In my corner of the the last remnants of Christendom, I hear this or something similar regularly.

There is concern because our denomination, much like most North American mainline denominations, has a numerically declining trend. There is a fear that because the church is losing the privileged position that it has enjoyed since Constantine and thus this grows to fear that the church is dying.

However, when we are afraid that the church is dying, we become obsessed with numbers. We make goals to plant a specific number of congregations and gain a specific number of confessing members. We point to big and/or growing churches as successes and small and/or declining churches as failures. We make the implicit (or explicit) assumption that faithful churches will be large and will grow continually. The shadow side of that assumption, though, is that churches which are small or are not growing at a steady pace are dysfunctional or unfaithful.

The Church is not of our making

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I’m at That Reformed Blog today, come on over…

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