Spiritual growth and numerical growth

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by NaasPreacher (C4K), May 1, 2005.

  1. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K)
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    I took another thread off topic with this thought, so decided to post it in a thread on its own.

    Can a church be spiritually strong and not be growing numerically?
     
  2. 4His_glory

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    Absolutly! Numbers are not an indication of spirituality. I have been in many small churches where the folks were dynamic Christians.

    I believe that it is God Who ultimatly gives the increase in numbers.

    It saddens me deeply when people will judge a missionary or a pastor because their church is not growing in numbers. Such is the fruit of man-centered theology and ministries.
     
  3. Pastor_Bob

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    I think you need to clarify the question a bit. There is a difference in a "small church" and a church that isn't growing. I know of "large" churches who haven't grown in 10 -12 years.

    I believe that all "healthy" churches will experience growth to some degree. It may not be phenominal growth like some would expect, but there will be growth. A lack of growth, IMO, would be an indication that something is not working properly. A healthy apple tree produces more apples; a healthy Christian produces more Christians.
     
  4. I Am Blessed 24

    I Am Blessed 24
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    I would not presume to judge anyone by the size of their ministry.

    I have seen very 'on fire' small churches and I have seen very 'on fire' big churches.

    I have seen 'dead' small churches and 'dead' big churches.

    'Dead' churches, as a rule, do not grow.

    The important thing is that the church be in God's will.

    So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.
    1Cr 3:6
     
  5. Mexdeaf

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    I am a missionary in Mexico. If I wanted to we could have 100 in church every Sunday, I could just buy their attendance with food or money (or tell them they are going to hell if they don't come to church) like the JW's and other groups do. Many times my folks say the JW's or the Catholic group has more than we do. I have to remind them and myself that if numbers were the measuring stick then God is losing because there will be more people in Hell than in Heaven.

    God never says he will judge us by our numbers but by our faithfulness.
     
  6. Dr.Tim

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    Buy attendance with food like the JW's...?????
    It's a COMMON PRACTICE for the JW's and deaf ministry. Personally, I would be insulted if I were a deaf JW. Yes, that is exactly what they are doing.. buying attendance. Good post deafmex..good post. Success is not the key..faithfulness is.
     
  7. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K)
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    I think you need to clarify the question a bit. There is a difference in a "small church" and a church that isn't growing. I know of "large" churches who haven't grown in 10 -12 years.

    I believe that all "healthy" churches will experience growth to some degree. It may not be phenominal growth like some would expect, but there will be growth. A lack of growth, IMO, would be an indication that something is not working properly. A healthy apple tree produces more apples; a healthy Christian produces more Christians.
    </font>[/QUOTE]I am talking about growth, not size. I know of many very spiritual, godly churches, where the people love the Lord, the preaching is sound, and yet have not grown for years. These are churches that vary in size from 10 to 500, both in the US and Europe. I think of the many missionary church plants that struggle for years seeing little or any growth.

    On the other hand, among that fastest growing churches in the world is the Catholic church in South America and Africa. If growth indicates "doing something right" then these folks would qualify.

    Liberal churches also experience phenomenal growth. If I were to offer a rock band and dance worship our church would be thriving.

    God's timetable is not our timetable. Churches may go years without growth. We too often expect things to happen according to our standards. William Carey's church was 15 years old before it started growing. We never know what God is doing in an individual church.To judge a church by whether or not it is growing in numbers is, IMHO, a man centred philosophy.

    [ May 02, 2005, 01:04 AM: Message edited by: C4K ]
     
  8. blackbird

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    Roger??? Is there something you're not tellin' us???? I mean, buddy!!! We're friends on the BB---you can trust us to get your "rock band" and "dance worship" TRUE feelings out in the open!!!! Have you at least TRIED dance??? [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  9. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K)
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    That's when our church went from about twenty to just our family. A man in our church got married and his new wife demanded that I incorporate dance and share my pulpit with her. She spent two weeks getting the rest of the folks to back her up.

    They started having a Friday night dance worship service and quit coming here. They finally found a more liberal church that suited them, let her preach, and let her lead the dance worship.

    Since then we have been stuggling along. The story this group tells folks is that we don't believe in the Holy Spirit.

    There are many factors in why a church may or my not be growing. To claim that a non-growing church is somehow "unhealthy" seems a bit too harsh, from my experience.
     
  10. DeafPosttrib

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    Good Morning everyone!

    I went to Paris, France three times in 1998, 1999, and 2001. I stayed at Missionary Robert Huffman's house. He graduated from Tenneese Temple Collge(now University). He is missionary under B.I.M.I. He have been missionary to France for 35 years. His church attendance average 100 people. I learned that, his church is Europe's largest Independent Fundmetnal Baptist church. Only average attendance is 100. Also. I notice his church have about 90 people are black from Africa. About 10 people are white who living in France area. Only 10 people in his missionary work for 35 years?!

    Witness to people in France and also in Paris is very difficult. Because of high percent of two major religions - Roman Catholics and Muslims. When witness to them, most of them saying, "I am Catholic, because I follow my family" or, "I am Muslim, because I follow my family." I did witness to deaf in Paris. All of them saying either "I am Catholic" or "I am Muslim", they told me., they follow their family as tradition.

    I am impress with Bob Huffman's attitude and his spiritual. He is so humble, positive, and godly man. He is so faithful serve the Lord in France for over 35 years, no matter how hard to growing church, he just keep on serve the Lord, witness gospel to them. His work is not vain or worthless in the Lord's sight. He told me, witness gospel to them is so difficult, but, do not give up, keep on patience and faithful to God. He's right.

    Same with Noah, he preached to people for 120 years while he builted Ark. None of them were repent and go into the Ark. But, his work was not vain, because of his faithful to God. His name is being mentioned in Hebrews chapter 11, because of his faith and faithful too.

    Also. William Carey, missionary to China during 19th Century. He witnessed gospel to them for 11 years, no one repent and saved. But, he won't give up, he kept his patience, faith, and faithful till his death. Then after his death, God did blessed his work, many became saved and started 60 churches in China because of his faithful.

    God does not interesting in numbers, God interesting our faithful, that how God blessing them, and to please God.

    In Christ
    Rev. 22:20 -Amen!
     
  11. Dr.Tim

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    C4K.. i dont know your name... but....

    Bingo! same has happened in many places that I have worked with over the past 20 years. One lady from an Assemblies of God church showed up at one church I was serving with about 1986. She comes in and was very friendly and talkative. After the service, one of my interpreters (cheerful person, full of joy) approached the visitor and said "we enjoyed having you with us this morning and hope to see you again". The visitor said.."Wellllll, I prefer a Holy Spirit-filled church and thats where I get my food from the Lord, so thanks anyway." My interpreter said "Ok I understand and thanks for coming, God bless." A few weeks later all the Deaf went to McDonalds after Sunday Night service and I saw that same woman again. We went and sat with her group. Almost immediately she began telling us Baptists that we are the "have-nots", meaning we do not have the Holy Spirit. I kind of foolishly let her talk without end for about half an hour. My people with me knew she was wrong and so I didnt say anything. Later, a few weeks, she had a few more people with her when I saw her again. She invited us over and began telling us about how wonderful church was and the Spirit was filling their church each week, etc.
    After that, I would guess maybe a year later at the most, the pastor of that church resigned and ran off with the pianist. The interpreter herself left her husband and moved up North somewhere. she remarried about 2 years later and is still married to this man.
    That church did all the dancing and so forth and the wife was "co-pastor" as is common with many churches today (eeek).
    I never met a group of people who church hopped every two or three years or so when the song and dance became the same.
     
  12. 4His_glory

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    I am talking about growth, not size. I know of many very spiritual, godly churches, where the people love the Lord, the preaching is sound, and yet have not grown for years. These are churches that vary in size from 10 to 500, both in the US and Europe. I think of the many missionary church plants that struggle for years seeing little or any growth.

    On the other hand, among that fastest growing churches in the world is the Catholic church in South America and Africa. If growth indicates "doing something right" then these folks would qualify.

    Liberal churches also experience phenomenal growth. If I were to offer a rock band and dance worship our church would be thriving.

    God's timetable is not our timetable. Churches may go years without growth. We too often expect things to happen according to our standards. William Carey's church was 15 years old before it started growing. We never know what God is doing in an individual church.To judge a church by whether or not it is growing in numbers is, IMHO, a man centred philosophy. [/QB]</font>[/QUOTE]Amen C4K. Keep pickin stones! ;)

    (edited only to fix quote formatting)

    [ May 02, 2005, 08:30 AM: Message edited by: C4K ]
     
  13. tfisher1

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    Ok, sorry I have to ask, but what in the world is "Dance Worship"...(mosh pit???)

    Todd
     
  14. Pastor_Bob

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    How many were saved on the Day of Pentecost?
    How may did Jesus feed with the 5 loaves and 2 fishes?
    How many did Jesus feed with the 7 loaves and a few fishes?

    I'd say that God is interested in numbers, because each number represents a human soul that He sent His Son to die for. Granted, God is no more impressed with a church of 5,000 than He is with a church of 50. God sees the faithfulness of His people. Our faithfulness is demonstrated when we fulfill our purpose in life.

    We were created to bring honor and glory to God. John 15:8 tells us that God is glorified when we bear fruit. Paul tells us in Romans 1:13 that bearing fruit would include winning souls.

    So, I still maintain that a healthy church will be a growing church, regardless of the size of the congregation.

    John 15:8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
    (KJV)

    Romans 1:13 Now I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you, (but was let hitherto,) that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among other Gentiles. (KJV)
     
  15. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    So then Pastor Bob, would you also contend that a growing church is a healthy church?
     
  16. DeafPosttrib

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    Pastor_Bob,

    Tell me, how many souls, Jesus Christ won during in his three years of ministry on earth?

    How many souls, Apostle Paul won them to Christ in his about 30 years of missionary work?

    In Christ
    Rev. 22:20 - Amen!
     
  17. Pastor_Bob

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    No I would not. I could lower our standards and immediately double the size of our church. That certianly would not indicate that we are a healthy church.
     
  18. Pastor_Bob

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    Both won as many as possible. I'm sure that both took advantage of every opportunity to see people saved.

    I'm not talking about "putting another notch on your belt" for pride's sake. I'm talking about bearing fruit as a Christian. God is concerned that His children be fruitful children.

    Luke 13:6 He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none.
    7 Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground?
    8 And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it:
    9 And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down. (KJV)

    Tell me, who is the owner of this vineyard?
    Who does the barren fig tree represent?
    Why does the owner want the fig tree removed?
     
  19. GrannyGumbo

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    Can a church be spiritually strong and not be growing numerically?

    Liberty Baptist Church...8 souls strong for 4 yrs now. We are 100% faithful to ALL services; 100% faithful to our street ministry; 100% faithful to our worldwide radio broadcast, "The Sons of Liberty". We just hosted our very first Campmeeting with 50 in attendance...talk about putting about the grub! (but we three ladies did okay, cooking for that many folks for 8 days, lol).
     
  20. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    I have never thought of fruit being numbers - thats the first time I have heard that application.

    I always thought fruit was spiritual fruit being manifested in the lives of beleivers. I'll have to look into that more.
     

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