Church growth model

Here's this week's Bible study blog entry for i.ucc.org:

How do you think this strategy for church growth would play in today’s consumer-driven congregation?
  • Pastor: Adopt someone else’s message, go into hiding at the first sign of trouble and start calling leaders from an obscure town with no reputation for leadership.
  • Leaders: Pick some people with no background in church leadership who have likely been rejected by other church leaders and so have had to go into their family business instead.
  • Congregation: Consider that they have the brains of fish.
  • Growth plan: Fly by the seat of your pants and do what seems to be right at the time you do it.
Consider this from this week's Bible reading from Matthew 4:12-23:
  • Jesus waited until his cousin/rival was in prison before starting a public ministry. But he did it by saying almost exactly what John said and doing it in a place that had a history of trouble rather than respect. There was little if any chance that anyone would notice anything Jesus was doing.
  • The first disciples that Jesus called followed him immediately. We often put our own ideas into this situation – thinking that it would be difficult or unheard of to drop everything to respond to a teacher’s invitation. But more likely is that these fishermen – just past thirteen, had been rejected as students by the local rabbis. Instead they had to go into the family business. When they received an invitation – they took it immediately.
  • Catching people like fish? I don’t think the fish like getting caught – and I’m sure they don’t like getting dead. (OK – Jesus didn’t expect anyone to think of catching people like that, but I’m sure today’s church growth leaders could pick apart any similar ideas.)
  • Jesus didn’t have a 6-month or 1-year or 5-year plan for growth with established goals and milestones. He did what he did and then did what he did some more. (Some would argue that Jesus had a 1 or 3-year plan for getting in trouble and then getting crucified. I think his plans were to do what he did as long as he could until it was time to stop.)
I don’t think Jesus could get hired as a church planter today.

What do you think?

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