Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Theology and Church Growth

"Yeah but that kind of theology doesn't grow churches" I remember about Christmas last year, going to my cousins church and going up to speak to the preacher to air some differences of opinion I had with his sermon.

Having just completed the most faith-screwing-with year of my life, I was at a stage where I pretty much didn't have any idea at all what I really believed, and was having enough trouble with that as it was, then this. I think I raised some questions that were racing around in my head re the Bible, how we got it, who wrote it etc, questions I still mull over.

And then he said that. Now for me, as someone who is massively passionate about seeing people come into relationship with Jesus (yes I still believe that despite the cliche-ness of it) this totally troubled me.

I have always held that it is God who calls us to him, that if chrches grow, its because of God. So... Would God not grow a church I was leading because I didn't think the right thing? That question massively screwed with my head.

So should I just conform to standard Christian belief and ignore all of my questions? I crtainly hope not.

You look at a guy like Spong, somebody with ome pretty 'different' understandings of God to what you would find in most churches. And in the area over which he presides church attendance has halved int he time he's been there.

Then you look and see the churches that are often pretty conservative, maybe fundamentalist (crappy terms, but I know what I mean by them) in their theology, and they seem to be the ones growing.

I think maybe there are some sociological reasons behind this, in terms of people's need and desire to have answers, and to avoid difficult questions without solid answers and to know that they're right etc, but I still reckon God plays a massive part in churches growing.

And before anybody starts ranting about numbers not being the measure of success or whatever, i am well aware of that. But at the end of the day i think the world would be a better place with 100 switched on disciples rather than 10, and at the moment, churches are the main places producing passionate disciples of Christ.

Sorry about the long post, but its abig one for me.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey Digs, Storky here. Great blog site mate, and this last posting is a doozy! Have to concur with you on why some of the churches with more "strict" interpretations of Christianity (presented in a rock-concert dressing with a Guru-Bob homily) are rolling in the numbers (and the $$$$). In times of uncertainty, people want security, certainty and absolutes.

Anyway, one comment that Sarah makes, that makes a lot of sense - "There are so many different denominations and churches, because God made so many different personality types." One or two variations just wouldn't suit everyone - especially in the age of Post-Mod diversity.

Faith in the grey zone ain't easy, but it may be more authentic (in a true-to-yourself sense), and lead to more reliance on God than on yourself.

Ontario Emperor said...

I'm curious if the Rick Warren movement (purpose driven this, purpose driven that) is making headway Down Under. It's fairly controversial in the U.S., and critics claim that it's more interested in growing attendance than serving God.

Digger said...

Yeah it's pretty popular over here, particularly in your big lets-try-and-be-Saddleback churches.

From what I've heard from most people its done great things for churches, but obviously hard to tell whats going to happen to all those people in the long run.

There a few over here who don't like it, but my feeling is they're just your standard disagree with anything from a big church people. Wouldn't call it controversial though.

Whats the feeling like in the States towards the mega-churches? Does everybody try and copy them or is there a bit of a backlash against them generally?

Meinv Chen said...

20150403chenlili
kate spade
lebron james basketball shoes
michael kors
louis vuitton
tory burch outlet online
abercrombie
michael kors outlet
hermes birkin
coach factory
ray ban glasses
coach outlet
jordan 11 gamma blue
adidas outlet
louis vuitton
ray bans
louis vuitton outlet
true religion outlet
michael kors uk
michael kors handbags
oakley sunglasses
prada shoes
cheap jerseys
chanel outlet
gucci uk
soccer jerseys
abercrombie & fitch
michael kors bag
mont blanc

xumeiqing said...

151230meiqing
abercrombie
cheap oakleys
michael kors outlet online
gucci outlet
louis vuitton outlet
air max 95
michael kors outlet
cheap uggs
tory burch sale
coach outlet online
cheap oakley sunglasses
michael kors handbags
michael kors outlet online
coach factory outlet
louis vuitton outlet
toms shoes
hollister outlet
cheap oakley sunglasses
swarovski jewelry
ugg outlet
ugg boots on sale
louis vuitton outlet stores
canada goose jackets
ugg boots on sale
adidas originals
jordan concords
chanel handbags
nike air max
coach factory outlet
louis vuitton
oakley sunglasses
rolex watches outlet
coach outlet online
cheap soccer shoes
oakley sunglasses
jordan retro
ugg boots clearance
canada goose
tods outlet

Fangyaya said...

the north face jackets
cheap ray ban sunglasses
uggs on sale
michael kors outlet clearance
discount jordans
michael kors handbags
coach factory outlet
coach factory outlet
cavaliers jerseys
polo shirts
louis vuitton outlet
cheap jordan shoes
cheap oakley sunglasses
ugg boots outlet
true religion jeans
coach factory outlet
coach factory outlet online
replica rolex watches
longchamp pas cher
ugg boots
ray ban sunglasses
coach outlet online
cheap rolex watches
canada goose sale
hermes handbags
cheap nfl jerseys
timberland boots
hollister outlet
michael kors outlet online
christian louboutin shoes
20169.12chenjinyan

raybanoutlet001 said...

hugo boss salefor
true religion jeanswith
adidas nmd r1Then,
sac longchamphad
skechers outletseriously
air jordan ukfirst
michael korsthe
asics shoesfor
nba jerseyspost
michael kors handbagshere

千禧 Xu said...

christian louboutin outlet
coach outlet
dallas cowboys jersey
cheap ray bans
ray ban sunglasses outlet
michael kors handbags
michael kors handbags
michael kors outlet
miami heat jersey
nike air huarache