I hate either/or choices. I like both/and.
But life doesn’t always give us that.
Take church growth and health, for instance.
Usually, a choice for church health is also a choice for church growth. But not always. Sometimes it's one or the other. Especially in a smaller church.
Here are some ways that might occur:
- A small church pastor has the money to buy a church growth book or a spiritual growth book, but not both. Which one gets their hard-earned cash?
- A bivocational pastor has the time to attend only one conference this year. Do they go to the church growth conference or the prayer retreat?
- A downtown church has the chance to rent a larger space, but the new location is too far away for the homeless population they’ve been serving to attend. Do they stay or do they go?
No One Can Walk Through Two Doors at Once
When we decide for one option, it often closes the door for the other.
Yes, we serve an almighty God with unlimited resources, time and energy. But I’m not him. I can’t always do both/and. Sometimes my choice is either/or.
So, occasionally I have to ask myself this question: on those ocassions when church growth and church health offer mutually exclusive options, do I choose for church health or church growth?
I’ve decided I’ll always choose for church health.
I’ve become such a fan of church health, that even when I can choose both, I’d rather pick two church health options than pick one church health option and one church growth option.
Church Health First
If we choose for church health and that also leads to growth, that’s great! But if we choose for health and it only leads to health, but not growth … that’s also great. At least we have a healthier church.
On the other hand, if we choose for church growth and it leads to health, that’s great too! But if we choose for church growth and it only leads to church growth, but not health … that’s not good at all.
If we all started choosing for health and left the growth to God, what would happen? Does anyone really believe that would hinder church growth? Or is it possible that maybe – just maybe – the end result would be a world filled with healthier churches, both large and small?
If so, would it matter how big they were anymore?
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