For the last generation, “church growth” has been a primary emphasis in American religion. Methods and process which appeal to the population at large have been employed by many religious practitioners in the hopes of reaching the unreached in our country — not all of which have been faithful to scripture. At some point, Christian leaders and churches, inhabiting a worldly society, need to recognize that not everything which “grows” a church is desirable from a heavenly standpoint. I John 4:5 makes this point:
“They are from the world; therefore they speak as from the world, and the world listens to them.”
One seeking merely to “grow” a church might just take a cue from I John 4:5. How can you get a lot of people from the world to come to your church? Be worldly — “from the world” — and people from the world will relate to you, and want to join you. “Speak as from the world”, and the world will listen to you. They will come in flocks and droves. Don’t be too “holy”, lest it be a turn-off. Don’t preach unpopular moral principles from the word of God; that might offend people. Be sure to survey popular opinion and preferences so you can give everybody what they want to hear. And above all, make sure you are entertaining — and keep it coming!
Really, I John 4:5 is a sure-fire method for church growth, right out of the word of God. It’s somewhat surprising that no one has discovered it — or have they?