Thursday, August 14, 2008

Seeking the Saved

There are some critics out there who have a lot to say about church growth. Let me say that I am pretty tired of the antichurch-growth arguments. Frankly, most of the criticisms have been raised by THOSE who have NOT even EARNED THE RIGHT TO BE HEARD.

Hard working pastors and church planters who sacrificially labor to lead the lost to Christ rarely find any merit in the criticisms leveled against them from the ivory towers of theological academia. I know I don’t. Rebukes from those who can’t make it work in their own churches (or ministries) ring hollow.

Even worse, some of the very people who have criticized PCC for its growth seem to have no problem benefiting from our growth – they build their own ministry by pilfering ours. Instead of following the mandate of Jesus, who came to “seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10), these very same people will label PCC as a “seeker sensitive” church to be avoided; yet in turn, will “SEEK THE SAVED” right out of our congregation to join their own. How hypocritical is that? They will pilfer the very church they are critical of just to prop up their own failing efforts.
  • Transfer growth, by definition, creates no new converts, no baptisms, no increase of the knowledge of God in the earth, and no salvation fruit. It simply gathers the already-saved and relocates them. It is a reshuffling of the deck.

  • Transfer growth – growth that steals from others and avoids the messy business of evangelism and the discipleship of those new converts – is fast and efficient; it graphs well and looks good on the church’s end-of-year report.

  • Transfer growth is weak, only requiring weak leaders and weak pastors to make it happen.

  • Transfer growth is very uncommitted growth. It’s very dangerous to build a house on shifting members.

PCC will never lose its emphasis upon seeking the lost. We will not reduce the Great Commission down to shifting the sheep and reshuffling the deck.

It is profoundly arrogant of these ministry leaders to assume that they have been selected (by God) to be on some sort of spiritual fast tract, giving them permission to consume at another’s expense. Instead of seeking the saved, how about seeking the lost.

Until then, you haven’t earned the right to be heard.