The problem is not so much with what churches are doing; it’s with what they are not doing.
Many churches are so focused on growth that the majority of their resources (money, materials and people) are focused on growth initiatives; i.e. building campaigns, community events, etc. This leaves little left for internal growth initiatives. In other churches, particularly those overseas, there is precious little resource to invest in either external or internal growth. Either way, churches are struggling to help people to grow. We are adding to our numbers, but we’re adding ‘fringe’ and we’re not helping ‘fringe’ move to the core.
BUT, what if there existed a community of ‘core’ believers whose sole purpose was to birth new believers from the ‘world’ and develop baby believers in the ‘fringe’?
If this community was effective, it would complement churches of all sizes, shapes and styles while filling this all important gap of internal spiritual growth. It would have to be orthodox and yet inter-denominational. It would have to be united on the essentials of the Christian faith, but mature enough to give and receive the freedom granted by grace. It would have to be seemlessly global, not bound to a region or local church body. It would have to be large in number, but it would have to be more concerned about the maturity of the community than it’s size. It would have to be simple for community members to communicate with one another; it would have to be accessible, transparent, authentic, and helpful to those outside of the comunity.
If such a community existed, ‘fringe’ building churches could leverage the community to supplement their existing internal growth initiatives, practically free. If such a community existed, a small town church in west Texas, an isolated body of believers in Zambia or an underground small group in a communist or muslim country would have equal access to the same global support structure as a mega-church in the USA.
Does this sound exciting? Do you want to engage? Let me know…