After almost 20 years of full-time pastoring (started at 22) and church planting- both in the U.S. and overseas—- I am never surprised by how fast a church can grow with little to no discipleship. It’s like raising up an army of mice.
However, what does surprise me is how many pastors keep doing starting churches like that- a mile wide and inch deep. Most of their growth is transfer (80% is average for these kind of churches- meaning roughly 8 out of 10 people who attend them came from another church). They claim to be “reaching the unchurched;” yet the test results say, “That’s a lie.”
Also, many of the same pastors that boast in their numbers, then complain of their church’s lack of service. They can’t seem to figure out why only 20-30% of their attendees show up to serve the community. They know something is wrong because they run 2,000 on Sunday but can’t even get 500 to put in work.
The people’s self-centered attitudes turn towards offense when they are pressed harder because they feel the church is “judging them.” In other words, they just want to be left alone. And most pastors do just that to keep their sanity. As the ole’ saying goes, “What you win them with, you have to keep them with.” No wonder so many pastors deal with burnout in the ministry, along with depression and anxiety. They don’t minister the deep things to keep the babes happy, yet it keeps them in a cycle of producing mice instead of an army of servant leaders.
My simple recommendation- serve God with passion and obedience, then teach others to do the same! I’d rather be faithful with a few than faithless with many. And one day the few I was faithful with, God will turn to many!
Matthew 25:23, “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’” (Click on the picture to see the whole meme and to share on social media!)