This is a phrase that I’ve heard many times, in fact I just heard it again this past weekend as I visited a church. But I have a few questions (and answers) concerning this statement, and make no mistake this post applies not only to churches, but to businesses, families, and any organization for that matter that is claiming growth. I just happened to pick church for this post because of this particular visit (and by no means is this pointed at any particular church or organization).
The church may be growing in numbers but are the people that make up the church growing? I think what is being confused here is the expansion or increasing number of people attending this church versus the personal growth of it. I mean truthfully speaking, the church as the Bible speaks of it isn’t the building, it’s the people that occupy the building. Now with that said let’s ask the questions, is the church really growing? The answer to that question would be that some of it is and some of it isn’t. True organizational growth doesn’t happen unless the people that make up the organization are growing to be, as Matthew Kelley would say, “the best-version-of-themselves.” What this actually means from an organizational standpoint is that both the member/employee and the organization head or supervisor/employer have a responsibility to make sure that the members/employees are growing and achieving so that the entire organization can grow and achieve as the organization will only grow to the extent that the people who make up the organization will grow.
I’m not against church/organization growth, but what most people have deemed to be growth is artificial at best. It’s time that all of us understood what growth really is and work together to make sure that everyone is growing and benefiting instead of just a select few. The next time someone says my church/job/organization/etc. is growing challenge them to define what that means because there’s a difference between personal growth and population growth.