Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Discerning Church Growth/Decline (better questions)

Kevin DeYoung offers some good counsel (in "It's probably not the worship style") when asking why a church is growing or declining. He feels the best question to ask is NOT "Is our worship style attractive?"

Kevin offers a few better questions to ask if your church is declining or plateaued (I've added a few Scripture references and links to Kevin's questions):

Is the gospel faithful preached? (click here for a good definition of the gospel)
Is the Bible taught with clarity and passion?
Are the sermons manifestly rooted in a text of Scripture?
Do the elders/pastors and deacons meet the qualifications for church office laid out in the New Testament (see 1 Tim. 3)?
Are the sacraments faithfully administered and protected?
Is church discipline practiced (see Mt. 18)?
Do the elders exercise personal care over the flock (see 1 Peter 5)?
Are there good relationships among the staff and other leaders?
Is the worship service put together thoughtfully and carried out with undistracting excellence (as much as possible).
Do the people in the congregation sing the songs with gusto or are they going through the motions?
Is a high bar set for church membership?
Are the people of the church engaged in personal ministry?
Is the congregation marked by increasing prayer and evangelism?
Do the pastors believe in the complete trustworthiness of all of Scripture (see 2 Timothy 3:16-17 and 2 Peter 1)?
Do they take adequate time for study and preparation?
Do they truly believe and eagerly rejoice in their church’s/denomination’s statement of faith, creeds, and confessions (see the EFCA's Statement of Faith)?
Are their lives examples of personal holiness?

2 comments:

Sarah Banowetz said...

I like this!

Terry Reed said...

I agree that these are important questions concerning the growth of the church. However, what about reaching the lost with the gospel of Jesus Christ? What about giving a cup of water in His name? I know that no list can be complete, but one area that must always be considered as to a church's growth is how it is reaching out for the Lord.
Terry Reed
Small Church Tools