A brother posted to two email groups and said,
I want to encourage others, especially our younger preaching brethren, to make more use of home Bible studies.
Right proper encouragement. I wonder what percentage of preachers — young and old — are apt and prepared to teach someone the gospel outside the pulpit.
A brother told me about one preacher who had never converted a soul teaching one-on-one. If that is not unusual, it's no wonder growth has stagnated in the USA.
Here is where real church growth will happen, when preachers and all saints begin teaching in the homes.
One of the interesting things about success is that we think we know what it means.
The same can be said for church growth. Many people write about it. Few have done it. Some have produced something that looks like church growth, but which is in fact a swelling of people or a selling of a product. Those who have done it may not be able to explain the true reasons for it. Some write from a biblical standpoint, and it is to scripture that we must go for the causes and contributions to church growth. But even then is it legitimate to write about what one has never done and does not plan to do, by obeying the Lord's mandate?
How to Find Your Purpose and Do What You Love - Brain Pickings
This statement saddens me deeply:
There have been more buildings erected to the honor and service of Jesus Christ in the United States of America alone during the last decade only than were previously erected all over the world in honor of all the kings and rulers who ever lived.
When we use the erection of church buildings as a measure of the church, things have gone terribly wrong.
It is noteworthy that the building the author erected in Manhattan at great expense is now occupied by a group so progressive that he would not recognize it nor have fellowship with it.
Excellent article by H. Fulford, as usual, two quotes especially caught my eye:
That a church needs a place to meet is logically inferred (Hebrews 10:24-25), but where a church meets is a matter of judgment and expediency. There was a time when church buildings were simple, modest, and functional. In time, they tended to become large and ostentatious, appealing to the fleshly pride of the members.
Brother Hugh doesn't mention the possibility of meeting in homes, which was what the early church did as a rule. Buildings tend to get bigger and fancier. Homes tend to multiply, when a place is outgrown.
If churches would put as much money into the teaching and preaching of the gospel in their local communities (including the training of their members to do such work) and ministering to the poor and needy (Galatians 2:10) as some of them put into physical facilities to cater to their fleshly appetites, we might just again see the church growing by leaps and bounds as it did in the first century and as it did in the early decades of the movement to restore original, apostolic Christianity.
What he said.
A man may sacrifice the lasting things for the cheap things. It is always easier to have a cheap success. An author may sacrifice that which would be really great for the cheap success of a moment. A musician may produce ephemeral trifles when he might be producing something real and lasting. A man may choose a job which will bring him more money and more comfort, and turn his back on one where he could render more service to his fellow-men. A man may spend his life in little things and let the big things go. A woman may prefer a life of pleasure and of so-called freedom to the service of her home and the upbringing of a family.
But life has a way of revealing the true values and condemning the false as the years pass on. A cheap thing never lasts.
—William Barclay, on Mark 11.37 (seen first in my printed volume)
And a church may sacrifice the truth of the gospel for theatrics and emotion, in order to promote numerical growth. But in time God will reveal the shallowness and futility of such an approach.
Evangelical says VBS is why kids quit church. He's got a point.