Monday, March 29, 2010
Engage Church - Bigger OR Smaller?
At Engage City Church (I'm one of the pastors) we've determined we want to GROW BIGGER & SMALLER at the same time.
BIGGER - We actually believe Jesus meant it when He said, "I will build my church" and as His followers we are compelled by His love to go and share Him with their community and world. The Church will naturally grow as we serve others in Jesus' name. The Gospel compels us.
SMALLER - We also believe that there are no lone rangers when it comes to following Jesus. In fact to follow Jesus means we embrace relationships from His perspective and under His leadership. We need other followers in our life to encourage, stretch and grow us in our relationship with Jesus Christ. The Gospel compels us.
Tim Keller, the Pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church, New York makes this helpful comment on the "Big Church versus Small Church" debate:
"My conclusion is that –in the final analysis–neither approach to church is better at growing spiritual fruit, reaching non-believers, caring for people, and producing Christ-shaped lives. I said ‘in the final analysis’ because each approach to church–the smaller, organic, simple, incarnational church, and the larger, organizational, complex, attractional church–has vastly different strengths and weaknesses, limitations and capabilities. The two constants to effectiveness are: a) getting the gospel right (not moralistic or antinomian, not individualistic or collectivistic) and b) contextualizing the whole church to the culture around (not over-adapted or under-adapted.) To think that the key is in the methodology (organic/incarnational vs organizational/attractional) is a mistake that comes, I think, from a lack of experience. There are great and terrible examples of all these methods and models. All kinds are thriving and all kinds are failing."