The Growth Bias of Healthy Churches
Jesus gave us our marching orders. He said, “Go and make disciples” (Matthew 28:19, ESV).
That’s why at our church, we often say, “Our mission is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the glory of God.”
It means that we have a “growth bias” when it comes to disciple-making. We want to make disciples — as many as we can and as mature as we can.
By God’s grace, the disciples we are committed to making . . .
- Repent and believe the gospel,
- Are baptized as believers by immersion,
- Commit to learning to obey all that Jesus commands,
- Abide in the word,
- Are filled with the Spirit,
- Commit to membership in a local body of believers,
- Come to worship,
- Grow in a group,
- Serve in the body, and
- Go with the gospel
Of course, our commitment to making disciples is not new. It’s been what some have called “a long obedience in the same direction.”
So, how are we doing? How do you measure the results of disciple-making?
If the biblical book of Acts is our guide, we should measure in both numbers and– the numbers of those who have followed Jesus and the stories of how their lives are being transformed.
In other words, our disciple-making measurements should be both quantitative and qualitative.
So, let me give you just one quantitative snapshot that our church has recorded since it was begun in 1951 – total membership.
Because of our biblically-rooted “growth bias” and the sovereign favor of the Lord, our church membership has grown every year since 1989 and now stands above 5,200.
But I’m convinced that we have not yet reached what someone has called “our full redemptive potential.” In other words, there are still disciples to be made and lives to be transformed.
So, in obedience to our Lord Jesus, I hope you will join me in renewing your disciple-making “growth bias” – for the health of our church and for the glory of God!
Your Pastor and Friend,