It is amazing how feverishly we sometimes pursue things that aren’t real. Imagine a church growth conference for pastors in which there is more attention given to a Stanford economist than to the words of the Bible (really happened). Imagine a book outlining keys to an effective church—a book that attends more to the importance of a well laid out parking lot than to the importance of God’s word (really happened). Imagine a generation of pastors being trained to believe they are CEO’s—they are the next Steve Jobs, and are the ones to creatively lead their congregations to prosperity and influence (happens every day).
We speak of vision and creativity, of relevance and sincerity, all the while copying corporate models for monopoly. We speak of redemption and grace, of love and fellowship, all the while hacking our way to greater market share. We are careening at light speed in completely the wrong direction. It is no wonder we have little that is real to show for our efforts. But if these techniques aren’t the ideals for church growth, then what are?