Let me say at the outset that I do not for a minute believe churches call a session for the express purpose of crying out “Uncle.” Quite the contrary, for the most part they don’t even realize that they have even done so. As a matter of fact sometimes they find that they are sucked into the church growth movement because they are convinced there is no other way to “grow” or save their church. While other churches are actually born into this error having begun by church growth methodology.
As promised in yesterday’s post, I want to give the underlying foundational errors of the church growth movement. Let me say this, the offspring of the church growth movement is known as “The Seeker-Sensitive” Movement. The foundational errors of this movement are three-fold; first, it denies the authority and sufficiency of the Scriptures, and secondly, it is built on the false assumption that the unconverted is actively seeking after the God of the Bible, and third, the purpose of the Sunday morning worship service is to reach the lost. These are three false assumptions that have lent themselves to the harm of the church;
THE DENIAL OF THE AUTHORITY AND SUFFICENCY OF SCRIPTURE
This is a very serious error. Yet no one in the church growth movement will admit that they have denied the authority or sufficiency of scripture. As a matter of fact, almost all will argue their reasoning and justification by use of the Scriptures. So, in what way do they do this? Or really, how does this denial take place?
Jesus Christ stated in Matthew 16:18:
“And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock, I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
Jesus alone is the architect, builder, owner and Lord of the church. He gave the blueprints for his church, he gave or instilled the power into the followers of Christ as instruments in the building of the church, and he gave the great commission for the building of His church. Therefore, if we are going to see any “growth” in our churches we must use his blueprints, tap into his power, and obediently follow the great commission.
Today, churches as a whole have abandoned the idea of the authority and sufficiency of the Scriptures since they either add to them or abandon them. The great commission gives us the blue print to use in order to build the church – as we are going, make disciples, baptize them, and teach them everything that Christ taught the disciples. Nothing more and nothing less will do. Changing the gospel, redefining sin or repentance, casual dress, rock-star music, or seeker sensitive growth plans will not grow the church. Let me say quickly, at least not spiritually. These methods have sometimes been successful to build “mega-church” messes that profess to be a church.
When you abandon the God-given blue print for church growth which is to make disciples you have abandoned God’s plan for the church and substituted a cheap methodology you have denied the authority and sufficiency of Scripture.