The Church That Turns Visitors Away

Posted By on April 22, 2010

Ask most people how they measure the success of their church and “growth” is almost always the first answer. We generally acknowledge that a church “bursting at the seams” is doing well, while a church whose members are dwindling is looked upon as a sad, unfortunate plight.

And while there is a whole different discussion about the inaccuracy of our measurement of Kingdom growth (Jesus’ entire earthly ministry solicited less than 100 followers) as it relates to numbers, I find it entirely ironic and downright ignorant on our part that church growth is celebrated while family growth (where Christians should assume that added members will be discipled and brought up in the faith) is frowned upon and even discouraged.

Do we not ever think about our logic? Why can’t we at least be consistent?

What would you say (would you be bold enough to say anything) if when you arrived at church Sunday with a visitor, standing at the door is your pastor.

“I’m so sorry, she can’t come in.”

“Excuse me?” You ask.

“We have too many members and quite frankly our budget won’t allow for another one. Not only that but we’re just too busy to tell another person about the gospel. What with all the new buildings and activities–we can barely keep up with the ones we have…are you crazy? Do you honestly think adding another member is a wise decision?”

Go ye therefore, and ponder.

About The Author

Kelly Crawford is wife to Aaron and mother to 8 children. They operate a home business together besides living a very normal, busy life, by God's grace and a non-optional cup of coffee every morning. You can browse Kelly's website at Generation Cedar for more articles and the tools they sell to help equip families striving to live for God's glory. Drop in and say "hi"!


10 Responses to “The Church That Turns Visitors Away”

  1. Renee Stam says:

    Thanks for these thoughts. I personally thought that personal growth of the church members was what was most important than the number of attendees, but I could be wrong.

  2. Kelly, lets not down play the followers of christ! He did feed 5,000 men who were listening and learning from the Great Teacher! I guess you mean 100 close followers, but still! Secondly, I have never heard of this issue before… are some churches actually doing this turning away bit?

  3. Tess Bomac says:

    That’s a really good point! I love the quote from Mother Teresa “How can there be too many children? That is like saying there are too many flowers.”

  4. godsgirllacey,

    Yes, by followers I mean disciples we know about from Scripture–the close followers of Christ. The church began to really grow in number after his death and resurrection.

    I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to insinuate there were churches actually turning people away. The qualifier “if” meant to pose a metaphor between the perceived growth of a church (numbers) and the family.

    If we applaud a growing church and believe its expansion to represent a growing Kingdom, why don’t we attribute the same mind to Christian families? That was the point I was trying to make.

  5. I am sorry! I think I got so hung up on the 100 followers thing, I didnt even notice the mention of family! I totally missed the point! Lord, fill me with your grace!

  6. lady_bostock says:

    Absolutely fantastic point. I will be sharing this one around!

  7. mansemama says:

    LOVE IT!!

  8. Rachel says:

    Wow. So true!

  9. What an interesting metaphor…. I was discussing this issue with my family just this weekend after my dad–forgetting the lady’s name–referred to a woman as “the one with all the kids” (I think she has seven). In a church of over 1500, this family is quite the anomaly, and is labeled accordingly. 🙁

  10. Deanna Rabe says:

    What a great comparison Kelly!

    Wow! We are all for numbers in the church but not in the home!

    Thanks for this post!

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