Church Growth Without Change


Change by Wiertz Sébastien on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

Carey Nieuwhof has written a piercing article called ‘What To Do When People Want A Church To Grow … But Not Change‘.

He asks this pertinent question:

Isn’t wanting to grow but not really change actually like saying “I want to lose weight, but I really want a bacon cheeseburger”?

Then he offers six strategies to church leaders in just such a situation.

I can think of ‘bacon cheeseburger’ churches. Can you? Are we willing to face the cost and pain of change, or are we – in Nieuwhof’s word – ‘delusional’?


One thought on “Church Growth Without Change

  1. I’m assuming that he’s thinking of people who want the church to grow numerically?
    If the members were saying they wanted to grow in faith, love, commitment or their knowledge of Scripture, that would be a whole different ball game. In fact I believe that this inner growth would lead to numerical growth.

    A person *can* lose weight by eating bacon cheeseburgers, as long as its all they eat, and do exercise – so they are burning off more calories than they take in. Short term, it could work. The weight wouldn’t stay off because they wouldn’t be able to keep it up. Long term weight loss involves a change in thinking and attitudes to food, and the dieter has to want to do it.
    Similarly, a church could hang on to all its traditions and so on, but add other things – messy church, different styles of worship – and achieve short term numerical growth. It might not last; growth and change have to come from within.

    I’m sure a lot of churches have new people coming in through the door. The question is, do they find anything inside that makes them want to stay?

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