By Brandon Cox • July 12, 2018
The story is told of Truett Cathy, founder of Chick-fil-A, that he once sat quietly through a board meeting listening to his executives brainstorm about how to get bigger. He suddenly interrupted the chatter with a declaration: “If we get better, we won’t have to worry about getting bigger.” Talk about an aha moment!
We can make the church grow, or we can watch the church grow, and the difference boils down to bettering instead of biggering.
In their story is a big answer to what should be next for our church, and probably for yours too. We must focus on bettering and we won’t have to worry about biggering. So how do we get better? These are the principles forming in my own heart and mind about how I want to see the church at large improve:
- We need to depend upon the Spirit’s influence and empowering, and to unashamedly confess that dependence in our prayer and worship.
- We need to learn to tell God’s redemptive story, the good news, in a way that relates to our surrounding culture. We need to make the gospel central to our message and mission.
- We need to focus on people—connecting with people, connecting people to other people, and meeting the needs people experience on a daily basis.
- We need to make disciples and develop leaders rather than simply attracting more fans. Attracting isn’t bad, but failing to challenge those we attract to take the next step is a severe flaw.
- We need to get bold about our vision for a world touched and changed by a God-sized movement. It’s time to stop apologizing for an intense desire to influence and impact the culture with truth and grace.
- We need to sacrifice our comfort, our preferences, and our personal agendas and embrace change—radical, catalytic, movement-shaking change.
- We need to be strategic, pragmatic, and effective. These are curse words in some pockets of evangelicalism, but they are absolutely NOT at odds with biblical Christianity. We can be both faithful and fruitful.
- We need to work together, in unity, as a team. Structural and institutional unity isn’t necessary, but working hand-in-hand for Kingdom-sized causes is.
The world doesn’t necessarily need bigger churches. But it definitely needs better churches, and better churches usually wind up bigger, and bigger isn’t bad.