Do you have any idea what percentage of growing churches are growing from evangelism and making disciples? Go ahead and get a number in your head…put it in the comments before you go on. I will put the number at the end of the article so you can’t peek!
The number is abysmally low.
The number is not what percentage of all churches…but of growing churches. So the numbers are far worse than they appear. Only a tiny percentage of churches are growing through evangelistic efforts. And yet Jesus put us here to make disciples.
What is the problem?
I don’t claim to know all the answers but I will name a few factors.
1 – We replaced personal with impersonal. As churches got larger things got less personal.
2 – We placed word of mouth with technology. Instead of people inviting people we have an advertising budget for social media!
3 – We replaced incarnation with programs. Instead of people with people we have people running programs. Those programs are still people with people but the focus is often the program rather than the people.
4 – We try to outdo the Jonses. You can grow a church by doing a better job (better programs, better preaching, etc) than the church across town.
5 – We replaced Holy Spirit with human spirit. The Holy Spirit was the driving force of the early church. Now business models are growing churches – and yes – they are growing as in more people coming than who used to come. But the kingdom isn’t growing.
That brings us to a final point.
We need to differentiate between kingdom growth and church growth. Growing a church can be done from a secular humanistic perspective with little to no reliance on God. With the right people and the right business and marketing principles, you could start a church and make it grow. But it won’t be kingdom growth.
And here is that number…6%! Just 6% of growing churches are growing primarily through evangelism. That means 94% of the churches that are growing are growing through transfer growth! And the pool of churches we are talking about here aren’t ALL churches, just the ones that are growing. So this is a very small percentage of a very small percentage of churches!
You can learn more about this by watching this video that explains what is happening in more detail.