Two friends are talking as they enter the sanctuary. The following is their conversation.
“There are a lot of new people in church; even the front row is filled. I remember when people who came in late had to sit up front, maybe as close as the fifth row.”Forgive the parody of Abbot and Costello. Apologies to those of you were expecting something much more spiritual. Just wanted to make a few points:
“Yeah, now church is so full you have to get here early to sit in the back. There are so many people I will never learn their names. Who’s on the front row?”
“Yes, it is. And behind him is, What, and I Don’t Know is next to him.”
“Do you know their names?”
“I just told you their names.”
“Who’s on the front row?”
“On the front row?”
“The person sitting on the end of the front row, who is it?”
“Yes, it is Who.”
“Why are you asking me? I’m asking you who is on the front row?”
“That’s his name—Who.”
“What’s whose name?”
“No, What is behind Who.”
“When the usher takes up the offering, who gives the tithe?”
“Who gives it?”
“Of course, he is a new member and a regular tither, and his wife too.”
“That’s right; they joined the church together.”
“What’s the guy’s name on the end of the front row?”
“No, What’s on the second row and I Don’t Know is next to him.”
“I’m not asking you who’s on the second row!”
“Who’s on the front row!”
“The church has a new worship leader. Is she good?”
“What’s her name?”
“Well, I just thought I would ask!”
“Well, I just told you!”
“Who’s preaching now?”
“Who’s on the front row.”
“I Don’t know.”
“He is on the second row next to What.”
“I don’t know what!”
“Come on let me introduce you.”
“I don’t care!”
“I Don’t Care left our church a long time ago. That’s when we started to grow.”
- It is not important to my worship experience that I know everyone in the service. In growing churches a vibrant experience with the Presence of God is absolutely necessary. In growing churches, there is more emphasis on the One who sits on the throne than who is sitting in the pew.
- It is not a requirement to sit by someone I know in order to learn more from the Word of God. In growing churches, a relevant message from God’s Word is absolutely necessary.
- It is not essential to be married or have children to go to church. People who are single can love Jesus. A growing church knows that the largest segment of society is single, and most single people are not Christians. In a growing church, integrating singles into the corporate Body is essential.
- It is not compulsory to diminish the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit in order to make people feel comfortable. In growing churches, there is a culture of conviction and repentance.
- It is not necessary to become the culture to be a healthy growing church. It is absolutely necessary that the Church is a countercultural community expressing citizenship in the kingdom of God. The growing church expresses devotion to Jesus Christ by living in obedience to His Word. The growing church does not support missions; the growing church lives missions. The growing church is passionate about each generation and the legacy of faith. The growing church knows that countercultural lifestyle attracts people to Jesus Christ.
- It is not central to enjoy church or be entertained in a growing church. It is central that each person has a personal encounter with the Holy Spirit.
- It is not crucial to have all the answers. The growing church gets messy sometimes, and not everyone is perfect. In a growing church it is permissible and people are encouraged to ask hard questions. In a growing church the gospel is held as timeless truth and eternal principles for living.