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A church should measure its success not by how many new names are added to the role (although important) nor how much the budget is increased (also not necessarily a bad thing) but rather by how many Christians are actively winning souls and training them to win the multitudes.
I think that the basic principal of capitalism has changed our American gospel into consumerism. We have not gone out and met people where they are in their lives, but rather built large monuments and temples to the glory of our fundraising efforts. Now, before you get too upset, I attend a mega church. One of the top 5 fastest growing Methodist churches in the nation. However, I do know that great pains have been had at reaching people where they are and bringing them into a biblical community. The motto at our church is Real People, Real Life. And its really real. Our budgets have increased over the years, but so have our local, regional and international missions. Our church has grown significantly, yet the number of small groups continues to expand. We are not perfect, we don’t have it all figured out. But we are striving to make more and stronger disciples of Jesus Christ who make more and stronger disciples of Jesus Christ.
I was reading the Master Plan of Evangelism by Robert Coleman when I wrote this post.