It has come to my attention in recent months that the church in the west seems to think that growth primarily happens by building a bigger building, or adding another service as to be able to fit more people on one campus. as someone with a church planting heart I find this difficult to understand, although I have tried to give churches in the area the benefit of the doubt to understand where they are coming from. much to my dismay i have not been able to grasp what exactly the church in the west is getting at.
Recently i heard a sermon which referenced Mark 2.3-4 as a reason to add a third service or build more space on the existing building for more people to come to this manifestation of the church. As I began to read the passage i was disturbed and thought to myself “have pastors in the west become so engulfed by the poor system of church that exists here they dont see what the bible actually says now?” The fact is, as best I can understand what Jesus is doing in this part of the narrative, that these friends are a minor part of the passage. What is more important is that Jesus is revealing his deity for the first time, in a way that Scribes and Pharisees and Sadducees would know and understand.
Of course in Marks narrative we see Jesus do things that are amazing which alludes to his deity but up to this point he has never forgiven sins a privilege reserved for God. He then shows that he knows what the scribes are thinking, and engages them based on that, then to highlight his authority he tells the man to get up, take his mat and go home.
To the point this has nothing to do with making space. In fact I dont know that you can make a strong biblical case for making space (to a building), feel free to correct me if I am wrong, but it would seem from what we can glean from Acts that people were planting churches, not to attract more people but to equip people to go out and engage culture to change secular space. again the emphasis is on church planting, Paul visits churches all over the Mediterranean world as they sprout up in an effort to help them to continue in write teaching and practice.
the churches were networked together working to a greater good the Kingdom of God, not the kingdom of FBC…
what then shall we say, is it wrong to have new services, or create new spaces? I am sure that in some sense it might be ok, however it is important to check motives it is important that believers are doing the work to interact with culture and change secular space, not send out mailers to attract other believers from other fellowships to come to yours. Further it should be evaluated how many church planters are present in that fellowship, because it would be a disservice to those who have been gifted by God to pass over them to grow the fellowship as it is instead of multiplying it.
In Acts we see that after Stephen’s death the believers were scattered and proclaimed the word as they went, and as they were scattered fellowships began to pop up everywhere and the church flurished. Throughout all of history when the church as become about Growing fellowships instead of multiplying fellowships the church in that area has become very weak, and almost non-existent. so what I am trying to say is
WAKE UP WESTERN CHURCH YOU ARE DEGENERATING!!!