Church Growth Plan Revealed in a Chinese Fortune Cookie.
My wife and I were eating lunch after church one day at a Chinese restaurant. I hate Chinese food but she likes it so I have learned to find something I can tolerate for her sake without complaining.
But I have to admit, I have found one dish I really like. Kung Pau Beef is a spicy-hot dish consisting of beef, water chestnuts, onions, peanuts, and cayenne peppers all stir-fried together in a brown sauce and served over a bed of steamed rice. My mouth is watering right now just from thinking about it. But I digress.
During lunch, we were discussing the plethora of clever new, programs, amusements, gimmicks, methods and total makeovers that thousands of modern evangelical mega-church leader wannabes are trying in their desperate attempts to attract and assimilate masses of unbelievers into their congregational fellowships.
Like snake oil salesmen, Church growth gurus peddle their cookie-cutter marketing plans to eager church change agents ever looking for the newest guaranteed growth gimmicks. Sadly, for most of them, they remain as disappointed and unsuccessful as aspiring Amway agents.
On the other hand, USA Today reported, in March 2011, that the Seventh-day Adventist Church is the fastest-growing denomination in North America. Their annual growth rate is 2.5% while Southern Baptists and mainline denominations are declining. In fact, Adventists are growing 75% faster than Mormons who prioritize numeric growth.
Daniel Shaw, an expert on Christian missionary outreach at Fuller Theological Seminary, like other outside observers seem to be perplexed. He noted, “You’ve got a denomination that is basically going back to basics…saying, ‘What did God mean by all these rules and regulations and how can we fit in to be what God wants us to be?’”
Daniel Shaw can’t understand it but maybe he is overlooking the obvious. Maybe churches should get back to the basics.
At the end of our meal, my wife broke open her fortune cookie to read this very profound statement:
“Stick To The Basics.