Why You May Not Be Growing As a Church

It's one of the most pressing questions pastors and church leaders ask themselves:

"Why aren't we growing?"

To be sure, not every mission's soil will yield the same fruit. We're not talking about overall size, but rather the idea that biblically, we can assume that God wants every church that honors His name and proclaims His message in Christ to grow and that He is willing to empower it to that end.

Churches are living things. Living things grow. If you're not growing – even if just in compensation to what you've lost through transition – something is wrong.

Again, it doesn't have to be by much. Those churches in smaller communities who are growing by five people a year may actually be growing at a higher percentage of the available population than the "mega" churches.

So take heart.

But if you are not growing at all, or declining…well, God isn't the problem. We are. Click here to continue reading this post and to view the blog archive.

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Your Final Name

We all have names that were given to us at birth. Then we have names that people give us as we grow up and live out our lives. But what about the name we can give ourselves? And even more importantly, what about the name God had for us when He dreamed us into existence?

In the Bible, someone's name was something significant. In the most ancient of understandings, a name expressed someone's essence. To know someone's name meant that you knew their nature, you knew their character. They were their name!

So what if you could name your life - what would that name be? What does God want it to be? What purpose is your life meant to fulfill, what destiny to chase, what vision to imagine?

Our names reflect who we are - or at least, who others think we are - or who we think we are. Which means our name can be a source of health and wholeness, security and confidence. Or our names can be a source of pain, suffering, and discouragement.

So what does your name say about your life?

There are three names you need to think about, and these three names will mark the journey we'll take in this series. First, there is the name you were given at birth by your parents, the only name many people will ever have; second, there is the name you can be given by God; Finally, there is the name you will be given at the end of time, a name that will fill all of eternity in terms of its vision, meaning and significance.

In each of those names we find who we think ourselves to be, who we have the possibility of becoming, and who God will one day declare us to be.

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