“I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.” -1 Corinthians 3:6
Should there really be conferences and seminars on Church growth? Didn’t God make it easy for us? In this Scripture we see clearly who is responsible for Church growth – and it’s not us! We are to plant and water, but it is up to God to cause growth. In spite of all our efforts to grow we often fail because we take on the wrong role in the process. We try so many things to make our churches grow, but should we really expect spiritual results from natural means? We too often depend on our own ideas and efforts rather than simply doing our part of planting and watering and trusting God to fulfill His part – the growth!
Yes, there are times that the Church will have to make certain adaptations as the world around us changes – and we should confer about these things. That being said, the changes we make to our local congregations, buildings, structure, worship style, etc. should be done only as a means of relating better to the people we hope to reach, not as some gimmick to effect growth. Being relevant is an important part of the equation, but it’s not nearly as important as trust; that is, trusting God enough not to try and take His responsibility of making the Church grow. Instead, let us all resolve to stick to our task of planting and watering and let God take care of His.
“And The Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.” -Acts 2:47