Church growth

Pontius Puddle comic

The evangelist speaks
So many people hear the good news
Profession after profession is made
The church grows from empty to full

The promise of salvation gives much hope
Hope brings people to hear more
Wishing to live a better life
Wanting assured of God’s love

Weeks turn into months
Months turn into years
The hearer is left with the evangelist’s hope
Not brought into the community or introduced into new life

Is there more to faith than a prayer?
Is there more to common life than the common meal?
How is it that we feel left to stand alone?
Why are the spirits of those who struggle crushed?

Are we a group of Pharisees
Do we thank God we are better than our neighbor?
Does that neighbor hear those prayers as she sits in the bench?
Do we blame her when she finds another way?

The evangelist speaks, and many who need God enter
Do we embrace, or do we drive out

The cartoon is from Mennonite Joel Kauffman, and the image is served from his blog… when I see his work, it causes me to think about my own faith and experience. His little toad is quite human. I remember being in meetings discussing church growth, and programs — yet, when we discussed the specific needs of people there was a rejection that ministry was not cost effective. The goal was to pull people in, but there was not so much consideration of keeping people connected with the meeting. Needless to say, people going through a revolving door is not very effective for church growth.

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