on Church Growth…

A Call to the Church

on the problem of Church Growth
or lack thereof

Deborah Beach Giordano
© October 5, 2009
inspired by Psalm 53

There are those who say,
“There is no God.”
They don’t believe
there is any meaning to life,
any force for good
or justice
or mercy.

We’re accidents in time:
carbon-based life-forms
inhabiting a water-based ecosystem
on a minor planet
in a small galaxy
at an outer corner
of the universe.

Which would be fine —
we are all free
to believe
or not to believe.
But I worry —
not on their behalf,
but for us Christians.

I don’t think the problem is
their lack of faith —
but ours.
What evidence can we give?
How have we demonstrated —
in our lives and our world —
God’s abundant Love and Joy?

Every soul that scorns the Gospel,
every doubter who shakes his head,
stands in for Christ Jesus
calling to us in frustration,
“I gave you the keys to the kingdom
to open the doors,
not to lock people out!”

While we, for our part,
scratch our heads,
mystified at attendance declines:
We offer dance classes and film critiques,
bongo lessons, book clubs,
coffee and donuts and childcare,
we’re masters of Marketing 101.

But Christ’s Message is quite different:
love God and love one another,
judge not, pray often,
forgive and heal and bless;
share what you have,
care for those in need,
in all things praise the Lord.

Church growth has nothing to do
with butts in the pews,
or pledges for the mission fund;
it’s an expansion of the Spirit:
an attitude of hope and kindness
acceptance and generosity,
that can’t be quantified.

The Church is the community of souls
radiantly alive in Christ —
and it will grow and flourish
when we restore
the Gospel
to its rightful place:
in the center of our lives.

Christianity has not been tried and found wanting;
it has been found difficult and not tried.
~ G.K. Chesterton

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About inklingscommunity

I am a struggling Christian, committed pacifist, near-obsessive recycler, incurable animal lover, inveterate tree-hugger; a nature mystic, a socialized introvert, an advocate for the vulnerable, an opponent of exploiters.
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