All That Is Fast-Growing Is Not Gold

Ed Stetzer posted a brief list of some “small” churches that have seen rapid increase in attendance recently.

Something doesn’t smell right about this post, especially in the comments.

Let me be clear: Growth isn’t bad. Numbers aren’t bad. The numbers undoubtedly include at least some individuals who are responding to God’s call on their lives.

The growth just feels very uncorrelated. Reading through the stories from representatives of each of the churches, I could pick out a few churches in my town that are implementing similar, if not identical initiatives. Why aren’t these churches experiencing 30% growth?

Is numerical growth of an organization a reliable indicator of God’s blessing and activity in a neighborhood or town? If so, what can be said for churches with similar attendance that are not growing? What is God’s view of these organizations and their supporting believers?