How to Have a Growing Church: Reaching All the World, Not Just Yours
The first-century church was a diverse bunch, with everyone from fishermen to tax collectors to Roman centurions.
Despite that diversity, those believers maintained a love and unity so powerful that they enjoyed the favor of all (Acts 2:47). Who wouldn’t want to join in on such a love feast? As a result, their numbers exploded and thousands came to Christ.
Yet, one of the trends I’ve seen is the targeting of churches to a particular niche of “consumers.” You might call these designer churches. Every decision has a particular “consumer” in mind—Generation X, Generation Y, executives, surfers, baby boomers, and so on.
Targeting your church to a certain demographic is a risky church growth rule.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with trying to find ways to reach out to a specific segment of society and make a connection or with using common interests as a springboard for the gospel. But churches, and Christians too, need to be careful that they don’t mistake their circle of familiarity for their calling.
The early church went to everyone and preached the gospel to anyone who would listen. Philip went to an Ethiopian court official (Acts 8). Peter went to a Roman centurion named Cornelius (Acts 10). Paul went to a Philippian businesswoman (Acts 16).
Each one of those contacts was instrumental in helping to spread Christianity around the known world.
The problem with catering only to a certain segment of society is that we miss out on the great power and beauty of diversity of the Church. As Peter learned in Acts 10, God desires for all people to be a part of His kingdom
There is something exciting that happens when we walk into a church and see different ages, cultures, tastes, and races with one thing in common—Jesus Christ. That is a truly loving church. And that church will grow.