And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved. -- Acts 2:42-47 (ESV)
They help churches get unstuck. That is the business motto for The Unstuck Group, yet another in a long line of carnal, worldly consultants disguised as Christian leadership experts. Their goals are all the same -- pack as many bodies into your building as possible and convince them to give you a minimum of 10 percent of their income. They are derived from the Purpose Driven Church model that demands a cult of personality, vision casting, CEO-Pastor-Dude. They are always devoid of true biblical understanding when it comes to growing the kingdom of God because they are neck deep in the logic and solutions of the world.
Amidst the din of the modern machine of churchianity the truth is drowned out by the cacophony of carnal pursuits. The foundational deep theology of the day is this -- the church does not exist for the lost. I know, calm down. Read the key verses above and see the true model of the New Testament church. The church devotes themselves to the word of God, prayer, fellowship and the breaking of bread. They are to be shepherded by a pastor whose responsibility is to vertically grow His sheep to become mature Christians, not blown about by every wave of new doctrine. They took care of each other's needs. The body helped the body, praising God all the way. Who was responsible then for the horizontal growth of the church? The Lord added to their number day by day, those being saved. In this world of usurping God, we have grown accustomed to think that we play a pivotal role in the salvation of others. We do not. We have a cameo role, so to speak. Salvation is a supernatural act of God and God alone and only through the preaching of the uncompromised Gospel of Jesus Christ. Do we want the lost to visit our churches then? Of course because while the shepherd feeds the sheep through the preaching of the cross, the Holy Spirit can draw the goats to the foot of Calvary. So as we go through the above linked article just remember that what The Unstuck Group founder, Tony Morgan, views as being stuck just might be exactly where God wants a particular church.
"Nearly every church leader I know is concerned with "closing the back door" at his or her church. But I've found the "front door" is usually the bigger issue. A few years ago, Connexus Church invited me to lead the team through the Unstuck Process. Carey was in the middle of handing off the lead pastor role to Jeff Brodie and working through a well-prepared succession plan. There was a light bulb moment during our time together I can't get out of my mind. The Connexus team was sharing the number of new guests they were seeing on average, and it became clear: There weren't enough. The church was seeing growth, but not at the pace they wanted. Jeff said they came into that planning time thinking they had a "back door" problem. One simple metric helped them see it was the opposite: To see growth, you'll need more new guests each year than your total average attendance on a Sunday. Jeff says they probably needed twice as many new guests as they were seeing. The reason this interaction sticks with me isn't about that metric. I've had a similar conversation with many pastors. It's about what Jeff and the team at Connexus did next. They went all-in on becoming a church that's passionate about seeing their friends, neighbors, and colleagues experience the regeneration and redemption Jesus brings. Few are willing to do the heart work they did to cast a new vision for loving their neighbor--and a few years later, they've seen their number of new guests sky-rocket. It takes intentionality to reach people outside the church and outside the faith. The natural tendency of every church is to become inward-focused over time. Does your church have a front door problem? If so, I'd encourage you to process these three questions together with your leadership team." -- Tony Morgan
We see right away the unbiblical disconnect that pins the foundations of these alleged church growth experts. That not achieving a certain level of numerical growth is a bad thing. Dear pastor hear me well -- you will be judged based on the quality of the vertical growth you provided to the sheep that were entrusted to you. When Paul says good bye to the Ephesian elders in Acts 20 we do not see him address numerical growth at all! He does however address vertical growth:
Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all, for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God. -- Acts 20:26-27 (ESV)
Was Paul innocent of the Ephesians' blood because he had grown the church by a certain percentage point? Not at all! He had one duty -- to proclaim the whole Gospel and because he did he knew he had done his pastoral duty. If you want to love your neighbors -- preach the Gospel! It alone has the power of God unto the salvation of men. Do not get in the way of it either with your speech-craft or personality -- lest you empty the cross of its power. Morgan continues: