Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Shrink: Fruitful or Faithful?


I have been chewing over the question of whether we are called to be faithful or fruitful. Chris Hodges suggested that God doesn't call us to be faithful but fruitful when I heard him speak and he echoes this in his book 'Four cups'. An alternate view, offered in a book I am currently reading called 'Shrink' suggests being faithful is what counts.

'I have become convinced that the Christian leader's first job is to become a good and virtuous human being and a good and virtuous leader, and then to leave questions of growth and perceived success in the hands of God. Sometimes all God requires is to do the small things faithfully for the rest of his or her life. How many of us have the tools to even imagine that, much less carry it off?'

Shrink, Tim Shuttle, Page 26

The size of any particular church is somewhat incidental if in order to grow it you have to forfeit your marriage, your kids walk with Jesus or your Sabbath. Does anyone care that Mars Hill now has less than half of the congregation that it had six weeks ago? What does matter is that for a variety of reasons their pastor failed to finish the race well with devastating consequences for him, his church and his family. He was at Gateway Church over the weekend and he tells the throng that he's healing up and taking some time out.

I am enjoying reading 'Shrink' which captures many of the tensions for those of us who both long to see the church grow, whilst also wanting to preserve our sanity, health and passion for Jesus along the way.  

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