from my notebook

My head is full of thoughts, and I have to write them down.

Does a Church Have to Grow?

The Old Country Church - 1905

Image by J. Stephen Conn via Flickr

We often label small congregations of elderly people as a dying church.  We criticize them for being resistant to change and in turn, failing to reach people, i.e. grow.  But how does God view them?

My 70 something year-old mother-in-law plays piano for a local church of a handful of elderly people.  She is continuing to serve and use her talents.  I can’t speak to the spiritual condition of the membership.  And so what if they prefer a piano or organ over guitars and drums.  What’s wrong with them gathering together with a common preference for the old hymns they’ve sung all their lives, as long as they are singing them from their hearts with praise to God?

Isn’t it what happens when they leave the doors of that small, “dying” church that matters?  These people may not be able to kneel any more, but they can still reflect Christ to the world.  They can still share the Gospel with others, young and old.  The people they influence may not choose to attend their church, but they can be encouraged to attend somewhere else.

Just because a church isn’t growing inside its walls, doesn’t mean it isn’t growing outside its walls.


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