I'm wondering about church growth engines. Having been burned out in the past by buying into the "cause" of church growth, I am skeptical and suspicious of things (i.e., events) that are designed to bring more people into a church. I really wonder about the reasons for doing such a thing - is the core, true, heartfelt desire to reach as many people as possible with the gospel? Or, is the real agenda to "build" an entity, an organization into a mega-one - sort of like building a business? And why would the desire BE to be a mega entity? More pay for staff? Get bigger and better buildings with more fancy stuff? Feed egos? Be "known?"
I know its very cynical of me, but I can't help it. I've seen it, experienced it and burned out because of buying into a growth agenda. I've been wondering if it is possible to be part of a church and follow only the agenda God has for ME, and not that of others. I've been feeling something all too familiar lately, and that is, I feel like I'm being given a "sales pitch." Maybe I'm feeling this way because of my prior experience, but I get this sinking feeling every time I hear this "pitch." It feels exactly like when the Kirby guy comes to my door and keeps pushing me to let them come show me their vacuum cleaner, under the guise of "cleaning my carpets for free." I didn't invite the Kirby guy, didn't think of the idea of buying a new carpet cleaner, but someone shows up to get me to buy one.
I am not trying to be critical of church. And, I honestly don't want to be an agent of negativity in order to hurt any ministry. I am just feeling some stuff, and I wonder if there is any truth to it, or if I am still very sensitive to my previous experiences. I vowed to myself a long time ago, that I would no longer be the sheep that follows stupidly, like sheep often do, without thinking for myself. That I would not get caught up in the agendas of others - instead seeking only God's agenda for ME. If that does in fact, include following my leader's agenda, then I will do it if God asks me to. But, I am so much more reluctant to jump in nowadays. I wonder if it is wisdom or past wounding that I'm operating from. Maybe a little bit of both.