I think it is time for a new scorecard for success.
When we focus mostly on attendance growth we are missing the mark in assessing faithfulness to the call and purpose of God.
When the pastors on conference stages and magazine covers are always the ones with the biggest and fastest growing churches something is missing. …
We are focusing on who can grow the biggest tree rather than pooling our resources to cultivate a healthy Kingdom orchard.
Surratt opens his eBook by telling a little of his background. He’s been a lead or staff pastor in churches of all sizes, including the dual dynamos of Saddleback Church (as an associate) and Seacoast Church (as lead pastor). He is now the director of Exponential. and calls himself “a freelance Church Catalyst and Encourager.”
Surrat says he became disillusioned with the constant drive for bigger. “…along the way I realized that while rapid growth was thrilling there seemed to be no destination.”
He acknowledges that this destination-less, push for more is a hard problem to overcome, because “The idea of numerical growth being the major measure of success is deeply baked into our culture.”
So what is the answer? According to Surratt, “I believe we need a major paradigm shift … every church has a lifecycle of increase and decline … We need to stop emphasizing the tree and begin looking at the orchard.”