My conversion to Christianity nearly thirty years ago started a soul-stirring venture to understand God’s message to me.  Since I didn’t hear any audible voice that sounded like God and not having a supernatural experience like seeing an ax head float, I resolved to believe God’s word, commonly called the Bible.  After reading through the Bible, I was compelled to believe it was sufficient for my life, forever.  The yearning to know God’s message would not let me rest.  The next sensible step was to study more and in more depth.  I went to Columbia International University and for four years I studied the Bible and ancillary subjects relative to God’s Word.  Then I spent three more years studying the Bible at Reformed Theological Seminary.  Still not satisfied, I took post graduate courses and continued personal study and research.  After nearly thirty years I still have a starving thirsty soul for understanding God’s message to me.

Although I’ve written four books relative to the Christian faith and have 1000’s of pages of research notes and notes from preaching, teaching, and lecturing, I still to not understand why church leaders contort “church growth”  from God’s message.   I was perplexed by the concept and fascinated by books and lectures on “church growth.”  My first hands on experience with the church growth movement was in 1991 when I attended a church growth seminar that lasted two days.  I learned all about demographics and in one session I was instructed on the subject “how not to preach.”  The speaker was nationally known and I remember his opening comment:  “I hate preaching.”  After six years of study and research, I wrote a monograph titled “The god of the Church Growth Movement.”   Twelve years later after some revision, it was published under that title.

Recently I purchased a book written by Thom S. Rainer titled “Breakout Churches.”    I gave it a censorial reading.  Since it did not contain any serious biblical doctrine or theological proposition, the reading was very easy.  Mr. Rainer presents a theory of church growth based on his research of churches that grow.  I first heard the theory in 1991 and it was known as the flagship theory for church growth.  A brief quote from my book summarizes this theory.  “Win Arn, a noted disciple of Donald McGavran, said ‘trainees who come out of victorious churches and have been trained by men, who are themselves multipliers of churches, are generally effective.’29 The idea is that success breeds success.   It has been suggested that the concept of a "flagship church" be used as a model” (The god of the Church Growth Movement, p. 43.

One of the characteristics of the church growth movement is the exaggerated emphasis on evangelism.  Mr. Rainer has dozens of references to evangelism such as “leaders give evangelism a priority” (p. 42).  There are only a few references to worship.  Although the book does not specifically define the purpose of the church, an intelligent reading would certainly infer that evangelism, if not the purpose of the church, is the highest priority of the church.  The corpus of Scripture contends that the purpose of the church is worship (John 4:24; 1 Peter 2:9).  “The primary purpose of the church is to gather with other like minded believers and offer true biblical mandated worship to God” (The god of the Church Growth Movement, p. 13).  Evangelism is part of the mission of the church.  The mission of the church belongs to the church and must be exercised by the ministry of the church. 

Let the whole world know that I am passionate to see the kingdom of Christ expand on this earth.  I’m simply sold out to God’s message and want to keep it before me when I engage in the purpose, mission, and ministry of the church.   If the Lord gives me strength and a good mind within the next year I hope to publish a book that will be a clear and compelling message from the Book of Acts.  It will be God’s message on church growth.