Jude verse 3 tell us, “to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.” In this one chapter book the writer was eager to write about “our common salvation,” but he had to ask the recipients to stand for the truths of scripture.
In church growth, leaders may be very tempted to go with what’s expedient. Make the choices that go with the culture. Stay away from controversy. But if a congregation doesn’t stand for the truths of God’s word, it ceases to be a genuine church or at least one that is faithful to Christ.
What’s interesting is that the biggest decline in membership and attendance has been in mainline denominations. These are the ones that have abandoned the Bible the most. In decades past some of the more liberal seminaries have taught against anything that’s miraculous, even to the point of denying the physical resurrection of Christ. At the same time these schools were teaching students that you simple teach the morals of scripture. This would help maintain a more moral society and be acceptable since modern man wouldn’t believe in the miraculous. However, eventually the moral teachings, especially in the area of sexual ethics, have been denied as well.
Both of these denials of biblical truth, the miraculous and the ethics, have brought decline to the churches that have done this. If a church has ceased being an actual church, why be a part of it? Consequently, younger generations have been more prone to not affiliate with a church.
The congregations that are reaching younger generations are those who have a high view of biblical inspiration and hold to the truths of the Bible. It may be counter-intuitive, but those with higher standards of belief and behavior are the ones that grow.
So don’t do the expedient. Grow a congregation that’s faithful to the truths of scripture.
Ashton C. “AC” Smith, Certified Church Consultant