Monday, November 26, 2007

Lots of Kinds of Growth

Someone wondered in a comment whether the growth consultation had talked about other kinds of growth, growth in service, in spirituality, inclusiveness of diversity, etc.

The focus of this Consultation was on numerical growth, and the assumption was made that excellence in programming brings growth in service, spirit, inclusiveness, etc, and that is part and parcel of numerical growth. We talked some about the role of the minister in discerning what kind of growth is most likely to benefit the church as a whole, and we talked about the pain and complexity of having to say "no" to or not support projects that some think will be growth-producing.

Since I'm from the "Growth is an outcome, not a goal" school of thought, my focus is always on those "other kinds of growth." Perhaps that's one reason I weathered a decade of non-growth without ever feeling that I was not accomplishing my goals. We were doing much needed renovations. We were re-building community after a church fight. I was working on bringing more spirituality into the worship service. It was very satisfying, productive ministry, and I honor myself and my congregation for it. We were just trying to be a good church...and look what happened, eventually!

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