Church Growth?

By Ben Blakey.

Should we focus on growing the numbers in our church or growing the people in our church?


Church growth has become a buzzword in today’s evangelical culture, and books, podcasts, and conferences ad infinitum have offered their advice on how to get more people to come to your church. Unfortunately, much that is done in the name of “church growth” is done for wrong reasons and with wrong methods.

In light of these problems, it has simultaneously become popular to bash church growth. “Let’s just focus on growing the people in our church instead of worrying about numbers. God will sovereignly bring whom he sovereignly wants to bring to our church.”

However, both the action and the reaction of this conversation miss the mark and create a false dichotomy. God has called us to grow our numbers and our people. It’s a process our Lord Jesus called “making disciples.” In fact, it is the mission of the church that is recorded in Matthew 28:19-20, where Jesus says, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” 

If we don’t care about growing our numbers (and seeing people get saved and baptized), then we can’t say with a straight face that we are obeying the Great Commission. Yet this commandment also instructs us to care earnestly about the growth of our people as we teach them to do all that Christ commanded.

God has also not left us in the dark about how to grow the church. We must be devoted to the same things as the church in Acts, which was “growing day by day” – things like great Bible teaching that was very clear about the gospel, earnest and frequent prayer, and incredible fellowship (Acts 2:42).

It’s sad that some people think, “We want our church to grow, so we’re going to have to go light on teaching the Bible.” But it is also sad that some think, “We want to teach the Bible, so our church probably won’t grow.”

God wants his people to think, “We are going to grow the church by teaching the Bible.” We can do better than false dichotomies. Let’s pray and work to see BOTH growing people AND growing churches.

Ben Blakey is the Pastor of Adults and College at Compass Bible Church in Aliso Viejo, CA.

By | June 20th, 2016|Categories: benblakey|0 Comments

What America Needs Most

June 2nd, 2016|1 Comment

By Ben Blakey. You might be hard-pressed to get an answer if you ask a typical sixteen year-old kid what they want to do when they grow up. If you get an answer at all, it will probably be broad and noncommittal. Not so much with a sixteen year-old me. If you asked me what I wanted to pursue as a career, my answer was locked and loaded: “I want to be the President of the United States." I loved politics. Every morning, I’d read the newspaper while I ate my breakfast. My favorite TV show was The West Wing. I spent a week in Washington D.C. one summer with other political nerds. I even told a friend, “I’d rather watch the State of the Union address than the Super Bowl." So how did I end up as a pastor? My [...]

Blakey Blog

May 31st, 2016|8 Comments

Hello, my name is Bobby.  My dad’s name is Bruce.  My mom’s name is Berta.  I have a brother named Bill and another named Ben.  We’re the Blakeys.  We are one of those families. This is our story. But we didn’t write it. Dad wanted to be a professional golfer. In college, he was on the golf team at USC.  One day he was sitting at the statue of Tommy Trojan on campus.  Two men walked up to him and told him something he had never heard before: the gospel of Jesus Christ. They said:  “Jesus needs to call the shots in your life.” From that day on, Jesus did.  My dad’s life completely changed.  He started carrying his Bible.  That’s how my mom noticed him.  Not too long after that, they were married and I was born. Dad began [...]