As you know, we at Preparing for Amazement focus on the health of people and congregations. To aid you in thinking through such health, I want to take a moment and consider what it means for congregations to ask the following question focused on spiritual health:

Has the spiritual life of the congregation changed over the past several months? Years?

Healthy things change. What kind of change? Growth. Healthy things grow. This includes churches and other organizations. If your congregation is not growing, then it is not healthy. I look to Jesus when he tells us that we will be known by our fruits. If we’re growing, our fruit will be ripe and needed. If we’re not, then it will be shriveled and dangerous. Unfortunately, many hear this truth and think that if they’re church is not gathering new people, then it is time to find a new pastor, a new program, or even a new location. But this kind of growth is not the only or even the most important growth.

Growing wide means your organization is adding new people, new programs, new events, and new stuff. This kind of growth is usually really exciting! It comes with tons of parties and even more prayers of praise and thanksgiving. Growing wide is great! We see tangible results to our hard work. The new things make us feel refreshed. Often times, we can hardly keep up with all the “new” in seasons of growing wide. Hold on to these seasons of growth. They’re worth celebrating at the time and remembering later.

Growing deep, however, is even more important. The parable of the sower reminds us of this fundamental truth: without roots, we are doomed! Perhaps that is why most of the growth of any organization happens in depth. We do not see when things are growing deep. It often happens in subtle and hidden ways. It always happens in small increments. It is not as sexy or flashy as growing wide, but infinitely more impactful. Cherish the moments where your congregation is growing deep! God is preparing you for something amazing.

Take time as a congregation, a board, or a committee to consider whether you have changed. If not, then look a bit deeper. You might find that you’re growing deep. You just need to ask around and scratch the surface. If you discover that you’re not growing at all, then it is time to reflect on why. If you need help, consider many of the other spiritual questions we have been unpacking.

Nate Whittaker, Coach

Categories: Leadership

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