Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Quality or Quantity?

It's been a while since I shared any Tozer with you.  This man spoke so prophetically.  As you read the following, remember he wrote this nearly 50 years ago.  Yet it may be more true now than it was then:

But as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, even so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who tests our hearts. For neither at any time did we use flattering words, as you know, nor a cloak for covetousness-God is witness. --1 Thessalonians 2:4-5

Time may show that one of the greatest weaknesses in our modern civilization has been the acceptance of quantity rather than quality as the goal after which to strive....

Christianity is resting under the blight of degraded values. And it all stems from a too-eager desire to impress, to gain fleeting attention, to appear well in comparison with some world-beater who happens for the time to have the ear or the eye of the public.

This is so foreign to the Scriptures that we wonder how Bible-loving Christians can be deceived by it. The Word of God ignores size and quantity and lays all its stress upon quality. Christ, more than any other man, was followed by the crowds, yet after giving them such help as they were able to receive, He quietly turned from them and deposited His enduring truths in the breasts of His chosen 12....

Pastors and churches in our hectic times are harassed by the temptation to seek size at any cost and to secure by inflation what they cannot gain by legitimate growth. The mixed multitude cries for quantity and will not forgive a minister who insists upon solid values and permanence. Many a man of God is being subjected to cruel pressure by the ill-taught members of his flock who scorn his slow methods and demand quick results and a popular following regardless of quality. The Next Chapter After the Last, 7-8.

While I, too, would love to see great numerical growth in the church I serve, I really hope my legacy will be more about growing and maturing disciples.


Jeff said...

I often said I wish there was a way to measure spiritual growth - for me and for the church. I believe a healthy church growing in the love and actions of Christ will grow numerically because people will be attracted to it.

I see growth in the Decatur church when I see an offering like we had Sunday, not because of the financial number but because of the outpouring of the heart. It excites me about what our little church in Decatur is doing to affect the kingdom.

Anonymous said...

I believe in the Power of God and His Word - just look at what is taking place in the youth group. On a typical Wednesday night there are 40 or more kids coming which some are visitors bringing visitors!! If you come to that class it is NOT a bunch of fun and games; in fact, it is just the opposite - a truthful message from Scripture, a needed message for growth, and a challenging message that might turn many away. Yet the kids keep coming and keep inviting their friends. Maybe we're seeing a generation who's tired of all the fluff and is looking for reality, and they are finding that reality and honesty in the truth of God.