The Urgency Of Church Growth
|Dr. Bob Orr|
Teaching Church Growth in Korea
Dr. Donald McGavran
|Dr. Peter Wagner and Dr. Donald McGavran|
Graduation School of World Missions
I fear that the answer to this question must too often be yea. I consider doctrinal correctness of the highest importance. The Church of Jesus Christ must not be—indeed, cannot be—a heretical church. What the Bible clearly teaches must be what the Church teaches.
The first is that a given Church (denomination) stresses only certain doctrines. It may insist, for example, that all real Christians will speak in tongues or that the only truly ordained ministers are those ordained in apostolic succession. It may insist on doctrinal correctness in regard to almost everything except the imperatives which I laid before you in my first lecture. We certainly must have doctrinal correctness. We also must, most certainly, have correctness in regard to these crucially important commands of God.
Teaching Denominational Leaders
For these four reasons—and some others also—ripe harvest fields are not being reaped—or even seen- in North America. Students and faculties in theological seminaries need to face frankly the fact that too frequently Christian denominations—even evangelical denominations—are growing very slowly. Alas, in many cases they have grown completely static or are actually declining. Not only must theological students and their teachers themselves carry out God’s commands, but they must train their laymen to do the same. Ripe harvest fields will not be reaped until we get hundreds and thousands of laymen and laywomen communicating the gospel effectively to segments of the American population which lie all about us unreaped. The multiplication of congregations must become a part of the joyful obedience of every denomination, every seminary, every minister, and every Christian.
They never attend church and do not feel at all bound by biblical doctrine or morality. It is in this kind of a North America that we Christians need to form our concepts as to what God wants us to do. It is in this kind of a country that we should plan our own obedience to the Great Commission, in a land where at least 190 million need to be discipled. Active and effective evangelism must become as real a part of the Christian life as honest conduct, telling the truth, sexual morality, the worship of God, and a correct understanding of all of the Scriptures.