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Is Church Growth All About the Pastor?

Roger attended faithfully. He volunteered. He prayed.

But the poor sermons exacted a toll on his walk with God. “Honestly, I wanted to be a good soldier and stick it out, but I finally had to be honest with myself—I was dying spiritually,” Roger said. “The worship was lifeless. The sermons just weren’t reaching me. In nine months, I didn’t hear anything from the pulpit I hadn’t heard a thousand times.”

Roger eventually made the painful decision to abandon the church plant and return to the mother church.

“I felt like a traitor,” he said. “But I’m regularly hearing from God again back in my home church. I know I’m being selfish, but I go to church to meet with God. If that’s not happening, what’s the sense in going?”

Here are some questions for you to grapple with:

What do you think Roger should have done? Was his decision to abandon the church plant selfish, or is it more important to do the things that help us grow spiritually?

Why do we go to church? For our own benefit? For God’s benefit? For the benefit of others?

Should a believer persevere in a congregation that does not meet his needs “because it’s not about him”? If so, for how long? Weeks? Months? Years? Decades?

Should Christians be “self-feeders,” or should they expect to be fed Sunday morning?

Should churchgoers expect to hear something new at church, or should they be content to hear familiar truths they’ve long known?

Should believers “tough it out” in a church with lifeless preaching?

Churchgoers give up a lot of time to come to church. Should they expect a return-on-investment for their time?

Is it right for churchgoers to change congregations based on the quality of the preaching?

Should a church live or die on the preaching ability of its senior pastor?

If a Christian decides to leave a church, what’s the best way to go about it? Should he simply disappear? Or should he write a letter to the pastor explaining his reasons for resigning?

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David Murrow is director of Church for Men, an organization dedicated to restoring a healthy, life-giving masculine spirit in Christian congregations. He is the author of Why Men Hate Going to Church, an inspirational bestseller with more than 100,000 copies in print.