I’ve become convinced over the years the least considered and most important passages of Scripture when it comes to church growth is the parable of the soils, or sower (Mark 4). You remember the story: a farmer scatters seed. Some falls on rocky soil, some among the thorns, some on fertile soil.
Only one kind grows sustainably.
When it comes to growing churches, far more attention is given to “spreading” the Gospel than preparing the soil. Some are rather prolific seed throwers. They throw massive amounts of money at missions or carry on an exhaustive level of ministries only to find themselves continuing to stagnate or decline. Each church’s journey is different, and it’s hard to get down to the level this can be talked about. However, someone needs to put on the table:
The reason some of us aren’t growing is because our soil is sick.