My Response to Perry Noble’s “8 Reasons Why Some Churches Don’t Grow” #6

Perry Noble is the founding and senior pastor of NewSpring Church in Anderson, Greenville and Florence, South Carolina. At just nine years old, the church averages over 10,000 people. Perry wrote an article on why some churches don’t grow. Perry’s article can be found here:

This is not intended to be a personal criticism of Perry (I don’t know Perry and I’m assuming he’s a great guy with a great multi-site church) but because his reasons why some churches do not grow are shared by many I thought I’d respond to these popular attempts to explain why churches don’t grow and the underlining assumption that if these reasons can be corrected then the church will grow.

Perry Reason #6: Unwillingness to Take Risks 

When our focus becomes to play it safe rather than to do whatever it takes to reach people far from God…it’s over.  NOWHERE in the Scriptures did God ever ask anyone to do anything that didn’t involved an “oh crap” moment.  We’ve GOT to be willing to embrace the uncertain if we want to see the unbelievable.

Dave: Wait, what? Isn’t “crap” a euphemism for….

Anyways, John Wimber (the founder of the Vineyard movement) used to say, “Faith is spelled r-i-s-k.” Risk means that there is a chance what you’re going to try might not work. The larger the church the easier it is to recover from an idea that didn’t work. The smaller the church the more detrimental it can be to the morale and forward movement of the church. This is why it’s so important that we don’t take a risk for the sake of taking risks. We should do our homework, research why we think the idea is a good one and might succeed… oh, I need to include something about prayer and feeling led of the Lord to take the risk as well. The pastor who moves slowly and wisely might look like he/she is unwilling to take a risk when that really isn’t the case at all. I understand why some pastors are cautious about taking risks. If you try what the “experts” tell you to do, or not do, enough with no results, you become more and more cautious. However, having said that, as I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I don’t know any pastors whose “…focus becomes to play it safe.” Of all the pastors I work with and know who have smaller churches, they are all risk-takers.

If you have a church that goes from 0 to 10,000 in nine years it means you’ve had a string of successes. I could come up with a list of why a church grows to be humongous but it would carry about as much weight as a list for why others don’t…and believe me, that’s not much weight. The churches I pastored fell a little short of the 10,000 mark but if I had somehow managed to go from 0 to 10,000 in nine years I bet I would have felt pretty confident, bullet-proof, Supermanish. (It’s a word, look it up.) Risk looks less risky when you pastor a small city.

On an unrelated note, I know that online etiquette changes from time to time but the last I checked, spelling words out in CAPS is your way of yelling. Perry, why are you yelling at me?

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