Monday, April 03, 2006

Dever on pragmatism and numbers orientation

You have probably already seen this elsewhere, but Mark Dever’s “The Apparent Piety of Numerical Goals” is an important piece well worth reading. I am convinced that pragmatism is one of the greatest threats to our evangelical churches in the West. Dever argues this well pointing to the problems of our number oriented goal setting. This points to some of the significant mindset shifting that we need in our churches and amongst pastors.


Adam said...

That was an amazing article. I appreciated how he said that he wasn't against numerical goals, but he is right that they certainly have a way of fooling us into thinking that we are more faithful to God than we really are.

Are you taking off to come to the Together for the Gospel conference this month?

Ray Van Neste said...

I will not be going to the conference because we have a little one due somewhere in the last half of this month. :)
It does look to be a great conference though.

murray said...

We are called to be faithful not successful. Our function is to call out the elect not to convince or persuade and call for a spurious decision. However we must examine ourselves and our fellowships do we both preach and show the gospel?

Bruno W said...

I set goals to meet goals. Expanding on that: I have ultimate goals (e.g. the glory of God; living the gospel life) that are pursued by setting other goals. A numerical goal needs to be established as a subset goal of a larger, greater goal.

I think part of Dever's warning is establishing numerical growth too high on the "goal" list.

Murray, I appreciate your distinction between being faithful and successful, but I think it is worth noting that Christ did call his disciples to be fruitful, along with being faithful. It seems from John 15 that Jesus did have a clear mandate of fruitfulness for his disciples. The next question then is, "what is fruitfulness and how do I become fruitful?" Thankfully, the Bible addresses both of these questions.