• All Nations” and Church Planting Article by Ed Stetzer

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2014

    The Great Commission. Neither the words “great” nor “commission” are in the text, but the descriptor fits. This “authoritative order, charge, or direction” is “unusually large, extreme, and notable” (borrowing phrases from textbook definitions of both words). But why? The sheer scope of the assignment is embodied in the two little words: all nations. This phrase is translated from the Greek panta ta ethnē. It is often the subject of significant discussion. When many people hear ethnē, or “nations,” they think of countries. But when Jesus spoke those words, there were no countries as we understand them today. The nation-state … View Resource

  • The Church and Psalm 81 Article by W. Robert Godfrey

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2013

    What does the church most need today? In answering this important but rather general question, Psalm 81 is uniquely important and helpful. This psalm obviously contains beautiful promises and clear directions to help the people of God. But careful study of this psalm will deepen our appreciation of it, increase its value for us, and show us how distinctive it is for helping the church. As we study psalms, we soon learn that the central verse of a psalm is often significant as a key to its interpretation. The central line of Psalm 81 is the heart of that psalm … View Resource

  • Church Growth and the Sovereignty of God Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2007

    It seems that every time I meet a pastor from another church, he asks me the common, unsolicited, ecclesiastical question of the twenty-first-century: “How big is your church?” Most pastors are usually a bit confounded when I respond: “I don’t know.” It’s only when I am pressed for an answer that I provide him with the number of families in our congregation. But if I am in a good mood I may simply explain that our church consists of people of every color and language and is as big as the world-wide church of Christ. It is … View Resource

  • Church Growth—the Movement of the Nineties Article by Os Guinness

    FROM TABLETALK | January 1992

    The King is dead! Long live the King!” As with royalty earlier, so with popular movements and trends today —the passing of one signals the prevailing of another. Thus in the early 1990s the Christian Right is clearly on the wane, succeeded as a nationally important religious movement by the church-growth movement. Will this new movement achieve its ambitious goals? Will it change the landscape of American religion? Can the secrets of successful superchurches be carried over to small local churches? Any movement that hits Time and Christianity Today simultaneously deserves not only to be noticed but understood and … View Resource

  • Church Growth—Weaknesses to Watch Article by Os Guinness

    FROM TABLETALK | February 1992

    Like many movements, the church-growth movement is a grand mixture of things good, bad, and in-between. After stressing its significance last month, I will not comment further on its good parts—except to say that anything that “goes without saying” is in danger of being left unsaid. The best of the church-growth movement deserves better than that.Our present concern, however, is not the good but rather the bad and the in-between. For if the movement has a threefold positive significance, it also has a threefold weakness.First, the church-growth movement has two common deficiencies. On the one hand, its theological … View Resource

  • Corporate Reverence Article by Gene Edward Veith

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2007

    The church growth movement mandates “contemporary worship” styles, which means, in practice, replacing hymns with “praise songs.” These consist of simple lyrical phrases, often repeated, set to a simple tune in the style of pop music. The problem with such songs is not that they are “contemporary.” In fact, the songs are often not all that contemporary. Many of them date from the 1970s. That is over three and one-half decades ago. Some go back nearly a half-century. These songs belong mainly to their parents’ generation. The specific set of praise songs a particular church-growth pastor chooses is … View Resource

  • God-Given Growth Article by Mark Dever

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2007

    Everybody wants their church to grow. When a church doesn’t grow for a while, some begin looking for those to blame. Some might say “our sign is too old.” Others might say that the church is doing evangelism all wrong. Still others might blame themselves, and decide that they’re just not friendly enough. The preacher, the leaders, the surrounding community, all can come in for their share of blame. But are any of those people the cause of real church growth? Isn’t God the one really to blame? What should we Christians think of contemporary church-growth thinking … View Resource

  • Recycling the Compromise of Liberalism Article by Os Guinness

    FROM TABLETALK | May 1992

    Christian history is a two thousand-year conversation between the church and the world. As Christians we are called to be in the world but not of it. Christians have lived out this tension in many ways. Some are neither of the world nor in it, and are therefore isolated. Others are both in the world and of it, and are therefore compromised. Doubtless, few on either side would disagree with the ideals of the other, though cultural conservatives would stress the ideal of resistance to the world and cultural liberals would stress relevance in it. At the same time, almost … View Resource