Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Mature congregations

Mark Beeson, pastor of Granger Community Church, made an interesting comment on his blog about what the mature church looks like (it is worth reading in full):

"The 'mature church' is the church filled with immaturity."
Anywhere in the world, whether plant or animal, the clear delineation of
"maturity" is the ability to reproduce.

I like his thoughts in general, but it seems to me that a mature church needs to have an intentional way of going about taking the spiritual newborns and leading them to maturity. The analogy breaks down if you try to take it too far. For example, we use the word "mature" to describe human beings who are more than just able to physically reproduce, but a mature human being is someone with emotional and psychological balance that often comes several years after physical maturity. Maturity is more complex than just having the capacity to reproduce.


John said...

I agree that the analogy has limited value. 14 year olds can reproduce, but that doesn't make them mature.

But he is right that a congregation that isn't reproducing isn't maturing.

Ken L. Hagler said...

Ditto on that analogy.

Jesus expressed such comparisons with the Kingdom, with saying "the Kingdom is like..." Would it help here? Don't know. I guess that is why he was the good teacher and we're not.

Will said...

I completely agree also. This person's comment also seems to hearken back to the evangelism discussion we had earlier on this blog. Beeson seems to wrap 'maturity' completely in one's ability to evangelism (reproduce) when that doesn't seem to have been St. Paul's point about maturity at all. He seemed more concerned they were doubting the resurrection, putting more focus on eloquent speech, and bad Eucharistic theology.