Nine 'Without's' That Get in the Way

07.21.19 | by Keith Russell


    CHUCK LAWLESS IS DEAN OF DOCTRINAL STUDIES at Southeastern Seminary. He recently posted an article titled, “Nine ‘withouts’ that get in the way of a growing church.” I have shortened some of them. You can read the entire article at chucklawless.com.

    PREACHING WITHOUT THE BIBLE. Preaching without the Word may result in increased attendance, but it won’t grow a healthy church. God’s inspired Word makes a difference.

    WORSHIP SERVICES WITHOUT REAL WORSHIP. The activity of Sunday morning is just that – activity – if it doesn’t lead people to encounter the living God. Real worship changes people.

    LEADERSHIP WITHOUT PROVEN-NESS. That is, we pay a price when we put unqualified and unprepared people into leadership positions. And, it’s tough to move them out once we’ve put them into these roles.

    MEMBERSHIP WITHOUT EXPECTATIONS. When we admit members without talking about expectations for the Body of Christ, we get what we’ve often gotten – uncommitted and unfaithful members.

    GROWTH WITHOUT CONVERSION. Simply swapping sheep between congregations doesn’t grow a healthy church. Transfer growth is sometimes warranted, but it’s often the same people choosing church according to their own preferences.

    STRATEGIZING WITHOUT COMMUNITY DEMOGRAPHICS. It’s tough to reach a community when you don’t really know who lives there – or if you plan on the basis of assumptions rather than good research.

    TELLING WITHOUT TEACHING. We do it all the time: we tell people to read the Bible, pray, evangelize, give, etc. without ever teaching them how to do these tasks.

    THE GREAT COMMISSION WITHOUT TEACHING TO OBEY. By that phrase, I mean evangelizing without follow up training and accountability. Our responsibility is not finished when someone gets saved.

    FELLOWSHIP WITHOUT PROVOKING. That is, we enjoy our food and time together, but nobody’s pushing anybody toward love and good works (Hebrews 10:24).