As we all know, church health is more important than church growth because if you grow something that is not healthy, it can actually damage what is already healthy.  A growth is something we cut off of our body, if it is not contributing to our body’s nutrients and health.   Some people think all church growth is good, but it’s not. If church health is in place you will have organic steady seasonal growth, just like everything else that God has created.  Forced growth sometimes causes us to wear out our core leadership, forfeit the things we love the most and compromise to accommodate.  None of these things are healthy.  I certainly believe in church growth but I also believe that we must be in position to disciple who we bring in, if we want the growth to last.  The parable of the mustard seed is a spiritual parable.  It has been interpreted in many ways.  The most common interpretation is that is refers to the subject of faith.  We get that from the teaching of Christ about having faith like a grain of mustard seed.  However, if you look at the parable as compared to the Parable of Sower and insert the symbols that Jesus interpreted from that parable, the mustard seed parable looks quiet a bit different.  In the parable of the sower, the ground is people and the bird is the enemy.  If you look at the parable of the mustard seed from this light, is tells us that if we have any other growth, beside natural growth, we may end up with an impressive premature tree, but it’s branches will be filled with birds or “enemies.”   True growth comes from evangelism and discipleship.  These two elements must continue to be our focus in a church that sometimes values numbers more than results.  Ask yourself if your goal is success or significance. Which one does God reward?

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