Church Growth = "We need more people like us." Really?

There are efforts in the UMC to talk more about church growth.  My cynical side will say that this focus on church growth is because the church is declining in terms of warm bodies in the pew and if the numbers of people in the pews were of the 1950's then we would not focus on church growth.

However, my non-cynical side of me says this is a good thing.

My only issue with this how church growth is defined.

If we define church growth meaning that we need to get more people into pews; that is to say if we define church growth as "getting more people to be like us" and become members - I do not think that is a great way to think of church growth.

Instead of thinking that church growth means "more people need to be like us", perhaps a healthier understanding is "we need to be more like Jesus".

When talking about church growth as primarily as getting more people, we are forgetting that the church is the Body of Christ and even people who are members of a church are part of the body of Christ.  Church growth includes those who are already members of the church.

If we redirect all the resources we spend on trying to get more people to be like us to use them on getting us to be more like Christ then the church inevitably grows!

Friends, let us be honest here, if the church is growing by becoming more like Christ not only is the Church growing, but also non-Christians will be more interested in the Christian life.

I am convinced the life of Jesus is more attractive to people than any event or sermon series in the world.