Nothing is wrong with growth. It is a result of a good service/product or organisation. It only goes wrong if growth is not a result, but a goal. A goal to realize your personal ambitions or the ambitions of the organization. It goes wrong when the people you serve become numbers, targets or objects. The consequences of that is that we stop seeing the other as our fellow human being. That we stop seeing him/her as a person who earns respect and dignity. A person we need to serve and love, because he or she is a creation of God.

The extraordinary thing in Christianity and the remarkable behaviour of Jesus is that He didn’t come to increase the number of followers for the sake of numbers. In the contrary He said many times to his disciples and the people He healed not to talk about Him being the Messiah. He didn’t expand his Kingdom by force, miracles or a smart sending strategy of his disciples. Maybe it was not about numbers and sales, but about knowing Him.

The instruments for building loving relationship and unity are completely different from the instruments for sales and marketing to make growth happen. In a relationship it is important to get to know each other. Relationships are about trust, integrity, real encounters, respect and love.
God wants to reveal Himself as He is. He is a Holy God. Therefore He cares about how He expresses and reveals Himself. He doesn’t need our marketing techniques. He can reveal Himself in a dream. He doesn’t need us, but He likes us to be available.

Our goal as Christians and Christian business people is not to sell God, but to bring people in God’s presence in a way that they can meet Him as He is.
Praying with people is one way to bring people in God’s presence. Prayer is very powerful. Most people are surprised if you ask them if you may pray for them. Many are touched and in tears afterwards. Prayer is never offending. Prayer is an act of love most people value, even if they don’t believe. I would like to encourage you in this summertime to pray for and with people.
Next to this I would like to encourage you to pray every day to God if He would be willing to use you in His work and plans. Speak it out to God that you would like to be available for Him. That you would like to serve and help other people. That you would like to share His love and share the gospel. Be amazed about the number of people you meet with needs, afterwards.
If we become intentional lovers of people, if we start genuinely caring for people, if we start meeting people in a real encounter on heart level, than we will be amazed how growth comes. A growth of quality in your life and in that of others. A growth of relationships in which God will work and start to do his part.

Have a blessed summertime and enjoy the presence of God in your life and in the lives of your friends.

Wouter