Unscriptural Desires in Building Churches

Garreth Clair
Brawley, California

In view of the great number of problems facing the church in our generation, I submit the following in regard to one of them.

The Problem Defined

One of the greatest hindrances to spiritual progress in many congregations is a burning desire to be the biggest congregation (numerically) in their particular area. Some of the steps taken to achieve this goal can be extremely damaging to the church, steps such as;

1. Water down the pure gospel message, so no one will become offended.

2. Allow worldliness and ungodliness to go unchecked among the membership.

3. Engage in a proselytizing campaign of other congregations in the area.

One big church, they say, is better than ten little ones.

Such tactics and others are adopted by the advocates of huge memberships at any cost. The desire to increase numerically is indeed a wholesome one, if approached in the right spirit

A Scriptural Solution to the Problem

Each member of every congregation across this great land must realize that numbers alone will not necessarily make for a congregation that is well pleasing unto God. The first obligation of every member of every congregation is to live his own life as close to the teachings of Christ as he is humanly able. A congregation made up of such a membership will not allow:

1. False teaching on any issue (I TIM. 1:3, 6:3).

2. Worldliness on the part of the members (TITUS 2:12).

3. Unauthorized practice in the worship service (JOHN 4:22-24).

4. Unauthorized use of the Lord's treasure (EPH. 4: 12).

5. Fellowship with those who have proven themselves apostates (I COR. 5:11).

A congregation made up of such a membership may not influence those who are looking for:

  1. Entertainment,

    2. Social status,

    3. A good time,

    4. Soft preaching and teaching,

    5. Petting.

    On the other hand, such a congregation will influence all that seek the truth and are determined to live by it.


    There are many large congregations across the country which have grown spiritually as they have increased in numbers. This is as it should be; not numerically regardless of the members spiritual condition. We can achieve these goals by keeping ourselves pure in the church and encouraging all others to do likewise; yea insisting that they do. We can then see the church grow in all areas as God intended that it should.

    TRUTH MAGAZINE XIV: 9, pp. 13-14

    January 8, 1970