Is Transfer Growth Bad?

Erik Raymond —  October 10, 2012

If you read books, blogs or hear talks on church planting or church growth you will eventually hear someone decry transfer growth. As the term would imply, transfer growth is the moving of people from one church to another. This is to be contrasted with conversion growth, which would describe new Christians joining a church.

The question that must be answered is, is transfer growth bad?

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I enjoyed this video from David Platt about how to practically make disciples on a day to day basis.

In order for the gospel of Christ to advance it must bust through barriers. These barriers are all the fruit of depravity, a reality of living in a post-Genesis 3 world.

Racism is one of these barriers that must be kicked over.

Think about how the story ends. In the book of Revelation, chapter 5, we read of the heavenly chorus proclaiming:

And they sang a new song, saying,
“Worthy are you to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God
from every tribe and language and people and nation,
and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God,
and they shall reign on the earth.”
(Revelation 5:9-10 ESV)

Do you see how the Lamb means to get praise for his purchase of people from all nations and people groups? The Lord Jesus Christ will be eternally enveloped in praise for the power of his omni-ethnic gospel.

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Like many, I wake up and think about what I need to get accomplished today and how I am going to do it.  My mind begins to infiltrate the various areas and sub areas of responsibility.  However, I am aware, even at this early hour of contemplation, that I am not going to get it all done.  And furthermore, that what I do get finished will not be without flaw.

In what can only be described as the grace of God, my mind was quickly drawn to Hebrews 7:

Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them. (Heb 7.25)

The beloved Savior and High Priest does not, like the other priests, die.  Furthermore, he does not need to atone for his own sins (7.23ff).  As a result we have a perfect and eternal high priest who offered a perfect and eternally acceptable sacrifice to the Father.

I need to remember that even on my ‘best’ days I need to have my beloved high priest fervently, faithfully, zealously, and successfully pleading the merits of his righteous life and sacrificial death in my stead.  There is not a second that I live here on earth when I am not dependent upon this glorious work.

And furthermore, there is not a second throughout all eternity that his saints will not depend upon his gloriously flawless work!  This Jesus will not only be the song of my praise throughout eternity but also be the substance of why I can enjoy the presence of God throughout all eternity!

It is the flawless work of Christ that we now and forevermore will depend upon.  All of his ransomed saints will forever cling to his high priestly garments like barnacles upon a great ship.  Indeed the captain of our salvation will successfully navigate us to the celestial port.

In this his flawless person and duty are seen to be so attractive and refreshing to the sin plagued conscience.

[NOTE: I realize the potential of this post. On the one hand it can seem rather self-serving. Since I am a pastor it is kind of like the kid putting his Christmas list on the refrigerator. At the same time, there is something extremely valuable in the quotient of this pursuit. Therefore, acknowledging the value and the awkwardness, I press ahead.]

How can you encourage your pastor?
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Boasting Before God?

Erik Raymond —  October 4, 2012

My monthly article at is up. In it I deal with the foolishness of clinging to our own performance before God and the necessity of clinging to Christ’s for us.

Here is a sample:

I have found that it is customary for legalists to keep these types of lists nearby. Some do so on paper, others on their phone, and still others in their minds. At any rate, the list is easy to find and often times the front line defense in the battle against a guilty conscience or questions from without. After all, who can argue with such a resume?

But the Christian on the other hand does not carry about lists of our good deeds. We don’t because we can’t. We are sinners. I could make a list of my good deeds, but it would amount to a post-it note on the backside of the tractor-trailer of my depravity. And the post-it note would read “all of grace.” I am a sinner.

You can read the rest here.

A friend of mine’s pastor recently penned a letter to the editor in his town newspaper. Apparently this has been a regular occurrence for the man. This time the letter is written under a different set of circumstances. Robert is dying of cancer. In reading the letter I am struck by a number of things, including: the unique power in the Christian message, the testimony of a godly pastor committed to a community over a long period, the preciousness of Christ. I have heard that this letter, after being published, has opened previously closed doors for the gospel. Let us pray that it paves the way for more.

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