My objective never has been to have a large church; it always has been to have a biblical church and a strong church. The growth is up to God.
Not every church is going to be a large church, but every church should be a growing church. On that final day, Jesus is not going to say, “Well done, good and successful servant. By the way, how many numbers were you running?” Rather, He will say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
I believe the church exists for three reasons: the exaltation of God, the edification of believers, and the evangelization of the world. Another way to think of it is upward, inward, and outward.
Upward. The church exists for the exaltation of God. This idea may come as a revelation to some people who think they exist to find personal happiness. The Bible says, “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” (1 Corinthians 6:19).
Inward. The church exists for the edification of other believers. The apostle Paul said his goal was not merely to evangelize, but to warn believers, teach them the wisdom God had given him, and present them to God mature in their relationship with Christ (see Colossians 1:28).
Outward. The church is called to evangelize the world, which is the natural outgrowth of exalting God and edifying other believers. Healthy sheep will reproduce themselves.
The church is not to emphasize one of these at the expense of the other or take them out of order. You see, we are not to customize the church. We are to follow the original template Jesus gave us. (By Greg Laurie)