This poor fellow wanted to develop Church Growth Eyes, so he bought as many books as possible about the Church Growth Movement. David Valleskey, Waldo Werning, Kent Hunter, Wayne Mueller, and Lawrence Otto Olson were kind enough to give him a list of their favorite books. His condition became worse by the day.
The more he read Church Growth recipe books, the more he felt burdened by the Law. He had to do this, he had to do that. He lost 20 pounds, got a face lift, then gained 30 pounds and started wearing a girdle. He took charm lessons. He tripled the size of the parking lot. Some members complained, so he got rid of them. They were obstacles to Church Growth. After all, his new favorite authors said Jesus demanded growth. He had to obey! Then he saw how the liturgy was getting in the way of growth, so he attended the fastest growing Pentecostal and Mormon churches in the area and adopted their style of worship. Again, some people got in the way, even the fuddy-duddy organist. Out they went. That was a God-pleasing action, he thought.
And then he spent thousands of dollars at a mission vision workshop. He sat down and wrote up a mission vision statement. He got the remainder of the congregation to agree to it. They were afraid to do otherwise. And then, when anyone objected to anything new, he said, “We have to. The mission vision statement says that is our goal.”
A fellow Lutheran said to him privately, “Aren’t you abandoning the Scriptures and the Confessions in your zeal to make your congregation grow?” He got rid of that obstacle too. It took some time and a lot of dirty tricks, but it was worth it. His Church Growth friends gave him a lot of help. He could see a good fellowship was developing. They had to be careful about how they communicated. They made a deal with each other. They were all against the Church Growth Movement if anyone asked. They would shocked and disgusted that anyone suggested such a thing. But then, if someone focused on their words and actions, they would have a whole set of excuses and defend each other. That made it more fun, like being in the CIA, or the KGB.
Unfortunately, this fellow’s congregation kept getting smaller, but he figured, “If I can get some nice estates, it won’t matter. We can endow my Church Growth plans and give myself a healthy extra fee for being a consultant.” Then one day he looked in the mirror and thought he looked just like a wolf. Fangs, hungry eyes.