When churches plan, one of the things they often plan to do is grow. They have their reasons: the Great Commission, for one, and the fact that spreading the gospel is a main point of the congregation’s purpose. But when you get past polite chit-chat, other motives will assert themselves.
For clergy, church growth is a career move. I can’t criticize this—my first church grew, and I’ve collected dividends on that achievement ever since. It was only partly my achievement. Nonetheless, let me be the first to say that I have benefited, and one of the reasons I encouraged growth was that I hoped and expected to reap benefits down the road.