What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you came to believe, as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.
—1 Corinthians 3.5-7
There is no such thing as “church growth” methods or strategies. Just a “church growing God”. This should correct our hubris and encourage us: when a church “fails”, it need not be because of a failure of method, leadership, vision, strategy, preaching, planning, or obedience. A lot of times, it’s just that God did not give the growth, and we should move on.
For no one can lay any foundation other than the one that has been laid; that foundation is Jesus Christ.
—1 Corinthians 3.11
Would that we embraced this as our ultimate Church “growth” philosophy!
So let no one boast about human leaders. For all things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all belong to you, and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God.
—1 Corinthians 3:21-23
Is it just me or is this an incredibly Protestant view of Church leadership?
Think of us in this way, as servants of Christ and stewards of God’s mysteries.
—1 Corinthians 4:1
Oh what a beautiful picture of what Church leadership is! “Stewards of the mysteries of God”. I love that.
I am not writing this to make you ashamed, but to admonish you as my beloved children.
—1 Corinthians 4:14
What a model for leader-congregant relationships.