One of the things that disturbs me when I hear it is self-centered growth. "We must grow the Church" people cry. Now, it is true that it is not we who grow the Church but rather God (but that is another post), but sometimes I will respond with "Why?"
A lot of times our desire for a growing Church is self-centered. "We'll die if we don't." "The budget is getting tight." "The other church in town is doing _______ and we need to keep up."
That's all self-centered. That's all about us.
Yes, we are to hope and pray for Growth and to speak out Christ's Word over and over and again and again. . . but not for our sake, but for the sake of those who have not yet been brought to faith. We seek growth, not for our sake, but for the sake of those who have not yet heard.
To many programs and such dealing with growth focus on our growth, the growth of the congregation. That isn't the growth we should worry about - rather, we should pray that the Seed which is the Word of God take root in our neighbor and that they have Growth (indeed, that we ourselves as individuals as well continue to grow).
Lord, defend us from selfish thoughts of growth!