“Today many local churches are adrift in the shifting currents of pragmatism. They assume that the immediate felt response of non-Christians is the key indicator of success.
At the same time, Christianity is being rapidly disowned in the culture at large, as evangelism is characterized as intolerant and portions of biblical doctrine are classified as hate speech.
In such antagonistic times, the felt needs of non-Christians can hardly be considered reliable gauges, and conforming to the culture will mean a loss of the gospel itself. As long as quick numerical growth remains the primary indicator of church health, the truth will be compromised. Instead, churches must once again begin measuring success not in terms of numbers but in terms of fidelity to the Scriptures. William Carey was faithful in India and Adoniram Judson persevered in Burma not because they met immediate success or advertised themselves as ‘relevant.’”
– Mark Dever, “The Church,” in A Theology for the Church, ed. Danny Akin, 767
(HT: The Radical.net Blog)