Concerning church growth: Have you changed the way you treat people that are coming to church?

If I [Adrian Rogers] can make a distinction of words, and I'm sure that etymologically this is probably not true, I differentiate between method and means. When I came here from Bellevue just a few minutes ago, we came in an automobile. Had I been the Apostle Paul, I'd still be coming. We'd be in an ox cart, or a horse, or walking, or something like that. That's the means that got me here. We have this videotape, or we have tape recorder, we have electric lights. Those are all means to help us do what we do.

I think that the methods never change. I think the methods are incipient by precept or example in the Word of God. Prayer, faith, truth, the anointing of the Holy Ghost, all of those things are the methods, and they will never change. I change the means all the time.

If you were to come to Bellevue now, and go back to the Bellevue 25 years ago when I first came, you would think you were in a completely different organization. Yet, if you backed off and looked at it, you'd say, "No, he's preaching Jesus. He's dependent upon the Holy Spirit, he's praying, and so forth."

We have different ways we give an invitation. The means changes. I'm not at all opposed to giving invitation, letting people sign a card, or we used to do all kinds of different things. I'm constantly changing. I've just been in an industrial strength staff meeting this morning. All morning with our staff, our youth staff, plus some of the other staff, [we were] talking about reaching Generation X, and how we're going to reach them. The way we reach them today, we would not have reached them yesterday, and so forth.

Yes, we have constancy in motion. “The constancy” = the methods. “In motion” = the means.

I don't mean to put that down at all. I'm not against user-friendly evangelism if you mean not having steep steps in front of the church as being user-friendly. But, I am definitely opposed to user-friendly evangelism if you dumb down the Gospel in order to reach people.

This question and answer came from a Doctoral Colloquium session with Adrian Rogers and several Doctoral Preaching candidates in 1997.