It is often said the church plants tend to reach the lost more readily than long established churches. This is often true. But it is also true that new churches can attract Christians from other churches who are looking for something "better." This is not necessarilly bad. Some people have been struggling in churches that have no practical and experiential place for the gospel. Such people need a gospel-formed church. Other believers will be called to a new church plant to support it for a time to help it along in its infancy. This is all good. But we must be careful that our new churches are not magnets for the disgruntled, safe havens for the rebellious, or one more stop along the way of chronic church-hoppers.
And we need to be especially careful when experiencing the better kind of numeric growth through the transfer of Christians. Such growth should never satisfy us, nor cause to to relax in our evangelistic endeavors. In fact as the church continues to grow in number Christians but not in the number of new converts we should be even more concerned with and focused on preaching the gospel to the lost in our cities and neighborhoods. We need to give ourselves to, as Spurgeon said, "soul-winning."
We do not regard it to be soul-winning to steal members out of churches already established, and train them to utter our peculiar Shibboleth: we aim rather at bringing souls to Christ than at making converts to our synagogue. There are sheep-stealers abroad, concerning whom I will say nothing except that they are not ''brethren", or, at least, they do not act in a brotherly fashion. To their own Master they must stand or fall. We count it utter meanness to build up our own house with the ruins of our neighbours' mansions; we infinitely prefer to quarry for ourselves.
- Charles Spurgeon, The Soul Winner
I know the excitement that comes with any kind of numeric growth in the church, but may God give us a heart for the spread of his fame, the lifting up of his name above all other gods, and for those who remain bound to sin and under wrath. And may we make every effort to see them saved.