For church growth, do you think it would be better to follow Scripture or silence? When I say silence, I'm talking about something about which the Bible says nothing. Usually the argument goes like this: "the Bible doesn't say it's wrong to give candy as an incentive for church attendance." Since the Bible says nothing about giving out candy to motivate church attendance, then it is permissible to do that. This is called "silence equals permission." Does biblical silence equal permission though?
On the other hand, is the Bible even silent about methods of church growth? Scripture obviously has something to say about church growth. But that isn't the point. The same people would argue, "We really want to do what the Bible teaches about church growth, but we think it's also permissible to do things to build the church that the Bible says nothing about."
Do we have a basis for regulating church growth only with Scripture? Is Scripture enough to tell us how a church should grow? First, the Bible is sufficient and perspicuous. It says everything we need to know about church growth. And since Scripture is plain, that is, we can know what it means, then we can know everything we need to know about church growth from the Bible. Is it wrong then to add to what God's Word says about church growth? By adding to it, are we challenging its sufficiency, assuming that it doesn't have everything in it that we need to know about church growth? When God tells us His Word is sufficient, we are to believe that it is. We are to do only what it says for the church to grow.
Second, the Bible also does repudiate wrong methods. We might do God's work our way, but we don't get away with it. Part of glorifying Him is doing things the way He prescribes. It tells Him that we have faith in Him, even if we aren't seeing the results we want to see.
Men justify their extra-scriptural methods in so many ways: how well they are working, how many people "are getting saved" through them, how much "love" they show toward them which are lost, or how much sacrifice they are. I hear doctrinal reasons too: missional, contextual, and incarnational. These are new buzzwords in church growth that are used to justify extra-scriptural or unscriptural methods.
Because the Bible doesn't say anything about many specific, modern church growth methods, some turn them into "Romans 14 issues," which Romans 14:1 in the King James Version calls "doubtful disputations." Others call them "liberty issues." The idea is that if the Bible doesn't say anything about it, then you have liberty to do it. Do we have liberty to "build a church" different than biblical prescription? Is the point of Christian liberty to find out what the Bible doesn't say and then do that?
Scripture should regulate our lives. That's why God gave it to us. He didn't give it to us to read between the lines, especially in the doing of His work.