A little over ten years ago, my church hit a growth spurt. One year we grew by 18 percent, the next year 48 percent, and the next year 57 percent. Growth seemed to come easy back then. It’s much different these days, at least for us. Over the past few years, we’ve seen it become much harder to grow a healthy church. And I would guess it’s nearly impossible to grow an unhealthy church.
So, I’m trying to no longer making promises like, if you do these five things, you’ll see your church grow. Those types of headlines help to get posts read, but they also can leave us feeling disappointed. I remember going to a conference a few years ago that promised to help double our church attendance. I guess we didn’t follow the directions or something because that has yet to happen.
I’ve learned there are no guarantees when it comes to church growth.
The best that you and I can do is put our church in a position to grow.
Think of it as cultivating the soil in a garden. We can’t make the plants grow and bear fruit, but we can till the ground, and we can water the plants, and we can put fertilizer on them, and we can try to keep bugs from destroying them, and we can give them a chance to grow.
What does that look like in the church?
I’m glad you asked. I think there are at least 10 things we can start with, probably more. And before I get blasted by some guy on Facebook, the presence of God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, the Bible, and anything like that should already be assumed.
With that said, here’s my list in no particular order:
- A clear mission and vision.
- An effective assimilation system.
- A good to great first impressions ministry.
- A good to great children’s ministry.
- An effective leadership development strategy.
- An effective marketing strategy.
- An effective small group or Sunday school ministry.
- A good to great worship ministry.
- Good to great preaching.
Now, like I said, I’m sure there are several more, but this is a great place to start. I can’t guarantee if you put all these things in place your church will grow, but at least you’ll give yourself a chance.
If you’d like to dive deeper into these topics, I want to encourage you to check out The Small Town Big Church Membership Network, where my friend Jon Sanders and I will be talking about each of these essentials and more throughout the year. You only have till Thursday, June 20th to sign up, so join today!