Tag Archives: growth
Finally, the secret to growing a church has been discovered, and revealed.
Like me, if you have spent time in leadership at your church you have wondered, and discussed, ways to grow the church. You’ve tried to figure out what the “secret” is and how you can see church growth in your church. You’ve looked at programs, discussed strategies, and planned campaigns designed to see exponential and permanent growth. And you are still wondering: what is the key?
Personally, I’ve been concerned that the secret to church growth is having a full head of hair and a Ph.D.; because I have neither. I’ve also been concerned that the secret to quick growth is in cool glasses and skinny jeans and soy-non-fat-mocha-vegan-gluten-free-useless warm brown water. Because, if that’s it…I’m in trouble.
It can often be a frustrating thing to watch one church in town grow at an exponential rate while another struggles to keep its doors open. Such a curious experience leaves people wondering what the growing church has going on that makes it so attractive to people. And why don’t people find the other church as equally attractive?
Those are, I think, the wrong questions to be asking. The reason those are the wrong questions is because it isn’t our job to make the church attractive to anyone. Once we fall into the trap of trying to make church cool and culturally relevant there is a danger that the church will become soft on sin, theologically shallow, and little more than a Sunday club.
Don’t get me wrong, there is value in updating our style, utilizing modern resources such as technology, and abandoning traditions that no longer work. But these efforts should only be accomplished with a central focus on reaching people with the Gospel and making disciples. If creating a cool church or even simply church growth is our goal we’ve already lost sight of the mission of the church.
I came across an article this week discussing some specific reasons why it is harder today to grow a church than in years past. A few of the points given are accurate and reflect the struggle I’ve witnessed over the last decade. One in particular is worth noting for every church leader:
Over the last few years I have sought to become a student of church health and growth. I grew up in churches that were of varying sizes and was always struck by the differences. What exactly makes a church grow? Why do some churches grow strong and healthy while others seem to limp along barely surviving?
The answers to those questions are vital to the health, growth, and longevity of the church.
In my search to understand the difference between a growing, healthy church and a declining church I read a lot. I make it a point to read the research and studies of church health and growth experts. In reading so much I have noticed trends among the experts regarding what it takes to reach younger generations and have a growing, healthy church. Let me share a couple of those trends with you.
I’m just looking at three of the most recent articles I’ve come across relating to church health and growth. But in each of these three articles several consistent trends appear to contribute to the decline and death of the church.