Unexpected Church Growth Methods

It is a tough world we live in and these are tough times.
Nevertheless, it is God’s world, and “God’s Kingdom will come, and God’s will, will be done on earth as it is in heaven”.
And while we might feel ourselves, even find ourselves, in crisis management mode the solution isn’t to tighten everything up (Harvard Business School has shown that organisations which downsize are twice as likely to fail as those that don’t), and draw everything in (who ever survived a siege? Answers on a post card.)

So here are five counterintuitive rules for 21st  Century Church growth:

  1. Generous giving campaigns which are paired with vision help churches expand. It does sound strange. Why would you ask for more money in order to expand your mission? People are drawn to vision in a world filled with distractions. People react when the vision is made clear, which is frequently required in a generosity initiative.
  2. Especially among younger and older generations, belonging is a “thing.” The churches that emphasize a high bar of church commitment and leadership are the ones which are attracting younger age groups.
  3. Online resources can help, maybe.
    As long as they are treated as a front door, online platforms can aid in the expansion of churches. Making a strategy to bring online viewers into the heart of your church is crucial. The few churches who do this report large numbers of visitors coming from their online attendance.  When engaging in an online experience, you must welcome users—but you have to find a way of bringing them into community -even if they remain online!
  4. Outreach must become untamed. It cannot be church in disguise. There are significant needs in your community that the gospel can meet, or which can be met through Christian service.  The needs are complicated, that much is true, but the wisdom and support is out there if you can supply the local engagement.   Let me say it again, it has to be genuine service, meeting real needs without a hidden ambition to sell church or find new members.
  5. Through baptisms, weddings, and funerals, pastors can have a significant impact on individuals. Your church has one of its best opportunities to connect with individuals around significant life milestones, in gracious service (rather than money making opportunities).

Any other thoughts? Let me know.


Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

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