When I was pastoring a church, I wanted it to grow. There were thousands of people in our community who did not know Jesus, and I wanted to make a dent in eternity. As the leader, I spent a ton of time working on facility stuff, messing around with service times and trying new special events.
There’s nothing wrong with those things, but after five or six years, I realized they weren’t the things holding us back. The growth barriers people talk about weren’t really the growth barriers we were facing.
Since those days, I’m focused on helping churches grow and be healthy – to break the real church growth barriers. I’m going to talk about them in detail on this Thursday’s free webinar, but here they are.
#1 – LEADERSHIP
Hands down, this is the #1 barrier to growth (and health) in your church.
It cuts across every ministry and the ripples of good leadership go far. But this does not happen by accident. It requires focus and some hard work. I know it’s trendy to talk about going multisite, but leadership is far more important.
When pastors lead themselves, lead their teams and lead their volunteers, amazing things happen.
#2 – LACK OF CLEAR VISION
Your church has a mission or a purpose and that should come straight from the Bible. You can make it sound great, but it’s probably some version of the Great Commission. This is a MUST HAVE but it’s not the same thing as a vision.
Knowing the difference between mission and vision isn’t just for etymologists. It’s crucial to know and communicate both if you want to lead a growing church. I’ve read hundreds of church vision statements, and they really aren’t vision statements at all.
I’m going to talk about the difference and give lots of examples on this Thursday’s free webinar.
#3 – BUSYNESS
Will Mancini said it like this: “Most churches do too much. In the absence of clear discipleship outcomes, we feel successful only with more attendance at more church stuff.”
I am absolutely convinced most churches are way too busy – stuck on a ministry treadmill of doing things that don’t lead to results. It’s understandable because most of the things we are doing have a lot of good in them. But being too busy has dramatic consequences.
When is the last time you evaluated your programs and ministries, not based on if they do some good, but on how effective they are at accomplishing your mission?
#4 – MINDSET
When Tony Dungy took over the Bucs, he had to change the mindset. He had a good scheme and he had NFL caliber players, but they were too used to losing. He had to change the mindset.
Churches get stuck with an insider mindset. And this doesn’t have anything to do with being traditional or contemporary.
If you want your church to grow, you have to develop a growth mindset. This isn’t easy, but there are a lot of things you can do to start the process.
#5 – SYSTEMS
So many of the problems in your church are really systems problems. And You can’t solve systems problems with better preaching or more vision. Systems problems can only be solved with healthy systems.
For what it’s worth, if I was stepping into a new church as the leader, I would focus on these five systems first…
- Worship Service Planning
- Volunteer Development
- Guest Follow Up
- Small Group Involvement
- Donor Discipleship
I’m sharing more about all of this on Thursday’s webinar. I have a ton of helpful content for you. Reserve your spot right here.