We help churches grow.
So as you can imagine, we get (and answer) a lot of questions from pastors and church leaders just like you.
Today, I wanted to answer the three most common questions we receive about church growth.
Question #1: Why isn’t my church growing?
No matter what some might tell you, church growth is complicated.
- There are spiritual reasons churches don’t grow. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 3:6, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.” A church isn’t a business or an organization – it’s a spiritual endeavor. You can’t push a button and control the Holy Spirit. You can’t orchestrate the blessings of God.
- There are cultural reasons churches don’t grow. Remember the parable of the sower and the seed from Matthew 13. In the story, the farmer and the seed were the same each time. The difference was the soil. In other words, environment matters. Culture matters. You can do all the right things but if your church isn’t prepared and willing to grow, nothing will happen.
- There are structural reasons churches don’t grow. My friend Carey Nieuwhof compares some churches to mom and pop stores where mom and pop run everything. The CEO is stocking the shelves and the director of marketing is running the cash register. In essence, these stores are structured to stay small. It’s likely your church is structured perfectly for your current size.
Now, here’s the thing…
Spiritual barriers can be broken with prayer and the Holy Spirit. Cultural barriers can be defeated with leadership and communication. Structural barriers can be fixed with healthy systems and processes. We’d love to help you with all three!
Question #2: Can my church be healthy and growing at the same time?
People often say healthy things grow. Well, unhealthy things can grow too.
But I’ve been privileged to work closely with several healthy churches that were also growing churches. They didn’t sacrifice health for growth. And they didn’t sacrifice evangelism for discipleship. Hands down…your church CAN grow and be healthy at the same time.
The fact that you’re asking this question is a good thing. Because tension between growth and health should NEVER be resolved.
Question #3: What can I do to lead my church to healthy growth?
Paul said it was God that gives the increase and it was God that ultimately grows the church. But don’t skip over the part where he said he planted and Apollos watered. Both of those guys played a part.
It doesn’t all depend on you, but God uses you. And the things you do matter. You must be a good steward of your leadership position and embrace the fact there are things you can do well in order to facilitate church growth.
For most of us, this starts with adopting what we call a growth mindset (compared that to a stuck mindset). Huge difference!
- A stuck mindset says “I want to keep things the way they are.” A growth mindset says embracing change leads to growth.
- A stuck mindset avoids challenges. A growth mindset embraces them.
- A stuck mindset says “when we get money to hire someone things will be better.” A growth mindset says “let’s develop the people we have.”
- A stuck mindset says “that won’t work here.” A growth mindset says, “We can learn from anyone.”
- A stuck mindset says, “we don’t have enough leaders.” A growth mindset asks, “What must I do to develop leaders.”
- A stuck mindset blames the economy, the area, or the people. A growth mindset helps you be the best steward of what God has given you.
If you want to lead your church to healthy growth, the first step is adopting a growth mindset.
So let’s review…
- Why isn’t our church growing? There could be spiritual, cultural or structural reasons.
- Can growth and health co-exist? Yes!
- What can I do? Start with a growth mindset.
So What's Next?
Feel like your church should be growing, but it's not?
Ultimately, church growth is up to God. Are we being good stewards of what He's given us? Are we doing everything we can to ensure our church is healthy? How do we overcome the barriers we feel are in front of us?
We know you care deeply about leading a healthy growing church because it means leading more people to Jesus. So we created a free guide to breaking barriers that will bring clarity and help begin to alleviate your frustrations.
Get your FREE copy of the Senior Pastor's Guide to Breaking Barriers today by entering your name and email below.