I want to introduce you to Four Point Church.
Four Point Church started in a restaurant in October of 2011 with about 80 people. Throughout the first year, they bumped up against 100 attendees and could never seem to get traction.
They moved into a larger storefront building a year later and actually LOST momentum.
But today, they have broken the 200 barrier and are reaching people for Jesus.
I sat down with Pastor Mark Pangel and listened to his story. Here are five principles and lessons you can learn.
#1 – They got outside help.
“We had to learn stuff. We had to learn programming. We had to learn systems and the structures from people that are ahead of us and better than us. We’ve been willing to get help from a lot of people that are ahead of us, and we’ve listened and we’ve changed.”
When you’re looking to lead your church to healthy growth, particularly through the 200 barrier, listening and learning is a key. Proverbs 12:15 says a wise man listens to advice.
#2 – The pastor was willing to change.
“We brought in Pastor J.R. Lee, and he came for two days, and spent time with our staff. This is not fun to hear, by the way, but he asked me in the hotel room the night before, “Can I be honest with your staff about you?” I said, “Of course,” and he said, “You’re the biggest ceiling in your church right now.” Then he gave me the reasons why.”
We’ve seen it time and time again. When the pastors and leaders of a church set aside the stuck mindset and adopt the growth mindset, it opens the church up to healthy growth.
#3 – They committed to team ministry.
“Down deep, we all feel like we can fix it. We’re fixers, so we can go fix it. But the minute I do that, it may be fixed, but ten other things are pushed out. Here’s the truth: I believe for breaking two hundred, the reason that God did that through us is that we finally said, “We’re going to use a team. We’re not going to use a me, or even one or two.” It is a major change for most churches.”
Healthy, growing churches don’t depend on one or two people to do all the work. They develop leaders, engage volunteers and equip people in the church to do the work of the ministry.
#4 – They recruited volunteer staff.
“I had a friend from a church in Chattanooga who said, “If you don’t have a care pastor, could you not ask God for a care pastor?” I said, “I can’t afford that.” He said, “Have you asked God?” Then in the truth and guilty conscience a little bit I said, “No, man. I just can’t afford it.”
“We have three staff members right now that don’t take one dime from the church, and they just are dying to be there and they work hard. You just have to find them, and you’re not going to find them if you don’t ask God. God will put in them what you can’t put in them, and they’ll come forward. Don’t worry about money and don’t worry about the people that you think you can pour into. Pray and then look. “
Pastor Mark and the team at 4 Point didn’t allow a lack of funding to keep them from developing leaders and finding volunteer staff.
#5 – They prayed and worked.
Mark encourages us…
“Pray specifically, “God, how do I need to change?” Then find people that you love, here’s the big one, that trust, that loves you enough to tell you the truth. Let them rip apart everything that you’re not doing, and then do it.
Many of the barriers you’re facing are spiritual, some are cultural and some are structural. It’s always a good idea to pray for growth, the courage to change, and for God to send you people and resources.