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I want to tell you a story.  

But if you just want the punch line at the end of the story, go right here.

In 2005, after a dozen years of working with students, we moved from Arkansas to Atlanta to start a new church. With a team of about 25 committed people, we launched in a movie theater. The church grew quickly in that first year — from a small group of people to over eight hundred on our one-year anniversary.

A little after that one year mark, I had a mini-crisis because I realized we didn’t have any systems in place to deal with the rapid growth. We succeeded in getting people to church, but we hadn’t answered the question, “What’s next?”

How were we going to disciple these people? How would we move them to groups? How do we follow up with guests and givers? I knew how to attract a crowd, but I knew little about leading a church.

I’d throw a little attention at problems as they popped up, but they would come back time and time again. We patched it when it was broken, but it would just break again. It was like we treated the symptom but never addressed the broken system.

We didn’t have healthy systems to sustain growth.  

As a visionary leader who loved preaching and leading, the idea of creating systems and flow charts sounded like it was as exciting as going to the dentist.  

But the problems we were facing in our young and growing church were systems problems.

So eighteen months in, we went to work.

We made a list of every system that needed to exist in our organization—things from how we hired and interviewed people, to how a service got planned, to how the truck was loaded. Next, we wrote them down. Thankfully, there were people on our team who were gifted in this area. They were more organized than I was and without their help, we never would have gotten anywhere.

It took us months and months and many meetings, but eventually, we wrote down every system in our church. We began to implement these systems, and do things the same way.

It revolutionized the day-to-day operations of our church. People problems seemed to go away, because our people knew what we expected of them. Volunteers knew what they were responsible for and who to call in case they needed something. Meetings took shape because we knew the goal and the desired result.

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.

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