It’s almost the end of the year 2016. I’m pretty sure your church is now on the process of doing your annual year-end planning for the next year. Do you know one vital agenda piece that seems to be on everyone’s agenda? It’s church growth.
One goal that all churches want to accomplish is to reach out to the community and bring in new church members to grow the congregation.
But most church leaders are quick to admit that it is not as easy as you think it is. It requires planning, God-given vision and strategy and of course, prayer.
There is no perfect formula for church growth.
It depends on your location, the culture of your church, and many other factors.
Putting all of these aside, there are still a lot of lessons that could be learned from growing churches to megachurches. Here is a list of great ideas collected from top church leaders and pastors.
If it is in your heart to grow as a church, then you must be willing to make church growth as your goal and be committed to making changes.
While the quality of praise and worship services is important, the sermons are still the star. Use your creativity to appeal to the masses by creating fun sermons that will touch the hearts of the unbelievers while still being relevant to the church members.
Make sure your visitors don’t feel ignored. To do this, you can usher them to a seat and ask them if they need anything else. Always strive to give them a positive first-timer experience.
Be intentional in serving. One of the best ways to retain new and recent visitors is to get them involved and provide them a sense of significance to the life of the church community. This is a big concept when you mobilize members for ministry: Be willing to give up some leadership and entrust ministry to the people in the pews.
11am on Sunday is no longer the preferred hour of the weekend. You need to consider launching a new worship service time this next year. By doing so, you create new possibilities for people to attend church.
Did you know that if 80% of the population of your church are all adults, there is a possibility that it is a dying church. Why? Who will continue the ministry if there are no young people growing in your church when adults start getting old? Focus on the youth. Give them disciplers and mentors. See how fast your church will grow.
Make sure you put enough planning into the the “big days” like Christmas and Easter. But think also about other family-friendly Sundays and events you can plan and publicize throughout the year. Easter Egg Drop! Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Thanksgiving, Invite-a-Friend Day, and other events make it easy for your people to invite their friends and family if you are planning something special and making visitors a priority more than usual.
Not only should your church community be more externally focused than internally focused, coordinating consistent opportunities to serve the neighborhood gives your people yet another way to invite their friends to join in and get to know your church members and community. People will be more willing to visit on a Sunday after they serve shoulder-to-shoulder with church members leading the efforts to do some good for your local town.
The church service is one of the most important things to get right when it comes to healthy church growth. Not special events, not one-off programs, and not ministries that involve a few people. It’s the church service – the thing that happens every week right on schedule. When the service is over, talk about what worked and what didn’t work. Talk through what connected and what missed. Ask people to complete an evaluation form. Do this all the time but a few times a year, make evaluation a big deal.
Growing churches are led by growing leaders. And one of the most efficient, fruitful and fun ways to grow is to engage with other like-minded leaders of similar groups and churches. You’ll be surprised how many leaders will jump at the invitation to have a periodic meeting where you share ideas and updates. I’ve started a mastermind group that has now become the most important and anticipated meeting on my calendar whenever it shows up for that week.
If you pursue these fundamental approaches to your church ministry in the new year, church growth is something that is tangibly within reach.
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