Can you stretch your faith and believe God to build your church worship and Sunday school attendance with the general funds available for ministry? Every person uses faith every day. Some place their faith in a job, some place faith in possessions or in themselves. So then, what is true faith?
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
That word faith in the original Greek language is Pistis (pis-
And He did not do many miracles there because of their unbelief.
That word unbelief is ap-
…upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.
1. We must realize who the church belongs to. No matter how long you have paid tithes, or how much money or time you have donated, it is still His church. A few years ago, my wife and I walked into a church with a capacity about 1000. We were the only ones there, so my wife selected a seat by placing her Bible and purse on the pew. She then went to find the ladies room. While I was waiting for the pastor in the sanctuary, an elderly lady came in and discovered the purse and Bible sitting on the pew where my wife had left them. “Oh!” the lady exclaimed. “Somebody is sitting in my seat! What shall I do?” Keep in mind there are still close to 1000 available seats. Instead, she picks up my wife’s belongings and moves them back a pew. I guess that pew cushion was conformed to her comfortably since she probably sat there since 1967.
2. Jesus not only made it clear who owns the church, but also made it clear who will build the church at the same time. It is certain that we are part of the plan to get this done, but ultimately, Christ will build the church. That should take a lot of pressure off of us.
3. The statement is also clear there will be resistance to the growth. It is estimated that 8 out of 10 churches in American are experiencing some type of church conflict. Satan is fighting hard to stop the words of Christ from becoming a reality in our lives. When we fail to believe what God wants to do, we can become our own worst enemy.
4. The good news is that Christ assures us the efforts of the enemy will not prevail against His church. If you do not have a conviction that God wants you to reach people for Christ, then all the help available to you is of no value.
Once you have a conviction that God wants you to reach people with the gospel of Christ, you will need to work on a clarified vision. Did you know that 80% of all the churches in America are in a plateau or decline? In fact, on an average day in the U.S. and Canada, 8 congregations die. Part of this problem is only 3% of the churches in America have a plan for the future. This shows a serious lack of vision. Scripture tells us that without a vision people perish.
Where there is no vision, the people perish
Church growth has to become a way of thinking, planning and doing. In other words, it’s an attitude. Paul encouraged the church at Ephesus, “to be made new in the attitude of your minds.” To the Philippians he wrote, “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.” This is the scriptural mandate of this process, that we too examine our own attitudes, comparing them to Christ, not to other men and churches. We must then make adjustments that are pleasing to God.
Newer churches tend to grow faster than older established churches, but this does not mean older churches cannot grow. This becomes clear when we look at the normal lifecycle of the average church. In the typical church lifecycle, 90% of all churches reach a peak in attendance by their 15th birthday. After 15 years a church will tend to move into a plateau or even a decline pattern. To learn more about what is considered growth and decline and how to figure your growth rate, be sure to check out the AGR page.
Churches do not grow in straight lines. Attendance is up one week and down another, so the growth line bounces. The key is getting the line to bounce upward and not downward. Commitment to your conviction to trust Christ will cause the attendance (and giving) line to bounce up. Compromising your conviction to trust Christ will cause the attendance (and giving) line to bounce downward, or become a horizontal linear line.
Rarely if ever can any one factor be the cause for the growth or decline of a church. It requires a combination of factors to develop a growing church. This combination of factors is called the "growth mix". Every church has a growth mix, be it a poor one that causes decline or a good one that causes growth. The most influential factor in the growth mix is the friendship factor. Most people visit church because a friend invited them, and if a person does not make seven friends in the first year of attendance, the chance of them being there the second year is very low. For more information be sure to check out The Church Experience Project pages.
The most simple of church growth principles is this; no visitors, no growth. For
this reason, church leaders and members must be drawn into shaping the purpose of
the church and its ministries with an intentional, active approach. Everything we
do is based on outreach, evangelism, and discipleship. Our ministry approach is to
determine where the church is in the lifecycle, and how it progressed to become what
it is today. Members can then work together in a workshop to help solve problems
that are detected through this consultation process. Members should be encouraged
to search their own hearts and attitudes to see how they line up with those of Jesus.
They will be working together to define targets for ministry and developing plans
to reach out for Jesus Christ into the world around them. For information on the
unchurched in your state, check out our Un-
Church Growth Associates can help you discover what your church growth mix is and help you develop a successful church growth strategy. By using ratios from growing evangelistic churches, we can help you set goals to maximize your church growth. We want to help you discover where the growth mix of your church is now, and help you make plans of faith to turn that mix into what God wants it to be. Using the information from the diagnostic data and “Thoughts & Perceptions” congregational surveys, we can develop a workshop for your church that will be a life changing, church shaping day.
If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from
his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then
make my joy complete by being like-
Many free resources for church growth and evangelism are here at MyChurchGrowth.com in addition to our paid membership services. If you need more help, tell us your story and let’s see if we can help you get your church into a growth pattern.