How to Grow a Church
Church Growth Goals
Church Growth Goals
By Pastor-Missionary David Cox
We begin this series with defining Church Growth Goals. What it is not, and what it should be.
What is ridiculous about Church Growth Ideas
If you read church growth articles and books, you will see a lot of nonsense presented in the name of church growth, and a lot of that stuff sounds wonderful at first sight but isn’t after you examine it. It is when you commit to using those tactics that you realize after you have committed a lot of time and effort that none of that really works. In one of E.M. Bounds works on prayer, he makes the point that men look for a new program and God looks for a man with character that he can use to do something special in his work.
“The Church is looking for better methods; God is looking for better men.”
― E.M. Bounds,
“What the Church needs to-day is not more machinery or better, not new organizations or more and novel methods, but men whom the Holy Ghost can use — men of prayer, men mighty in prayer. The Holy Ghost does not flow through methods, but through men. He does not come on machinery, but on men. He does not anoint plans, but men — men of prayer.”
― E.M. Bounds,
So if we can agree that the church is a spiritual thing, then it only makes common sense that there needs to be a large dose of spirituality in the growing process, and programs, procedures, and other such things are “minor” if even a consideration. I have been in the ministry since 1982, and in the end analysis, churches are a product of the people who minister in them. No matter what rules, procedures, or practices (nor doctrines) a church has, if the leadership running it is corrupt or unspiritual or immature, the church is a failure.
God’s work vs Church Growth
What is the difference between what God wants and what is modern church growth. If we do not get a clear vision of what we are doing, we are just spinning our wheels and going nowhere.
First, church growth is not having constantly larger groups of people, more money every month, and bigger buildings. We need to eliminate that as our goal. What we want is to fulfill the will of God. That means people are not necessarily by themselves a success point. People who are 1) truly saved, 2) growing spiritually, and 3) doing the work of God is what we have to insist on as being a true church in the sense that God intended it. So the quality and activity of the people are more important than the headcount. So many churches see the end goal of all their efforts as a simple headcount, and if that continues to increase, they are successful and extremely pleased.
The engagement of your people in your church speaks greatly as to whether you are being successful or not. What good is it to have a church of 1000 people and 30 do all the work, and the rest are apathetic? Is that really a good thing? No.
Another test for success is simply if the church is reproducing itself. If it is, how is that happening? We consider a human being as being immature (a child) when it is in a state that it cannot take care of itself, it cannot handle well the problems of life, and it cannot physically reproduce itself. A church is no different. Your church is not so great if it cannot handle church problems as a mature adult. If it is unstable, immature, and childish, then equally, it has great problems. If in a church of 100, 50 are mature adults, 25 are on the fringe, and 25 are immature, mostly you can handle things. But if your church is 1000, and you have 50 mature adults, 250 are on the fringe, and 700 are immature, then you have a big problem. You can barely handle the problems that surface.
Focus on objectives: Doing the work of God (evangelism and discipleship) and be what God wants you to be.
Next Week: Basic Principles: Constant Evangelism Emphasis
More Posts on Church
- Things that ruin a Church: People
- Things that ruin a Church: Events that Decay pt 2
- Things that ruin a Church: Events that Decay pt 1
- Things that ruin a Church: Qualities that Destroy
- Church Advertisement that Works
- Changing Membership in the Local Church
- Satan’s Useful Idiots
- Getting People to faithfully integrate
Pastor David Cox is a missionary. See my ministry updates here.