Here’s a good chance to “click away.” If you think having a strategy to grow a church’s weekly worship attendance is too pragmatic, move along – you’re in the wrong classroom and I don’t have a comments section anyway. Now… IF and ONLY if you’re a Pastor, interested in helping your church reach more than 100 people in weekly attendance, read Brian Jones’ blog post about how to break the 100 barrier.
Brian’s post is radical. I don’t even agree with all of it. At Grace Hills, we’ve given to missions from day one, but our reason is that generosity is either part of your DNA from birth or you have to fight to squeeze it in later. But I get Brian’s angle on that issue, so I won’t knock it.
And I wouldn’t kill small groups because I think they’re hard-wired into the nature of the church – at least any church that has a dozen or more families attending (any less and the church really is a small group). But again, I understand Brian’s concept of the three buckets, and with that in mind, it can work.
What I love about Brian’s post is the straightforwardness with which I wish someone had coached me long ago when I was struggling to help a small church become healthy and growing again. I’ve written before about my experiences, and my belief about the radical need to change the game even at the risk of death. I see in Brian’s post some big takeaways I hope every Pastor in this situation understands…
- The regret of not trying is more costly than the risk of going for it.
- You’re going to need to stay a while. No church transitions quickly.
- You’re going to have to work very hard. And often work alone.
- You’re going to have to stop doing stuff that sucks time, money, and people away from the main mission.
- Relocation, restructuring, renaming – it’s all on the table. Get rid of every bottleneck.
- Network with the community obsessively. This is the mission anyway.
- Make Sundays great, especially four things: the music, the message, the greeting, and the kids ministry.
- Use the power of momentum – let every win take you forward through the next hard decision.
Know this, also. Whether your church grows numerically or not does not determine your worth or value. That is decided by the cross and by the calling God placed on your life. But if you want to lead your church to grow, then go for it! If people hate you and criticize you and fire you or put out a hit on you… you’ll be in great company, and you’ll have fewer regrets.
I especially agree with Brian’s last words:
But it is doable.
And it works.