Searching for the Right Approach to Encourage Church Growth.
In the book Simple Church, Thom S. Rainer and Eric Geiger studied hundreds of different churches of all sizes and what they discovered is that those churches that had clear vision and a simple format were growing far faster that those who did not.
In my observation and study, churches have a few different approaches to doing church:
1) They do everything (men’s, women’s, Wednesday night, small groups, Sunday school, day care, radio ministry, elderly ministry, single adults, bus ministry, etc…)
2) They do anything- Go where the wind takes them (seeker sensitive, seeker driven, purpose driven, church of small groups, contemporary, traditional) whatever the latest approach is…that is what they do.
3) They do nothing (been the same for years…will continue to be the same)
The result of these approaches usually is a lack of:
One key thing that every church needs to do is create an effective vision for the organization. Here are some characteristics of an Effective Vision:
• Imaginable – Conveys a clear and easy to understand picture
• Desirable – Has an appealing factor
• Feasible – Comprises realistic and attainable goals
• Communicable – Is easy to communicate
• Memorable –Is easy to remember and can successfully be explained in 2-3 minutes
• Portable – People must be able to take it with them
• Inspirable – Moves people to action
The #1 thing to remember when starting this process is…“Start With the End in Mind”.
If a program does not fit with your church’s vision it should be not be started or it should be eliminated if it is already in place. Some things to consider are:
Does a program contain the following?
• A reason for its existence
• Does not distract from the vision but enhances the vision
• Supports the process
• Possess natural energy and momentum
Here is one final Fact to consider: The average church attender in the United States will give you 2 ½ hours of their time per week. With that in mind, a Leader must decide what the most effective way is to fulfill the vision for that person with the time they are willing to give you.
Until next time,
Quote for the Day,
“Out of complexity, find simplicity”
Chris Sonksen is a celebrated Motivational Speaker and Published Author; the Lead Pastor at one of America’s fastest growing churches (South Hills Church in Corona California); and the founding member of Celera Church Strategy Group. Celera offers pastor support, teaching, training and mentoring programs that equip pastors who want to learn how to grow church attendance through evangelism using proven church growth techniques.