Resurrected Living
"What are you going to do with your new resurrected life? This is the heroic question." Richard Rohr

Some Suggestions for Church Growth

Church growth is always on the minds and hearts of church leaders, and there is good reason to talk about it. Jesus commanded us to be a light to the world, and to reach out to those around us. Part of our mission as Christians is to evangelize, so why is the church not growing? Surveys taken over the last several years have indicated a decline in church attendance. What is the problem? We talk about church growth. Numerous books are written on the subject each year. Seminars and lectures are devoted to addressing this important issue, but still the church is in decline. Why? There is obviously more than one simple reason, but I think part of the problem is that we look for easy solutions to something that deserves our time, commitment, and dedication. We want to implement another program when the answer may be something more radical. I believe reading a new book, choosing a new study, or adopting a new program matters very little. If we are going to influence people around us, then we need to first begin with ourselves and our congregations and work outward. Here are a few suggestions as to what we can do to help the church grow.

It Begin With UsBefore we reach out to others to try and get them to change their lives we must first work on ourselves. We need to be living transformed lives (Rom. 12:2). People need to see Christ living in us. We must live out the message we are proclaiming. This is the first step towards church growth. It all begins with us.

Invest in the ChurchIn Paul’s letters to Timothy he speaks of sound churches. The word sound means healthy. We need to invest in the church. We need to work on being a healthy community of spiritually mature Christians. When a person is converted they need to be surrounded by Christians who will help them mature and develop spiritually. We need to be a community people want to be a part of, not in a worldly sense, but in a spiritual sense.

Invest in the Community – Once we have begun to live a transformed life, and we are a part of a healthy and spiritually mature group of Christians, then we can look outward to our community. Get to know your neighbors and others within your community. Volunteer and show that you care about the people around you. Make yourself known to the community you are a part of. Strive to change the community for the better.

Choose to Devote More than Four Hours a Week to the Church – God has called us to live and work within community. We are not going to be successful at church growth if we plan to do it on our own. We must come together as the church, so that we can better reach out to others. We need to spend time strengthening the church from within, so that we can reach out to others. When we do reach out we need to do so as the church. People need to witness the church’s unity and love for one another.

Do What Jesus Did – Converting someone takes more than a door knock and an invitation. Jesus invested in others. He sat down and ate with people. He conversed with them and got to know them. Evangelism doesn’t occur in a matter of seconds or even overnight. We need to do as Jesus did and invest in people.

Focus on Being an Alternative Community – When God called Israel and gave them the law (Ex. 19-24) he envisioned them being an alternative community. Israel was to be everything Egypt was not. They were to treat people with respect, and remember that everyone has been created in the image of God. The church is an alternative community as well. We are a counter-cultural movement that is different than the world. It must be evident to others that the church is something different.

It’s Not About the Numbers – When church growth comes up people want to talk about numbers. I understand this, but when we treat people like numbers and not like people we are not doing what we were called to do. Church growth is about love for people, not success in numbers. Until we get past the numbers and start loving and investing people we will never truly understand what God has called us to do.

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