Many have described how churches grow and what growing churches usually do very effectively. As you create action plans for your church, it’s useful to review the mega themes in Scripture that tell us what a growing church should be and do.
Numerous pastors, authors and church growth pioneers have also written extensively on the recurring patterns they see in growing churches. Consider these 8 big ideas:
Pray that the Holy Spirit will open your eyes to see God’s vision for your church.
- Personal Prayer Life – Personal prayer is the starting place for any church’s prayer life.
- Intercessory Prayer Ministry – Organize a group-based prayer ministry in your church to facilitate regular intercessory prayer.
- Prayer Team – Consider recruiting people committed to pray for the church, its Pastor, staff and ministry teams.
Vision & Values
Churches grow when people have a clear understanding of God’s plans for their church.
- Memorable Statements – Lead members to memorize the church’s vision and values.
- Focused Ministry – Clarify and visualize plans, processes and strategies (E.g. Saddleback Church’s Bases of Spiritual Maturity and Congregational Levels of Commitment).
- Communication – Repeat and publish your vision often.
- Church Unity – Clear vision and purpose contribute to church unity.
Growing churches are led by pastors and staff who serve their churches with honest, competent and visionary leadership.
- Servant Leadership – Follow Christ’s example.
- Transparency – Conduct God’s business with unimpeachable leadership integrity.
- Competence – Provide able, effective leadership.
- Forward-Looking – Communicate a clear vision for the future.
- Inspiration – Enthuse and excite your people.
Worship services are a key place for the community’s first steps into church life.
- Worship Style – Consider your community context and outreach focus.
- Worship Focus – By definition, worship is vertical, God-centered praise.
- Evangelism Focus – As a secondary purpose, what worship service elements give horizontal testimony and witness to unbelievers?
Help new believers grow and mature in their faith and equip existing believers to become fully-devoted followers of Jesus Christ.
Expanding Small Group Network
Create reproducing groups of believers that study the Bible and care for each other.
- Expanding Network – The only way a church can minister to increasing numbers of people is to increase its small group network (E.g. The Growth Spiral).
- Reach, Teach and Care – Groups must understand their purpose in the context of the church as a whole. Do groups understand their evangelism. pastoral care and Bible study roles?
Growing churches help members find fulfillment by using their spiritual gifts in ministry.
- Assimilation Plan – Connect people to the places where they can use their spiritual gifts in ministry.
- Training Opportunities – Offer leadership training and events.
- Value Volunteers – Motivate and encourage volunteer leaders (E.g. The Volunteer Revolution by Bill Hybels).
Evangelism, Outreach & Missions Priority
Churches that grow have clear and vibrant outside-the-walls outreach strategies.
- Community Needs – Discover community needs and create ministries to meet them.
- Communication – Emphasize the importance of outreach and evangelism often. Practically, this means that calendar, budget and personnel decisions reflect the importance of evangelism and missions.
- Personal Evangelism – Implement a personal evangelism strategy and equip core members and the congregation to share their faith.
- Missions – Provide local, state, national and international opportunities to pray, give and go.