Where do we grow from here?
That question began the conversation I had with myself. Our congregation was on the heels of some really good Sundays.
Other questions surfaced. What size congregation do we want our church to become? Why should we put a cap on it?
The final question arose, which I believe was asked by the Holy Spirit.
What if, instead of having all the answers, we take one step at a time?Tweet
I don’t have all of the answers for your church. I’m mainly writing about how the Holy Spirit is leading my church to grow. But you will be inspired to grow from these principles.
For us, the word GROW means God reaching our world. I’m certain that God wants to grow His Church. I’m also certain He wants to use my congregation and me to build His Kingdom.
Therefore, our desire to reach the lost people on the outside must be greater than our desire to serve the saved people on the inside. We won’t forsake the saved to reach the lost, but our focus is on the lost and unchurched of our community.
How will we GROW? These principles must concurrently guide us.
- We will grow better by acting bigger. We don’t deserve to grow bigger unless we’re also getting better. We should never stop getting better.
We’ve designed our services differently than the traditions of our past. We’re focused on improving our hospitality processes. In essence, we act bigger than we are. Our structure and systems, though continually improving, are functioning well enough to handle twice our current attendance average. This is how we grow together.
- We will grow bigger by thinking smaller. We can only grow bigger if we’re willing to get smaller. As we expand our times and spaces, our outreach capability enlarges.
We’re reaching out for more unchurched people with the Gospel. We’re also adding a second service. So to start with, I’ll have two smaller worship services rather than having one that runs 70-80 %. Also we’ll slowly add more groups as the right people are recruited to lead them. These small groups enable us to connect and grow people. We will increase our ministry’s impact by expanding our ministry capacity. This is how we grow out.
- We will grow smaller by making sacrifices. We are only small enough to grow if we’re sacrificing selfishness. As we humble ourselves and live selflessly, God will lift us according to His will.
For us, this means lots of small changes for many people who are already doing so much. I’m asking several families to commit to the second service, and that changes their whole Sunday routine. Some volunteers are changing teams, and some are changing assignments altogether. But these are all necessary adjustments for growth. This is how we grow up.
Here’s what I’m telling my congregation.
“We’ve been growing because you’ve been inviting your friends. And we remain committed to the Great Commission and the Great Commandment. We’re helping people find salvation and new life in Jesus Christ. What we’ve discovered is that if we don’t make changes, we’ll have to change who we are. We would no longer be a church of outreach because we won’t have parking. So we’ve decided to make room for the people God will bring us and the people you’ll invite to come because believers are bringers.”Vision Casting for Mission 2.0
By God’s grace, this is how we will GROW. He alone gives the increase. But He has given us the responsibility to grow up, grow out, and grow together.
And that’s three surprising ways your church can grow too!