Where do we grow from here?
That question began the conversation I had with myself. Other questions surfaced.
What size congregation do we want our church to become? Why should we put a cap on it?
Then a 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 local church. I’m mainly writing about how the Holy Spirit is leading Harvest Christian Center. But you will be inspired to grow from these principles.
I know God wants to grow His Church. I’m also confident He wants to use our congregation to build His Kingdom. For us, the word GROW means God reaching our world.
So, 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 our community’s spiritually lost and unchurched.
Why is that our focus? Grab ahold of this Bible revelation, and you’ll know that Jesus came to save lost sinners. The New Testament makes this abundantly clear (click the link).
How will we GROW? These three 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, by continuous improvement, should always be 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 to more unchurched people with the Gospel. We’re committed to two (identical) morning worship services. So we have two smaller worship crowds rather than one that pushes us to our campus capacity. Also, we’ll slowly add more groups as the right people are recruited to lead them. These small groups enable us to love people and grow as Christians. 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 bigger if we sacrifice personal preferences. As we humble ourselves and live selflessly, God will lift us according to His will.
This means many small changes for many people already doing so much. I’m asking more families to sacrificially commit to the second service. 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 Jesus’ 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 or seating. So we’ve decided to make room for the people God will send us and the people you’ll invite because believers are bringers.”
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!
Harvest Christian Center lives to love people, grow Christians, and multiply leaders.