How’s Your Church Growing

I’ve been reading and listening.

Some are reporting that their local church is growing during our hiatus from on-campus worship services.

Is the Church growing? I have no doubts. Historically, Christianity has grown during times of crisis.

This is what I said last week:

I believe Jesus is using this crisis to build His Kingdom in spite of the changes and losses we’re experiencing. I believe things will never go back to exactly like they were. In the long run, I believe churches that have adapted and stayed connected will be better and healthier because of this crisis.

Is my local church growing?

I’m not sure I can answer that question in a way that pleases. If we mean local church growth in the same way we typically measure growth, then the answer is a moot point.

Most local churches measure growth by weekly on-campus attendance. I like those numbers because they represent souls I can see with my eyes.

However, if you’ve read after me much, you know the dangers of becoming too focused on counting noses alone. That measurement is insufficient.

Church health is the best determinant of future growth. And right now, without saints and sinners in their Sunday seats, church health is all I can focus on.

How am I staying focused on health? People. Our staff and pastoral care team is doing their best to stay focused on people and keep our people connected. When we learn about a need in our congregation that we can meet, we do our part.

Is it possible that we’re growing in numbers right now? Absolutely.

But I’m having a hard time getting excited about the number of views calculated through video streaming platforms. Statistics are easily skewed, and we church leaders have a habit of approaching numbers with a strong bias for an increase.

What am I saying? If you have access to the analytical insights on your streaming platforms, consider the average minutes watched. It’s much more significant than the number of views. By the way, Facebook counts it as a view anytime someone spends as little as three seconds watching your video.

Now, I’ll go on record as saying that not everyone in your church wants to watch your worship service online. I know it’s the twenty-first century and all of our cars should be flying. However, everybody that used to attend your on-campus service is not as internet savvy and hip to online worship services as you’d like them to be right now. The sad truth is that every church has some people who are not watching and worshiping with online services.

How’s my local church growing? I think it’s too soon to consider that question. I do know that my staff is mature, and we’re leading in unity. By faith, I believe we are doing the right things to produce future growth.

As we stay focused on making disciples, we are becoming healthier than ever. I give God the glory for each one of His disciples because each one represents a life changed by the resurrection power of Christ.

“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18).

Ask me that growth question again about September. Even then, my soul will only boast in the Lord. But by faith, I believe for more conversions and baptisms than ever.

Pastors and church leaders, how’s your local church growing?

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