Church Growth

Church growth is a hot topic these days. There are countless books, seminars, and blog posts that share with followers of Jesus different ways to advance the Gospel. Over the years I have appreciated Carey Nieuwhof who seems to consistently challenge me in the my thinking about this important subject. Below is a post regarding 5 characteristics of growing churches. As you read the article, please meditate on his points so that they become seeds for future growth in our lives as we strive together for the advancement of the Gospel in the greater Grand Blanc area. Pastor Chris
 
 
 
 
 
 
     “In fact, here are five things that are true about most growing churches.  1). They Are Led by Passionate Leaders:…The passion is contagious…If you’re wondering why your church isn’t excited about its mission, check your pulse. Your church will only ever be as passionate about your ministry as its leaders are….Leaders who criticize more than they contribute never make a lasting impact.  And even if they’re not passionate about criticizing others, they’re likely passionate about something else in the life of leadership other than the mission before them.  2). They’ve Figured Out the Structural Issues That Hold People Back:  This is where structure matters a lot….
Larger growing churches inevitably change their structure to accommodate the people they’re reaching,… 3). They Are Relentlessly Focused on Reaching People Outside Their Walls ;  This is probably the point that gets leaders into the most trouble.   Because as soon as you start obsessing about the people outside your walls that need the Gospel, the people inside your walls start to say ‘what about me?’…Which is exactly why many leaders get scared away from truly focusing on people outside their walls.  Leaders of growing churches realize that criticism comes with the territory.  So how do you deal with the internal criticism? Easy…just get everyone on the same mission. Get everyone to focus on people outside your walls… 4). They’re Willing to Do What It Takes:  Growing churches have a unique culture. Hang out with them long enough and you’ll realize most of them are willing to do whatever it takes…Their leaders have a habit of not just dreaming, but doing.  Others see obstacles. They see opportunities.  They have a tremendously high pain tolerance and consider nothing to be as important as the mission.  If you’re willing to do whatever it takes, it’s amazing what you can accomplish….leaders who look for a guarantee of success never tend to find success.  5). They Refuse to Let the Present Become a Barrier to the Future: Realizing your mission and reaching more people creates its own challenges, not the least of which is your realization that what you’re doing is working. Which ironically can make you biased against further changes.  As we often say around here, success makes you conservative, which is why the greatest enemy of your future success is your current success….many leaders become risk averse.  Churches that continue to reach people push past this…When the only thing that’s sacred is the mission, you tend to realize your mission.
     “These are five things I see growing churches practice…if you want to go deeper, why do you think criticizing the effectiveness of others is such a big pursuit these days?”

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