Church growth is a common concern among many (especially pastors). Maybe we are guilty of limiting the growth of our churches by making a few mistakes.
For some, church growth is an uncomfortable subject to talk about. It gives the appearance that we are only concerned about numbers. But those numbers are members of God’s family.
Ultimately, it is God who adds to the church (Acts 2:47). Perhaps the reason some of our local churches struggle with growth is simply because God is no longer adding members. It may not be that we’ve done something wrong, but simply that it’s God’s design for the church to stay small.
Of course, there are reasons why a church may not grow when it is our fault…
1) We are too introverted
We come to think the church exists exclusively for those of us in it. We’re joyfully content with our church so the thought of proactively seeking growth is not in forefront of minds.
2) We’d rather protect the church than share it
Since we love the dynamic of our local church and have become so comfortable, the thought of change that might happen with new members is scary. This fear motivates us to survive rather than thrive.
3) We get stuck in the past
Perhaps traditions stand in our way. Our traditions were likely merited at one time, but times change. There are fundamentals of the church we should never change, but others we definitely should.
4) We focus too much on growing
Believe it or not, if we try to hard to grow, we can actually prevent growth. We often turn to shallow and secular methods to attract more people, but that’s a dying strategy and it’s dying for good reason.
5) We emphasize meetings over ministry
Some of the surest ways to grow a church is through authentic service and genuine fellowship. Instead, we often focus too much on the corporate worship meetings where all that matters is if people fill the pews.
6) We get very little (if any) practical teaching
Maybe the pastor is to blame. Maybe his leadership is not as intentional as it should be. He might preach practical topics to guide the church, but keeps his teachings too vague for the church to implement.