Here are three essentials for breaking through the barriers to church growth.
You must develop an unshakable conviction about growth (Colossians 2:19). An opinion is something you’ll argue about; a conviction is something you’ll die for. You need to settle the issue that God wants his church to grow. All living things grow. If a church is alive, it grows. Growing a healthy church is hard work, and unless you clarify your convictions, you’re going to be tempted to give up. You have to develop this conviction because:
- God commands growth. He did so through the Great Commission.
- People demand it. The world is desperately looking for an authoritative message in a humble personality. That combination is irresistible.
You must change the primary role of the pastor from minister to leader. What’s the difference? In leadership, you take the initiative; in ministry, you respond to the needs of others. When someone calls and you pick up the phone, that’s ministry. When you pick up the phone and call someone, that’s leadership. Typically, you learn ministry skills in seminary, but you learn leadership skills in seminars. Pastoring is a balance. Here are five skills you must learn if your church is going to grow:
- Learn to communicate your vision.
- Learn the ability to motivate through messages.
- Learn how to equip for ministry. If you don’t learn how to coach, you will not be able to equip. And, if you do not equip, you will burn out in ministry.
- Learn how to raise money. Those who write the agenda must also be able to underwrite it.
- Learn the skill of managing your time and energy.
You must organize around the gifts of your people. In the New Testament, there is not a single explicit organizational pattern about church. It doesn’t tell us how to organize the church or give us job descriptions for deacons or elders. Why did God leave the structure so vague? So that it could fit in every culture and every age. You must build your church around the talent God has already given you. Whatever God wants your church to do at this moment, the talent is already there in the church. God wants your church organized on the giftedness of your members.