Thursday, 10 May 2012

Key factors in church growth

There are many books, views and strategies for church growth.  I would like to pass on my own observations.
Having seen churches and fellowships thrive, decline, stabilize and die since the 1960s, I have noticed that the ones that did manage to grow significantly had some important elements that helped them sustain and succeed.

These growing churches had a committed core membership who were able to enthuse others and engender a strong belief in the value and worth of their fellowship.  In many cases these members really believed that their fellowship had a great deal to offer.  Some would express it in the words, "our church is the place to be" or words to that effect.

Some of these members had charisma, leadership skills and attractive personalities.  Some were evidently filled with the Holy Spirit and power from on high.  Therefore they were able to create an atmosphere of love, grace and warmth, a place where people felt comfortable and spiritually nourished.

These members were able to create and build an infrastructure that gave good support, fellowship and a sense of community.  Good facilities definitely can help. People are drawn to churches that provide useful services, such as child care groups, luncheon clubs, sports, youth and leisure programmes.

Quite often these growing churches had very good musicians, Bible teachers and caring pastors (not necessarily professionals and ordained clergy).

It helps when a church or fellowship has contact with the community through its programmes, and can allow people to come in from the fringe without the cringe factor.

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