Do you feel like your church has become stagnant? Perhaps you have experienced a period of growth in the past, but now you are struggling to even come close to the growth you had before. What you need is some fresh ideas for church growth!
In this article, we will teach you how to grow a church Biblically with an example from Jesus’ ministry.
Fresh Ideas For Church Growth: Types Of Church Growth
Many pastors believe that all growth is good, but there are types of growth you do not want in your ministry.
Not all growth will be beneficial to your church in the long run. In fact, it can even be counterproductive to get the wrong type of growth.
Having a church growth plan will help you determine whether or not your church can keep up with its growth.
The types of growth that we will discuss in this article are unsustainable church growth and sustainable growth. We will also look at one of the many church growth ideas Jesus uses in His ministry.
Types of Church Growth: Unsustainable Growth
As the name would suggest, unsustainable growth occurs when a church grows beyond what it can sustain.
There are 3 types of church growth ideas that are unsustainable:
1.) Growth That Isn’t Aligned With The Vision: One possibility is that your church’s focus is scattered. Some churches abide by the saying, “have a little something for everybody.” They do this by making many little ministries in an attempt to appeal to all types of people.
However, this doesn’t work because having many unconnected ministries detracts from the power of a single, unified vision. That is not to say that having multiple ministries is a bad thing, but each of those ministries must connect and build upon one another in order to help your church reach its vision.
Having too many unrelated ministries will cause confusion and reduce the effectiveness of those ministries. If you’d like to learn more about the cause of confusion and frustration in church, check out our other article here: https://clickmill.co/commitment-to-the-church/
2.) Financially Unsustainable Growth: Financially Unsustainable Growth occurs when the cost of growth outweighs the benefit. It often happens when a church invests a lot of resources into starting a new ministry, only to find out that the ministry cannot support itself so the church must continue to pour resources into it.
Individual ministries should be self-sustaining at the minimum, and perhaps even bring in more resources for the main church. If a ministry continually takes resources away from the main church, it will end up harming rather than helping the church.
When each individual ministry in your church is at least self-sustaining, if not bringing in more than it needs, your church will have an abundance of resources to go out and continue to reach more people!
3.) Growth In The Wrong Area: Another possibility is that you are focusing your growth efforts on the wrong areas of your ministry.
For example, many pastors focus the majority of their resources on bringing new visitors into the church. In many cases, it would be wiser to allocate resources to create incentives for new members to commit to the church after visiting. Large volumes of new visitors won’t help grow your ministry, if nobody stays.
While it is important to bring new people into your church, the new people–also known in Jesus’ ministry as the “masses”–were not Christ’s main focus.
*If you like this article and want to know more about church growth, check out our post, 10 Most Powerful Church Growth Strategies.
Types of Church Growth: Sustainable Growth
First and foremost, sustainable growth ideas are aligned with a Vision, financially sustainable, and targeted to grow a specific group within your church.
But how do you know which area to target for growth? The answer to that question is found by looking at Jesus’ ministry in the Bible.
Those who received the most teaching were those closest to Jesus. His disciples were the ones He invested the majority of His time and effort into, next were His 72 followers, and last were the masses.
The masses received the least teachings, and Jesus often broke away from them to rest and to be with just His disciples (Mark 6:30-32). This is not to say that Jesus neglected the masses, but rather, He focused on preparing His disciples so that one day He could entrust them with leading the masses.
Likewise, pastors should invest more time into preparing church volunteers and other staff members under their care than bringing in new people. The benefits of this church growth idea are twofold:
- When you spend more time preparing your volunteers, it will prevent burnout by helping volunteers feel loved, safe, and valued. This way, volunteer work will be more fulfilling for them, and their motivation will be boosted.
- Counterintuitively, shifting your focus to volunteers (your most committed churchgoers) will incentivize newcomers with more of your time and discipleship when they commit. By giving more time to your 12 than to your 72, you incentivize commitment to the church and people will move toward the core of your ministry.
If you’re interested in the topic of church volunteers and would like to engage your congregation, check out our other blog here: https://clickmill.co/church-engagement/
In summary, sustainable growth only occurs when fresh ideas for church growth ideas are both sustainable and executed in a biblical discipleship-oriented format. That is a sign that not only is the church able to bring in newcomers, but it is also able to mature them into committed believers who stay with the ministry.
And that about wraps it up for this article on fresh ideas for church growth.
Let us know if you found these church growth ideas helpful in the comments!