Even if we succeeded, raising megachurch money out of a small congregation to build a medium-sized facility is not good stewardship.
Church Growth Through New Eyes
When we were faced with that reality several years ago, we realized we had to look at church growth through new eyes.
Growing from 35 to 200 was a step-by-step process. The next step of growth would be a leap of near-miraculous proportions.
Can God do that? Of course.
Have other churches overcome similar, even bigger gaps? Yes.
But what God can do and has done is not always what he wants to do in every situation.
We’ve chosen to figure out what God's will is for us on this side of the gap. What church growth, success, and being mission-minded looks like on the small side of the 200 barrier.
If your church is facing a similar growth gap, I have good news for you.
Churches don’t have to become bigger to do what God is calling us to do.
When You're On the Small Side of a Church Growth Gap
1. Acknowledge reality
It’s not lack of faith to say “this is who we are and where we are.” Faith doesn't deny reality, faith sees the deeper reality.
2. Don’t make excuses
Saying “we can’t grow because of (fill in the blank)" is untrue. But it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. No church can do everything, of course. But when we cross some opportunities off the list, we must look for new growth options.
3. Redefine what success and growth look like for you
Your church won’t look like your mentor’s or your megachurch hero's church.
You’re not them. Your church isn’t their church. Your community isn’t their community. Your calling isn’t their calling.
Churches aren't called to look like other churches any more than Christians are called to look like other Christians. We're called to be like Jesus. His image always looks a little different in every person, every pastor and every church.
4. Do ministry from the church, not just in the church
Getting outside the walls of the church removes all growth limitations.
We can become as big, or bigger, than the need around us.
5. Never give up
As long as there is one person in the community who needs Jesus, the church isn't done growing.
The size of your church doesn’t limit God’s power. Neither does that pesky growth gap.
The Great Commandment and the Great Commission won't be limited to the walls of any church, no matter what size it is.
Be faithful. Stay joyful. Think innovatively.
And never, never, NEVER settle for less.
Copyright © 2015 by the author or Christianity Today/Leadership Journal.
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