Church Growth
Why I've Stopped Saying ‘Church Growth’ – And What I Say Instead
The words Church Growth are packed with so much emotional baggage that they’ve become virtually useless in my context.

And never staying where we are.

2. It allows for no excuses

We’re always striving to increase our capacity.

Do more with less.

Work smarter, not harder.

Never settle for less.

Never.

Lack of numerical growth is not an excuse to do ministry with anything less than the full commitment of our heart, soul, mind and strength.

3. It removes unnecessary guilt

If we’re doing better, more effective ministry that doesn’t put more butts in our seats, we don’t walk away feeling defeated, because more butts in the seats was never the goal.

And yes, many churches do great, kingdom-impacting ministry without seeing the corresponding numerical increase in their local church.

4. It keeps us focused on kingdom success, not just our success

When we measure effective ministry by kingdom impact rather than butts in our seats, it frees us to do ministry without an agenda.

When we measure effective ministry by kingdom impact rather than butts in our seats, it frees us to do ministry without an agenda.

People are more likely to trust us and the message we carry when there’s no appearance of trying to gain something for ourselves from it.

5. It’s a bigger way to look at the church and our place in the world

We live in a very interconnected world, now.

The small church I pastor (under 200 people in the building on Sunday) does ministry on an international scale that we never would have believed possible just a decade ago. From the live streams and podcasts of our services, to social media, to this blog and more, our church and its ministries are reaching exponentially more people outside our geographical region than inside it.

The people in our local congregation are the first priority of my pastoral ministry. But their numbers represent a miniscule percentage of our church’s ministry impact.

Increasing Your Church’s Capacity

So what does this mean for your church?

I don’t know. But try it on for size and see what happens. Here are a few possible ways it might play out for you.

Stuck in a small building? What can you do in that building to increase your capacity by doing effective ministry from, not just in that building?

In a rural area with a small population? What can you do to increase your capacity for effective ministry to that population?

Called to minister in ways that are small and intimate, rather than large and loud? What can you do to increase your capacity for effective ministry within a small, intimate setting?

Not every church is called to be bigger.

But every church is mandated to do more effective ministry.

And every church can.

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November 14, 2016 at 3:29 AM

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