Church Growth
Breaking The 200 Barrier Is Good – Feeling Guilty If You Don’t Break It, Isn’t
Most churches don’t experience constant numerical increase, no matter how hard they work or what new strategies they learn.

If you want your church to break through the 200 barrier there’s a lot of help.

From the classic book, How To Break Growth Barriers, to newly-developed programs by great leaders like Carey Nieuwhof, Ed Stetzer and The Unstuck Group, there’s no shortage of top-notch information to help a church navigate through growth.

Many churches and pastors have been blessed by the strategies and encouragement offered in these resources. Including me.

So if your church has grown for a while, then stopped at (or under) 50, 100 or 200 people in average weekend attendance, I encourage you to check out those resources and implement the ones that make the most sense for your situation.

But.

Please don’t put yourself or your church under the pressure that you’re obligated to break through numerical growth barriers in order to be an effective church.

Don’t Buy The Lie

You don’t need to feel guilty if constant growth doesn’t happen.

Don’t buy into the lie that you’re failing, stupid, unfaithful, lazy, ignorant or sinful just because the congregation you serve has stopped growing numerically.

Don’t buy into the lie that you’re failing, stupid, unfaithful, lazy, ignorant or sinful just because the congregation you serve has stopped growing numerically.

Certainly it’s important to try to understand why growth has slowed, stopped or reversed. We can’t get complacent or start offering excuses. There’s too much at stake for that.

But we can strive for better without taking on the completely unwarranted burdens of guilt and shame that too many pastors find themselves under.

(To be clear, I’m not saying that any of the aforementioned church growth specialists are calling non-growing churches any of those things. They’re offering help and encouragement. The guilt is usually from inside us.)

Healthy / Not Healthy

Growing is healthy.

Enacting strategies to prepare for growth is healthy.

Working and praying to nudge your church toward numerical growth is healthy.

Feeling guilty if your church is not growing?

That’s not healthy.

Numerical Growth Is Not Inevitable

Most pastors want their church to grow.

I want the church you serve to grow.

I want the church I serve to grow.

But numerical congregational growth is not inevitable. It’s not guaranteed. It’s not promised. Not even for a healthy, effective, outward-reaching congregation.

No matter how hard you work, how long you pray, how much help you get, you may not experience the numerical growth that you expect.

Support our work. Subscribe to CT and get one year free.

May 20, 2019 at 1:00 AM

Join in the conversation about this post on Facebook.

Recent Posts

Read More from Karl

Follow Christianity Today

Free Newsletters

More Newsletters ...