The Two Main Drivers of Church Growth
Boxcars on a train may look good, they may even be spacious and functional, but without the engine they are useless. If what drives the train is inactive or disconnected, that cargo isn’t going anywhere and won’t fulfill it’s mission.
When our church is disconnected from its engine, we stall and become ineffective.
In the same way that boxcars go no where without the engine, our churches will struggle to grow when we disconnected from what drives Church growth. The drivers of Church growth are not rocket science and are usually the things that we began our churches with or why we began in ministry, but can easily become a second thought or all together overlooked; when that happens our churches slowly come to a halt. Often the larger the train the longer it takes to slow down because of momentum, and the same for a church, the larger the Church is, the longer it will take for you to realize that you’ve been coasting to a stop and no one is stoking the engine to keep moving towards the destination.
The Two Main Drivers of Church Growth:
1. Loving God
I know this seems too obvious to mention, but even in the early days of the Church, John received a prophetic message to one of the early churches that they had lost their first love. At C3 Church we’re intentional in worship and discipleship to call people to know, experience, and follow Jesus passionately. If our churches don’t have a passion filled pursuit of Jesus then we’re dead in the water. Not only will we foster loveless Christians, which are painful to be around, but we’ll become less attractive to the world around us. It’s our love and devotion in our relationship with Jesus that intrigues people. If you want a growing church, you need passionate people. Don’t let seeking to know Jesus take a back seat to any program or strategy.
Light yourself on fire with passion and people will come from miles to watch you burn. – John Wesley
Ways to cultivate passion for God:
- As the pastor or Church leader, stir up a fresh personal passion for God and His word.
- Upgrade your vocabulary to include more phrases that articulate your passion and thankfulness for what Jesus has done for you.
- Create practical environments to help people stir their passion and desire for the presence of God through putting on a few nights of worship throughout the year.
2. Reaching People
The second engine of our churches is loving and evangelizing people. Again, this may seem obvious, but so many churches are stalling or even declining due to taking our focus off of reaching lost people with the message of the gospel. Christianity becomes all about Sunday and we forget Monday. (Additional post: Having Church on Monday)
Evangelism is the driver of Church growth.
The fastest way to grow the church is to get people saved. When we get so focused on the extras of church mechanics, maintenance, and management, we stop putting the right energy into the very thing that got you to the level you’re currently at. As a pastor and church leader myself, I know that I’ve gotten there where I’ll come into the weekend, so focused on all of the details of the service, but haven’t shared my faith with anyone that week, or invited anyone to Church, or encouraged anyone in my church to be a witness.
What Is your church doing to reach people?
One of the biggest challenges that our church attenders have in evangelism is a lack of training or discipleship in how to share their faith and lead people to Jesus. Un-discipled Christians make ineffective evangelists. Effective discipleship that’s focused on knowing Jesus and evangelism is the key to church growth. I wrote a post recently about 7 Steps to Sharing Your Faith and Leading People to Jesus, that many have found helpful.
Loving God and reaching people are not departments in your church staff flow chart, they are the engine that drives your church. If you feel like your church is stalled, it may be that you’ve disconnected from the drivers of church growth.
Un-discipled Christians make ineffective evangelists.
Here is the good news, you can start today and this weekend to begin to stir up a fresh passion for Jesus and a renewed passion in your church to reach your city. Like Pastor Rick Warren says in regards to church growth, “Healthy Things Grow.” As you reconnect to what matters most, your church will be full of a fresh sense of the presence of God and will begin to fill up with new people ready to respond to Jesus.
Lead Pastors, the role you carry is powerful, often thankless, but so essential for all God is doing in your city! Stay at it! Don’t quit! We’ll be praying for you!