A few weeks ago, I wrote about three reinforced principles while serving as an interim pastor. In that post, I mentioned there is a programmatic order to growing your church numerically. Of course, local churches have a much larger job than growing numerically only. If not, Jesus would have given us marching orders other than, “Go, make disciples.” I’ll write about the ‘make disciples’ part in a later post.
I think every pastor in America would like his church members to invite more people to the worship service. This might sound a bit harsh, but look for the grain of truth in your own church.
Our congregations do not invite people to church because either they aren’t excited about the future of the church OR we haven’t told them to invite their friends. Fellow pastors, we need to work hard at building a church culture that draws excitement within the church body.
I think prioritizing an emphasis on three ministry areas will produce excite and numerical growth.
Worship. Worship is not a music genre and it’s not about singing. It’s about inviting the manifestation of God’s presence into your church building. This is not an area that a church can afford to “fake it ’til you make it”. The worship portion of your WORSHIP service/gathering must be planned and executed at the highest level possible. People worship themselves naturally and need to be led in worshipping God. Church leaders, we must prioritize resources in this area if our churches are going to grow. It’s a blog and not a paper, so I’ll stop there.
Children’s ministry. There is nothing that will kill weekly momentum faster than no children’s ministry or poor quality children’s ministry. I’ve been a pastor for almost twenty years. I know things happen beyond our control. I may have given every excuse there is regarding a lack of anything in a church. However, when our family visits another church, I still get a little frustrated when a church doesn’t prioritize their children. When a guest experiences a lack of quality in children’s ministry, that family probably isn’t coming back. If a child tells mom or dad they don’t want to go back to that church, that family most likely isn’t coming back. We live in a culture that pressures parents to cater to their children. I know that doesn’t make it right, but it is a reality we must deal with in our churches.
I have read a few books that suggest 25% of the church budget should be designated to next generation ministry (including staff). If you can’t afford 25%, figure out what you can afford and begin prioritizing resources in this direction.
Men’s ministry. Two different professors from two different schools talked about the importance of men’s ministry in a local church. The data both men gave revealed when a father comes to Christ, his family follows 93% of the time. When mom comes to Christ, her family follows 36% of the time. Men’s ministry is often the last ministry to be executed in the church. We don’t train men to be leaders in their homes. We don’t train men to be leaders in the church. We don’t create outlets for men to grow friendships in the church. We aren’t very intentional about building men to be men of God. The lack of intentionality is passive men in the church and frustrated wives. Boys never learn how to be a Godly man. Church programming and decor leans toward the preferences of women. The list goes on and on. Church leaders, we must prioritize men’s ministry in our churches for the future preservation of our churches.
There are several other ministry areas that could be placed fourth on the list. Leave a comment and let me know what you’d place fourth and fifth on the list.