My experience has taught me that only four things grow a church (other than the Holy Spirit):
- Bringing people to Christ and/or to the church – forgetting this is the number one reason church plants stop growing and established churches start declining.
- Retaining people long enough to disciple them – this includes first impressions, worship, and small groups
- Discipling people – this requires a farm system and a clearly marked path to some level of leadership.
- Sending people back out into the world to be backyard missionaries – this involves making a difference in the community.
Now it doesn’t matter which comes first, bringing in or sending out. Like the chicken and the egg, who can tell?
Don’t let the missional conversations confuse you – both must be present in any form of church, with or without buildings and/or location.
Question: How have you seen these growth methods work to grow your church? Share your experiences in the Comments section below.