This is an excerpt from our upcoming book, 21st Century Strategies for Church Growth.
One of the key differences between a stuck small church and a growing church (of any size) is found in the way the average church member thinks. In stuck small churches, the members believe and behave as if their wants, needs, and preferences should be a chief concern whenever a decision is made. In fact, these members are likely to become incensed if a decision gets made and they were not in some way consulted. This mindset nearly always ensures that many, if not most, decisions – even minor decisions – are made using the “majority rules” rule. We call this kind of thinking “small church thinking,” because this kind of thinking ensures that a church won’t see significant and sustainable growth. And churches that don’t grow die. It’s really as simple as that.
Growing churches think differently. First, the leaders and the congregation know that it’s not about them. Nothing is. In fact, they recognize that the church exists to be the hands, feet, and witness of Jesus Christ… to serve, not to be served (or even get their own ways). Second, these congregations trust their leaders to make good decisions based on the congregation’s mission and vision. The congregational members aren’t involved, and don’t care to be involved, in non-mission-critical decisions. They don’t worry about carpet colors, paint samples, or even what time their favorite worship service might be scheduled. Instead, the average member is so busy doing ministry in real life, they don’t have time to get involved in running the church. They leave that to their leaders. On the other hand, these churches are willing to hold their leaders accountable to mission alignment and vision achievement if the leaders don’t produce.
Question: How can you transition from thinking like a small church to thinking like a growing church? Share your ideas in the Comments section below.