Here are 10 things that ANY church – no matter its size or budget, worship style or denomination – can do to help ensure it will grow numerically. I honestly can’t envision a scenario where any of these 10 could not be pursued and, if they haven’t yet been pursued, wouldn’t result in increased growth.
1. Prioritize Children. Your children’s ministry is arguably the greatest growth engine you can invest in to reach families. Period.
2. Get a Website. There is no excuse for a church to not have a website. They are so easy to create, so cheap to sustain and absolutely the way people will first explore your church.
3. Be Friendly. I don’t mean friendly to people you know, or friendly to people you like, or friendly to people who are like you. I mean friendly to all people.
4. Pursue Excellence. Excellence is doing the best you can with what you have. This means it’s not about the amount of money, talent or resources you have to work with, but how you work with the amount of money, talent and resources you have.
5. Become Sensitive. Meaning become sensitive to what it’s like to come to your church as someone who isn’t a Christian, hasn’t been to a church before, and doesn’t know anything about the Bible. Think through what it would be like for that person to attend your church, and then think about how you could be a little more… sensitive.
6. Act Bigger. If you have 75 people in average attendance and act like a 75-attender church, you will stay a 75-attender church. The key to becoming a 200-attender church is to prepare and act like one beforehand. Whatever your current size, think bigger.
7. Stay Biblical. If you are a Christian church, be a Christian church. That means unapologetically going to the Bible and then going with the Bible—not to mention how the Bible applies to life. Otherwise you have nothing to offer the world that it does not already have.
8. Encourage Inviting. The number one reason growing churches grow is because their current attenders are inviting, and leaders are honoring those inviters by creating a culture of invitation.
9. Stop Fighting. Jesus said the one thing that would arrest the attention of the world is a Church that is unified in love. Which means the one thing that would most repel the world is a Church that is divided in acrimony.
10. Start Praying. Wait… you haven’t unleashed the most powerful church growth tool of all?
James Emery White
About the Author
James Emery White is the founding and senior pastor of Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte, NC, and the ranked adjunct professor of theology and culture at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, where he also served as their fourth president. His newest book, Christianity for People Who Aren’t Christians: Uncommon Answers to Common Questions, is now available on Amazon or at your favorite bookseller. To enjoy a free subscription to the Church & Culture blog, visit ChurchAndCulture.org, where you can view past blogs in our archive and read the latest church and culture news from around the world. Follow Dr. White on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.