This is Part 7 (and the last) of a blog series on Creating Continuous Growth in Your Church.
Every church leader facing a growth barrier desperately wants to break through, because every church leader, including me, desires a growing, thriving church. Not because church attendance is the only measure of success, but because increasing attendance is proof that people are being reached.
Here is a question I’ve begun to ask: What if instead of just breaking through a specific barrier we were able to barrier-proof our church? Pause for a moment and imagine never hitting a growth barrier again.
I believe barrier-proofing is possible for every church in any denomination, and that’s exactly what we are going to evaluate in this blog series.
I have uncovered 6 specific ingredients to create continuous growth in your church. In this post, we are going to look at the fifth ingredient:
Ingredient 6: MAINTAINING A CLEAR FOCUS
In this last post, we are going to evaluate the most simple, yet counterintuitive ingredient to creating a continuously growing church.
Here’s our starting place: Logically, the more we offer at our church, the more needs we can meet. The more ministry we provide, the more people we will attract. If we offer Upward Sports, we can attract the recreation crowd. If we offer VBS, we’ll reach children outside of Sunday. If we have a Men’s ministry, we’ll get more guys to eat pancakes and pray together. If we offer Women’s ministry, we’ll give ladies a place to belong and do life together. We have to offer Sunday School, because, well, we’re a church! We need softball and basketball teams for adults, because where else will men recreate? And we have those fields out back, too. We should probably have a food pantry and clothes closet, because people in our community are in need and we are a church. Maybe a homeless shelter? And we should also have a school — and not just a preschool, but a real school.
That’s all well and good. It’s even logical. Some would say strategic, and most would say it’s church.
But here’s the counter to counterintuitive: It’s crazy complicated to offer countless ministries and programs. We would all agree making our church more complicated and complex does not necessarily equal more effective. It certainly doesn’t guarantee more people. Complication spreads our leadership too thin. It spreads our effectiveness too thin. It spreads our resources too thin. It happens subtly over time, often without us even noticing. Before we know it, though, our church is burdened with more than can be done well, and our reach and effectiveness will be hampered as a result.