Transformational Partnerships is a new ebook by Rob Wegner and Jack Magruder. They were instrumental in moving Granger Community Church into a movement of more than 1000 reproducing churches.
Posts tagged ‘church growth’
A new study conducted by the Barna Research Group revealed that pastors are greatly concerned with assessing their churches. What do they plan to assess? Fifty-nine percent of pastors stated that they were definitely going to assess their church’s vision and mission in next year. Thirty-eight percent said they would assess their church’s reputation in the community, and thirty-one percent said they planned to assess the demographic and spiritual needs of their communities.
Interestingly, the study revealed some differences in assessment plans depending on church size. Pastors of large churches (identified as 251+) were more likely than pastors of smaller churches to be concerned with measuring demographics, revamping budgets and increasing giving through consultants. Pastors of mid-sized churches (100-250) were most likely to plan on investing in equipment for children and youth, and upgrading their church’s audio and visual tools.
There were also differences regarding the age of the pastor. Pastors under 45 were more concerned with strengthening technology and media, and those between 45 and 63 were more concerned with fundraising. Pastors who were 64 and older were more concerned with assessing spiritual transformation.
These findings are significant in several areas. Overall, pastors are concerned with the future vision and mission of their churches. Additionally, pastors are concerned with meeting the needs in their communities, and in finding ways to help their churches maintain a positive reputation in their communities. David Kinnaman, president of Barna Research, noted, “In an era of skepticism toward the institutional church, these leaders seem to recognize that the most effective churches are those that are aware of needs and active in their communities.”
What else does this research say to you?
This is a guest post by Andy McAdams from The Disciple Makers.
Some on this list are self-explanatory while others have supporting comments.
- Fast Growing Churches Are Unashamed To Preach Jesus - It is a common misconception that large churches water down the gospel.
- Fast Growing Churches Have A Great Senior/Lead Pastor
- Fast Growing Churches Are Staff Led - This is necessary for making quick decisions that are transformational, not simply transactional.
- Fast Growing Churches Have Stable, Unified Senior Leadership
- Fast Growing Churches Have A Volunteer Culture - The ability to integrate, equip, resource, and cheer on volunteers is critical to church health.
- Fast Growing Churches Reach Young Families
- Fast Growing Churches Have Incredible Children and Youth Departments – Most parents will put up with a lot if their children are happy. Been to a recital or baseball field lately?
- Fast Growing Churches Have Ministry Needs That Outpace Ministry Resources – Another common false belief is that churches only want your money. Many young families come to a church with a house note that stretches them, two car payments, and credit card debt.
- Fast Growing Churches Are Clear On Vision and Strongly Defend It – Clarity on why we exist and what we are about is critical for creating ownership.
- Fast Growing Churches Connect Every Ministry Activity Back To The Overall Vision – Successful ministries tie everything back to the big picture for their people. Mistakes can be made when the various elements of ministry seem disconnected and autonomous.
- Fast Growing Churches Struggle With Connecting People Into Community – Growth is happening so fast that making sure everyone is in a small group is extremely difficult.
- Fast Growing Churches Preach About Money - Churches must answer the questions that people are asking. Jesus preached more on money and possessions than love and prayer. Get the picture.
- Fast Growing Churches Develop Financial Leaders Spiritually – Wealthy people can provide significant fuel to the ministry. Great pastors know who their wealthy people are and disciple them accordingly. See 1 Timothy 6:17-21.
- Fast Growing Churches Have A Congregation That Trusts The Leadership
- Fast Growing Churches Are Multi-Generational - The third misconception is that there is no place for older people in these new, fast growing environments. While the large percentage of the audience is younger, fast growing churches have a strong portion of their faith community that is seasoned and experienced.
- Fast Growing Churches Are Passionate About Unchurched People - No perfect people are allowed at fast growing churches!
- Fast Growing Churches Serve The Poor, Marginalized, and Under-Resourced - Young people especially are passionate about joining movements and faith communities that address social justice issues.
The following are some quotes you will NEVER hear in fast growing churches:
- “Pastor, now we don’t want to get ahead of God.”
- “Can we sing that fifth verse again?”
- “We let the preacher preach and we handle everything else.”
- “Son, now that’s not how we do things around here.”
- “Pastor, you want that slooooooow growth. You don’t want that fast growth.”
- “I wish he would wear a tie.”
- “All we hear about is lost people.”
Which of these things (positive or negative) are true of your church?
Doug Foltz recently posted an interesting article about the state of churches in the U.S. on his blog, plantingchurches.org.
According to census data, the population of the US currently is roughly 300 million. In 2050, they project that they the population will be 400 million. While many surveys suggest that 40% of Americans attend a church service regularly, that number is largely inflated. According to David T. Olson’s book, The American Church in Crisis, in 2005 the number was closer to 17.5%. That seems more realistic to me. Multiple studies have also suggested that about 4,000 churches close their doors annually. So let’s play with those numbers a little. For easy math, let’s say we want to keep pace with where we are right now (roughly 20% in attendance). That would mean in the next 40 years we will have an additional 20 million people in church. Thus we’ll need a net gain of 100,000 new churches running about 200 people each. That’s about 2500 new churches annually. With 4000 churches a year closing their doors, that equates to 6500 new churches needed a year just to keep pace with population growth. According to the Christian Post, we are only adding about 500 new churches a year, 2000 short of what is needed to just keep pace with population growth.
Is your church growing or declining? What can you do to help plant churches?