Home Outreach Leaders Articles for Outreach & Missions 5 Hard Truths About Healthy Church Growth

5 Hard Truths About Healthy Church Growth

And yet the emotional debate continues.

As you plan ahead for your church, here are five hard truths to keep in mind about growing healthy churches. The discussion is nuanced at times, but I hope the nuance is worth it in the end.

I imagine some church leaders can’t even have a simple conversation with some of their staff, volunteers or elder board about church growth without it becoming volatile.

Externally, most of us have colleagues who have strong opinions for or against. It can lead to a very frustrating dialogue. Or none at all.

I hope these truths will help frame the discussion in less emotional, more realistic, terms and hopefully help your team and your colleagues get closer to the same page.

Maybe we can agree more and better work on the mission together.

1. Healthy Churches Grow. But Not All Growing Churches Are Healthy Churches.

You’ve heard the line before “Healthy things grow.” Fundamentally, I believe that’s true.

But even as someone who wants to see every local church thrive, I would agree that not all growing churches are healthy churches.

I think that’s where the conversation gets messed up.

Yes, healthy churches do grow. But not all growing churches are healthy.

I want to be careful what I say here because I don’t want this taken out of context, but sometimes unhealthy things grow too; like cancer.

Just because a church is growing doesn’t mean it’s healthy.

And maybe that’s where the funk in the conversation comes from. We all know at least one (or more) growing churches that are not healthy.

But just because that’s true, it doesn’t mean all growth is unhealthy.

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Speaker and podcaster Carey Nieuwhof is a former lawyer and founding pastor of Connexus Church, one of the largest and most influential churches in Canada. With over 6 million downloads, The Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast features today's top leaders and cultural influencers. His most recent book is “Didn’t See It Coming: Overcoming the 7 Greatest Challenges That No One Expects and Everyone Experiences.” Carey and his wife, Toni, reside near Barrie, Ontario and have two children.