Why Most Churches That Start Small…Stay Small

This is actually an issue for a large number of churches, both church plants and existing churches.

Even when you start a church from scratch, it tends to be led, populated and funded by members.

And so it’s completely easy and natural to lose focus on the people you’re trying to reach.

And because self-centeredness is a natural pull for all of us (at least it is for me), unless we have a white-hot searing mission in front of us, church can quickly become about satisfying our needs, our wants, our preferences and our desires.

And that fuels a spiral in which congregational or organizational life can become about satisfying the competing preferences of members.

Some want it this way. Some want it that way. And people threaten to leave.

Let that go unchecked and soon you find yourself focused on the people you’re trying to keep, not the people you’re trying to reach.

The casualty in all of this? The very people you were hoping to reach.

The only way to check this that I know of is to prayerfully keep the unreached front and center in all your discussions and your actions.

In your off time (and maybe in your work hours) hang out with the people you’re trying to reach.

Invite them. Regularly.

Speak for them when they’re not in the room and you’re trying to make a decision.

Budget and staff with them in mind.

Plan every Sunday like it’s someone’s first Sunday, even if right now, it might not be.

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Carey Nieuwhof
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.