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10 Church Growth Myths That Ruin Pastors

4. Church Growth Can Be Manufactured

I admit, on the surface it does seem like we can manufacture church growth—through events, strategy, planning, etc. However, what I mean to say is true church growth is a work of the Holy Spirit—a byproduct of our obedience intersecting God’s sovereignty.

True church growth is not due to our efforts alone. You can spend money and market an event and draw a crowd. That’s not hard if you have the resources. But church growth—growing the actual Body of Christ—is a supernatural accomplishment that only God can complete. This should temper our planning, strategy and vision for growth.

5. If Your Church Grows, Your Leader Is “Anointed”

OK, this one I hesitated to put on the list because I think it’s common sense. We’ve all seen the carnage from large church leaders who hide ongoing sin. Would we call them anointed? Probably not. Leading a large church doesn’t make you “anointed” by God and the flipside is true as well—leading a small church or ministry doesn’t mean you lack it.

Of course, I do firmly believe God puts a special anointing on specific leaders to do something of great magnitude for the church at times—D.L. Moody, Charles Spurgeon, Billy Graham, etc.—but we should be careful about how we use the terminology or draw conclusions about just what it means to be “anointed” in ministry.

6. If Your Church Doesn’t Grow, It’s a Problem With the Leader

This happens all the time. Church members are frustrated with the fact the church isn’t growing, maybe it lacks vision and new people aren’t coming, and they point the finger solely at the leader. The only problem is ..it’s not always the leader. Sometimes it’s the members—or a member—spiritual warfare or even a season of transition.

Can it be the leader? Certainly, but it’s not always the case. If the leader is obedient and has kept both their life and doctrine together, there’s a good chance it’s something else.

7. Good Preaching Is the Answer to Growing Your Church

Preaching is extremely important, but having a charismatic and gifted speaker is not the stand-alone element you need to grow your church—or turn it around. Preaching is a core element of the church, but focusing on preaching alone—or trying to find a talented communicator—is not the answer to church growth.

In fact, if you’re a really good preacher, you should probably have people leaving on a regular basis because making disciples is hard. Just ask Jesus about the crowds that left him.

8. You Will Retain a Large Percentage of Your Visitors on Special Days

Some of you have seen long-term growth from your programs on Easter, Christmas or during a special event. Most have not. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do something high-quality that connects with seekers in your community, it just means you shouldn’t make those special days your only church growth strategy. Can God use these special days to reach people? For sure. Is it a solid growth strategy? Not alone.

Read the final two church growth myths on page three . . .