10 Dangerous Myths About Church Growth

More Myths About Church Growth

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.

9. The More Programs You Offer, the More Your Church Will Grow

Programs are great servants but lousy masters. We live in a culture that provides unlimited choices and some churches have matched suit with this same mentality—providing an excessive amount of programs in effort to serve more people.

The goal is good, but more programs don’t typically equal church growth. In fact, sometimes church programs just keep us church-busy and hold us back from engaging our neighbors.

Programs aren’t bad, but they should always have a clear purpose and, in my humble opinion, they should be offered in moderation with an understanding that you can’t program discipleship. The church isn’t meant to be a wheelhouse for saints to gather—it’s meant to be a sent collective to light up the world.

10. If You Build It, They Will Come

They might, but it’s not a guarantee. Sometimes building projects just create a new container for the same people. Other times building projects are a Godsend.

It definitely takes some serious prayer and leading of the Spirit to find out which outcome you might expect before launching an expensive campaign. There are some great stories of building projects that seemed to have God’s hand on them from beginning to end; there are also church building campaigns that ended in millions of dollars of debt, church splits, fired leaders and empty—new—seats.

God never promised us a growing church if we just start to build it—faith and wisdom go hand in hand. Don’t buy into this Field-of-Dreams superstition. When you start a building project it should always be with prayer, faith and humility because the results, well, they could go any way God wants them to and that might not equal a Hollywood ending.

What myths about church growth have you heard?  

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Brian Orme
Brian is a writer and editor from Ohio. He works with creative and innovative people to discover the top stories, resources and trends to equip and inspire the Church.