God reminded me that he came to the earth to deal with the sin issue and he was called Emmanuel—God who is with us. He didn’t stay up in heaven and deal with our sin from afar. No, he walked among us … became one of us … he was with us. He didn’t just come to die on the cross for our sins … he came to reveal the heart of the father to us.
The conversation I had with the mayor that day caused me to change the way I thought about church growth.
Here are four ways we’ve been growing and changing ever since.
1. We changed the way we kept score.
Rather than simply measuring “growth” by how many people attended a Sunday morning gathering, we began to measure the “success” of our church based on how we were reaching the community at large. So we appointed a community liaison (staff position) who would be our point person to the “compassion and help” organizations in our county.
We discovered that, with someone acting as an advocate from our church for the schools, nonprofits, government agencies, marketplace leaders and other churches, we were better able to determine positive ways to connect with these organizations, and gain real-time feedback about how we could partner with them.
We don’t score unless we have a triple win. We want a win/win/win. That means we win when we partner with a community organization to bring a win to people in our community.
That’s doing things with the community, not just for the community.
We don’t compete with the other organizations in our city. We consider ourselves partners with them.
Now, in addition to asking ourselves how many people we have sitting in a Sunday morning service, we are also asking ourselves how are we meeting the needs of our community at large, and how can we improve in that area.