It’s one of the most pressing questions pastors and church leaders ask themselves:
“Why aren’t we growing?”
Sure, not every mission’s soil will yield the same fruit, but we’re not talking about overall size. Just the idea that biblically, we can assume that God wants every church that honors His name and proclaims His message in Christ to grow, and that He is willing to empower it to that end.
Churches are living things. Living things grow. If you’re not growing, something is wrong.
So the question seems to be one for ourselves. If our church isn’t growing and clearly God isn’t the problem, are we?
Here are five areas to consider:
It’s been said that everything rises and falls on leadership.
Perhaps a more accurate way of putting it would be that no organization will rise above the level of its leadership. If on a scale of 1-10, the current leadership is around a 4, then it will be difficult for the church to grow beyond that level.
Solution: Ensure that people with the spiritual gift of leadership are actually leading, and that they are committed to developing that gift by reading about leadership, getting around other leaders for insight, and exercising their leadership gift in challenging settings.
There are few things more critical to a church’s growth than an effective communicator for weekend teaching.
The dilemma is that many who serve as the primary communicators in their church aren’t Spirit-gifted teachers. They like to speak, and the group that gathers around their teaching seems to benefit from it, but the majority of listeners tend to vote with their feet.
Or at least the teaching doesn’t seem to be catalyzing the congregation to invite their friends to benefit from the teaching.
Solution: Make sure that the point communicator has the spiritual gift of teaching, and is actively working at developing that gift by listening to other gifted communicators. Don’t be afraid of developing a team-teaching approach to shore up weakness, or to adjust responsibilities so that various roles more accurately reflect gifting.
In other words, perhaps someone has been serving as lead communicator when their gifts are better used in another area. This is a difficult maneuver, for as stated above, people who are speaking tend to like to speak and to have a (perhaps) distorted view of their effect.