5 Reasons Engagement Will Drive Almost All Future Church Growth

As culture changes in front of our eyes, you might be wondering, what will drive future church growth?

In addition, you’re probably frustrated that the things that used to help a church grow don’t ‘work’ anymore (here are nine things that have stopped being effective).

You’re definitely not alone in your experience or your frustration.

As Western culture becomes increasingly post-Christian, our approach to church needs to change because our culture has changed.

None of this means the mission of the church has changed. The mission is the same in every generation.

But the methods we use—our strategy—has to change, as I outlined here.

So what’s one of the biggest changes we’re going to see?

Simple. If you want to see your church grow, stop trying to attract people and start trying to engage people.

Here’s why.

5 Reasons Engagement Will Drive Almost All Future Church Growth

The current approach to church has largely been driven by getting people to attend. The idea is this: Get them in the door, and then hopefully at some point they’ll engage in the mission.

Why is that approach becoming less and less effective?

And why will engagement emerge as the main way to spark church growth?

Here are five reasons:

1. Attending church is a relatively new concept.

Flip back to New Testament days.

Jesus never said ‘Attend me.’ He said ‘Follow me.’

The only reason you would follow Jesus (in Jesus’ day) is because you were either intrigued by who he was and what he did, or because you had come to believe that he was who he said he was.

In other words, you were engaged.

You didn’t attend Jesus. You followed him.

A similar dynamic emerged in the first century church.

Early Christians didn’t attend church. They were the church.

If you look back at the genesis of the Jesus movement, the idea of attendance as a hallmark would have been completely foreign.

You only attended because you were engaged. Period.

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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.