Excerpts from an article by Rick Warren, ChurchLeaders.com, 2/20/15.
1) You must develop an unshakable conviction about growth. First and foremost, you need to settle on the idea that God wants his church to grow. And he doesn’t want it to stop growing!
2) You must change the primary role of the pastor from minister to leader. You can grow a church to 300 with pastoral skills or ministry skills, but growing beyond 300 will require leadership skills… A leader also equips others for ministry. Otherwise, you’ll burn out and the church won’t grow…
3) You must organize around the gifts of your people. The team God gives you will show you how to structure… Building your structure on the gifts and talents within the church promotes creativity and allows for spontaneous growth. Ministries bubble up rather than waiting on a board meeting to dissect every possibility…
4) You must budget according to your purposes and priorities. Obviously the budget of the church shows the priorities and the direction of the church. I’d suggest you take the budget items and ask of each item, “Which purpose does this fit under?”..
5) You must add staff on purpose. Build your staff by first adding generalists and then specialists. First, you want to add people who can do lots of things because you’re only going to have one. Then as you go down the road, you can add more and more specialists.
When do you want to add staff? As soon as you can … immediately, if at all possible. You want to build as many volunteers as quickly as you can and also add staff as quickly as you can. Anytime you add a staff member, that’s a faith step and allows the church to grow to the next level.
6) You must offer multiple services. Obviously to expand the structure, you will have to multiply, and to multiply, you have to offer multiple services. Why? Because more hooks in the water mean you can catch more fish.
At what point should you add a new service? I would say when you can have at least 75-100 people in that service. If you’re trying to reach new people, you have to have a large enough crowd so that the new people who just walked in don’t feel like everybody’s looking at them.
7) You must create affinity groups to enhance community. The more affinity groups you have, the more ways you have to connect with people. You want to avoid your church becoming a single-cell amoeba, so deliberately structure your church so it won’t become one big group that doesn’t reach out to other people.
8) You must intentionally break through attendance barriers with big days...When you have big, special days—maybe Easter, maybe a Friend Day—there’s something about seeing an extra 100 people (or an extra 1,000) that expands your congregation’s vision…. These special days help the church to see itself as bigger and growing and vibrant.
Now you know this is coming (Ha!), but this seems like a good time to mention again how a special 40 Days emphasis could energize your church. For more information, visit www.PurposeDriven.com.
9) You must add surplus seating space and parking.
When it comes to building a facility, most churches build too little and too soon. And then the shoe begins to tell the foot how big it can get! …We didn’t build at Saddleback for years because we knew we wouldn’t be able to build big enough—we were growing so fast. So don’t limit yourself by building too early.
10) You must continually evaluate your progress… If you try to study everything, you’ll end up with the paralysis of analysis, so decide to track three or four significant numbers, such as attendance or small groups.
Then compare the numbers of where you are now with where you’ve come from and where you want to be. Don’t compare yourself with a church down the road. Frankly, that won’t help evaluate the health of your own church.
Finally, decide on a standard for measuring the health of your church and shoot for it….