The Best Way to Grow Your Church
by Tom Crenshaw, guest article, 1/26/22.
How is your church growing?
That is the question every member should be asking. There are three ways a church grows A church grows biologically. Your parents went to church, and as children you grew up attending that church and today you are still a part of that church. You are there because that is the only church you have ever known. In our rapidly migrating culture, not many of those biological members are left today.
A second from of growth is transfer growth. People, for whatever reason, have decided to leave their church and join another, and they show up on your doorstep looking for a new place to settle.
And the third form of church growth is conversion growth. People unite with your church as new believers. That is the way the early church grew and that is the way today healthy church should be growing.
The real measure of a church’s health is not biological growth or transfer growth but conversion growth.
Church leaders should always be asking how many of your members are new believers who have been recently won to Christ, and not just biological or transfer members.
Today in rapidly growing suburbs, many churches are experiencing significant growth, but their growth is misleading, for much of it is simply the result of members moving into a growing area and transferring their membership from one church to another.
If you really want to know whether your church is healthy, leaders must ask themselves who are the new people filling your seats? Are they biological members, transfer members, or members by conversion?
The early church grew because everywhere believers went, they gossiped the gospel. Non-believers watched the way believers lived and they were curious to know what made them so different.
I often remind our church that “every member is a minister.”
Every member should be an AOC member: “Always on Call.” Every Sunday member should be praying for opportunities to meet and serve others, but especially those who are visiting your church and who may not know the Lord.
For such visitors, you may become their ‘Welcome Table,’ or ‘Guest Service’ provider.
I often remind our members that they should come to church with an outreach mindset in anticipation of meeting and making new friends. They should be on the lookout for ways to build relational bridges with those visitors who may be non-believers.
Too often members focus on fellowshipping with their friends on Sunday, while ignoring those who are visitors. What a difference it would make if every member would be outreach oriented, determined to make friends with new people and focused on discovering ways to love and serve them. “How can I help you,” should be in the back of every member’s mind as he/she meets new people.
And, the only way we can find that need and fill it is by taking the time to be good listeners, to hear the hurting heart and offer help and encouragement.
As believers we are called to ‘find a need and fill it.”
If we want to see our church grow in the most important way-through the conversion of non-believers-we must focus on our visitors, build bridges of friendship with them by loving and serving them, while always looking for opportunities to share with them the glorious, good news of the gospel. That’s the best way to grow our church.