What works and what doesn't
Church Growth is using available resources (such as spiritual, human, financial, technical and material) to expand the population of a church or the activities of church that significantly impacts a specific audience for a period of time through the help of the Holy Spirit. This may sound very complicated but it is not as complicated as it is advertised. It is absolutely important to assimilate myth from truth when trying to understand Church Growth. We will not be able to address every truth or myth about church growth; however, we would outline the most common ones.
MYTH 1: The Holy Spirit will do all the work. All we need to do is pray and fast. YOU MUST PHYSICALLY AND MENTALLY DO YOUR PART.
TRUTH 1: If you try and by faith you will succeed. God always backs our efforts.
MINISTRY WORK IS SPIRITUAL WORK
Here are some known facts that may work when tried:
1. I can do all through Christ who strengthens me. This is true if you understand that God did not mean you trying to do everything without utilizing the resources that he has prepared to assist you accomplish your God-given goals and gifts. The ministry work can be compared to body parts. Each body part is useful and compliments the other. DO NOT UNDERMINE THOSE THAT GOD PLACES IN YOUR PART TO FURTHER YOUR MINISTRY.
2. There are lots of information online, at the Library, from experienced pastors, and individuals or groups with church growth experience. Select only information that is feasible or applicable to your church
3. Empower and trust the people that you pick to lead the church growth ministry. Do not micro-manage whatever the group does or trying to be the leader of the group and the leader of every branch of church ministry.
4. Be teachable and open to learning from those that God has placed in your ministry to help you achieve success.
THE IMPORTANCE OF BIBLE STUDY
1. Invest time, energy, money and efforts in home bible study. Study confirms that home bible study is the most effective church growth method.
2. Because of the importance of bible study in church growth, it should be treated like Team Building in business. The vision must be clearly explained and understood. Appoint team leaders and assistants and use the same study plan and materials for all the groups every week. For example, if week 1 study is Godhead, every group should study Godhead for week 1.
3. Have a discussion instead of a lecture. Pause and ask if anyone has a question.
4. Always be prepared and plan ahead of time when to start the next group before the group exceeds 12 members.
Here are some known facts that may not work when tried:
1. Using the church as location for bible study. Study shows that attendance is usually low because people see church location bible study as another church service.
2. Do not overburden your listeners with discussions that are irrelevant to the topic being discussed.