A father went to visit the president of a small college on behalf of his son. He wanted to know if he could get his boy through the four-year program more quickly so his son could begin earning a living. The college president leaned forward and spoke slowly for emphasis.
“Well sir, it all depends on what you want to make of your son. If you want an oak tree, it will take four years or more. But you can grow squash in just three months.”
Transitioning from a non-growing church to a growing one will not happen overnight. The ‘quick-fix’ seldom works. While God can certainly pour out revival quickly, more often than not, it will take a church 3-5 years of hard work to see their attendance and membership double. But it can be done – if we do our part, God will always do His part.
The first step is to build your ministry team. A pastor should carefully select 10-12 departments with good leaders. Developing quality leaders takes time, but this can be done as a ‘work in progress.’ Each leader needs a good job desccription that outlines in detail what you expect of them as a ministry director.
Next, you must commit to managing this team. I strongly recommend the “Four-Part Planning Process” model that has worked well in our churches: Annual Planning Retreat, Departmental One-Year Plan, Monthly Planning Counsel, and Weekly Tag-In. This method covers all the needed management bases and requires minimum time from the pastor. To get this process in place requires about a year.
Once you have a solid ministry team, you can then focus on evangelism. The foundation of all growth is the Law of the Harvest: “If you sow sparingly you reap sparingly; but if you sow abundantly, you will reap abundantly. As you sow, so will you also reap.” I recommend a church begin by focusing upon attracting visitors, an effective guest follow-up ministry, a solid emphasis on Home Bible Studies, encouraging your saints to witness and invite people by using the Constant Contact Consciousness program, and strong Sunday School growth along with child evangelism. These outreach ministries, along with others, will bring maximum results for the time and effort extended.
The final emphasis must be upon assimulation: i.e., new convert care. It does little good to see 100 baptized in a year if most of them backslide. A good care program places an emphasis upon instruction (quality new converts classes), fellowship (helping them make friends and build a support group), and involvement (finding a place of ministry and service). One of your departments needs to be New Convert Care to insure this is done for every convert.
You will find what I have described here in the Total Church Growth materials. Begin by reading “Let My People Grow.” Then, following the guildlines provided in the workbooks, begin implementing the growth process that will see your church double in 3-5 years. Call (317) 781-7712 to order. Make 2020 your best growth year ever!