After 30-plus years of working with churches in church growth, I am convinced that most Apostolic churches can double in attendance within 3-5 years. But to do so requires a church to focus strongly in three areas: Organization, Evangelization, and Assimilation. So here’s a checklist to see if you are doing what needs to be done to accomplish this:
Organization. Your church is set up in multiple departments with competent leaders over each: Sunday School, Home Bible Study, Visitor Follow-up, Outreach, Bus Ministry, Promotions, Ladies, Men, New Converts, Music, Youth, and Prayer.
Note that HBS and VFU are separated out of outreach. Each leader has a good job description that includes evangelism activities for every department each year. You meet with your leaders and their spouses annually for an extended Planning Retreat to plan and improve every department. Each department then hands in a written One-Year Plan. You then meet monthly with these leaders as a group to implement these plans and tag-in occasionally throughout the month to inspire.
Evangelism. You have a written 5-year plan that details how you will double your church attendance. Annual and quarterly goals provide benchmarks to check your progress. You have set goals for evangelism results: visitors, HBS’s, contacts, and SS attendance. You are aware that 100% of your new converts come from your guests. For this reason, VFU is a strong, productive ministry. Phone calls, letters and, most importantly, visits to the home encourage guests to return. HBS is a strong, organized ministry that sees many souls won each year. Personal witnessing is a priority because saints are trained HOW to witness effectively. Bus, van and car ministry brings children and parents to church each week.
Assimilation. You have a well organized and detailed New Convert Care ministry that retains at least 50% of your converts each year. Emphasis is placed upon instruction (first week counseling, new converts class, HBS), fellowship (care partners, monthly fellowship assignments, new convert socials), and involvement (gift evaluation and active ministry mentorship). Converts are carefully monitored and encouraged throughout their first year or longer.
If you wish details on any or all of these areas, call 1-800-800-0247 and order Total Church Growth.
IBC PERSPECTIVES – Volume 26 No. 11