Every pastor wants his church to grow. Many pastors do not realize that they often hold the key to significant growth. We know that God ultimately blesses a church with numerical growth as He sees fit, but the pastor can unlock the door to usher in this growth if he is willing to pay the price. I would like to share three things that I have seen work to grow our Sunday school by over four hundred people:
1. Prepare Your Heart and Mind
“For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments.” Ezra 7:10
- Growth begins with you—unless you grow, the church will not grow.
- Our own complacency must be confronted. Our biggest obstacle is us!
- Go on a three to seven day fast. This fast has two purposes. First, it will help get your heart in tune with the Lord. Second, it will show God that you are serious about asking Him to grow your church.
- Determine to learn from someone who has or is doing it.
- Decide that a change in direction (doctrine, convictions, style of worship, etc.) is not an option. Church growth is great, but obedience is the goal.
2. Pursue Staff That Will Help Grow Your Ministry
“These also are the chief of the mighty men whom David had, who strengthened themselves with him in his kingdom, and with all Israel, to make him king, according to the word of the LORD concerning Israel.” 1 Chronicles 11:10
Assistant pastors must be producers. Their efforts should result in new people sitting in the pews as well as new members in their Sunday school class. Assistant pastors should produce tithing members.
If you want your staff to produce new converts and faithful members, you will need to train them how. Teach them your philosophies. Teach them how to deal with people, handle difficulties, inspire followers, express love for people, teach God’s Word, lead more souls to Christ, build their Sunday school class, teach on finances, etc. Teach them what to say at a hospital bed and how to conduct a follow up visit on a visitor. Don’t assume that they know these things.
Expect your staff to be self supporting. Each assistant needs to help reach enough faithful people so that the giving of those people pays for his salary and benefits.
3. Plan for the Desired Growth
“And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.” Luke 14:23
One adult Sunday school class will reach twenty-five new adults on average (a roll of forty to fifty adults will mean that twenty-five will show up each Sunday). This means that if you want to grow by one hundred you should add four new adult classes.
Each new bus route will usually increase your attendance by thirty people, and you can reach adults by reaching out to their children. If you want to increase your attendance by one hundred fifty you should start five new bus routes.
Realize that growth attracts growth. This is the greenhouse effect. When your church begins growing, a climate is created that encourages more growth. If the attendance of your adult classes grows by one hundred people and your bus ministry grows by one hundred fifty people, that combined growth will usually draw another seventy-five people, meaning your total attendance has grown by three hundred twenty-five people.
Add a dynamic Spanish pastor (or other ethnic group outreach). This should help your church grow by two hundred more people.
If you follow the three steps we have just seen and plan for the new growth you desire by laying the groundwork we discussed, that usually results in your attendance growing by five hundred twenty-five people, and that is significant growth.
Remember that this growth will not occur overnight, and that God is the One who blesses His church with growth. So if you desire for your church to grow, you should seek His power and begin working for that growth.