Christian music

Friday, January 2, 2009

Common Barriers to Church Growth

1. Not bringing friends to church
We pray, we ask, we pressure, we motivate, we emphasize, but members still do not bring friends to church. Why? The church is not lovable and enjoyable.
The antidote: Bearing one another burdens in prayer, forgiving and forgetting when offended, getting rid of the judging atmosphere, & continue developing uplifting worship.

2. Fearing growth will ruin the fellowship
Even though our members may not say this, some of us will subtly fight growth because we fear that when the congregation gets bigger, we will not know everybody anymore.
The antidote: Building more P.E.P. groups (People Encouraging People) within our congregation. We must say it this way;" Our church must grow larger and smaller at the same time."

3. Clinging rigidly to tradition
Traditions are actually rooted in success. Something becomes a tradition because it works in the first place. Because it works, we repeat it over and over again. Unfortunately, the tradition then begins to drive us, which causes us to make the methods sacred, and we forget why we do things.
The antidote: Realizing our purpose (impacting our communities with the life-changing message of Jesus) does not change, but our methodology will need to be ever changing. I suggest we periodically review our programs and then assign them to one of three options:
1. Reaffirm it – yes, it is still working.
2. Refine it – we need to tweak it so it will become more effective.
3. Replace it - You cannot use yesterday’s tool in today’s ministry to meet tomorrow’s challenge.

4. Embracing Legalism
Legalism strangles the growth and the health of a church. Many are more interested in keeping rules than they are at winning people to Christ. This will inevitably kill the growth we are accomplishing.
The antidote: Creating climate of acceptance, which meets people where they are instead of where you want them to be. By meeting them where they are, you can eventually lead them to where they need to be.

5. Trying to appeal to everybody
You cannot appeal to everybody—it simply will not work. If a radio station in our community played Bach, followed by the Beatles, followed by a Polka song, do you think it would please everybody or actually please no one?
The antidote: Knowing our target group(s) and doing everything we can to hit that target.

6. Not trusting the leaders
If people do not trust our leadership, then we will not accomplish much at all. You have to build credibility, and you have to earn the right to lead.
The antidote: Having authentic leadership (humble, vulnerable, persistent, willing to risk failure, are proactive instead of reactive, and believe God for great things) and a flock that will follow the shepherds instead of trying to lead them because the flock believes that God has place the shepherds in their positions for such a time as this.

We have the anitdotes, let's use them!

Phil

3 comments:

Gozreht said...

Not trusting leadership is heavy right now down in my little corner of the world. There are people coming to me and asking for the answers about changes and decisions that I can not give, either by not having the facts or by not understanding the mentality behind the decisions. But when people go to non-leaders for answers instead of the leadership themselves then there is a problem.

Growth in numbers does not neccessarily mean growth in the church.

Gozreht said...

Sorry, I forgot to mention I am not in a leadership position.

Preacher Phil said...

I sense your frustration, either there is a conflict of vision or the leaders are not transparent or approachable.

Here are 5 attributes of an approachable leader.

#1: Have conversations that change people. They want to share their vison with everyone, even those who disagree so they approach them and with love, excitement, transparency share their vision to persuade.

#2: Meet people where they are. Have empathetic, non-judgmental, emotionally conversations that honor people’s feelings.

ATTRIBUTE #3: Vortex people in. Be the kind of guy whose presence peope value SO much that simply
“absorbing who he is” is enough. Being a leader of integrity and humility is the key to this.

#4: Share the spotlight. Who is the glory going to? It’s one thing to shine; it’s another thing to create an atmosphere where OTHERS can shine. If a leader makes decisions to make self or their church shine people can't approach because their head is too big.

ATTRIBUTE #5: Respond to what IS. A REAL LEADER will positively respond to what falls out of their decisions without judgment, evaluation, or criticism without harsh, critical, judgmental, dictatorial, or frustrated

Perhaps your leadership is deficient with one or more of these attributes.