Let me start by saying, THANK YOU for taking a minute to read this post. Too often pastors and church leaders are criticized for wanting (and believing that they’re meant to lead) larger congregations. But I never understood this.
The bible says that multitudes of people always surrounded Jesus. And on the day of Pentecost, 3,000 people were birthed into salvation with the gift of the Holy Ghost – with the church adding more people each day! Church numerical growth is not only essential, but it’s also biblical! God has placed your ministry here to win souls and to reach people with the gospel of Jesus Christ. So growing your membership is a result of your church fulfilling that purpose.
And there are three critical steps that produce numerical growth within a church. Each step must be done in the right order in order to build off the previous step. You mustn’t skip steps. When churches skip steps, it can lead to frustration and disappointment.
Get Them In The Seats
You can’t skin fish that haven’t been caught! And you can’t grow church membership without getting people through the door. So, the very first step to growing your church numbers is getting people to attend one of your weekend services. This process starts by understanding who it is that you’re best qualified to reach, then identifying how best to reach them through advertising. You won’t grow if you can get people to visit your church each week. A constant flow of 1st-time guests is critical in increasing your numbers. Also, it’s important to make sure that you and your church are “guest ready” because you only get one chance to make a first impression. Your people need to be friendly; your worship needs to be engaging, and your message must be impactful. These are all critically important for increasing your church size.
Keep Them Coming Back For More
You’ve got the fish on the hook, now it’s time to begin reeling them in – but be careful – you don’t want them slipping off from the hook!
Once you get people coming in, you’ve got to find a way to engage them and keep them coming back. This is why making that first impression is so important. People need a reason to come back after their initial visit.
There are several things that people connect with when they attend a church service. Some of the most common ones are connecting to the worship (music), connecting with the message (sermon), or connecting with the people (fellowship).
Getting people to return to your church consistently is an essential second step in increasing your membership.
You’ll struggle to gain numbers if you don’t first get people through the door; then, create meaningful opportunities to connect them to something that they value within your ministry.
Have A Process That Grows & Unleashes Radical Disciples
Getting people to show up to church week after week is hard work. It takes prayer, consistency, and strategy. But growing your church membership isn’t just about filling seats – it’s about growing disciples. As people connect with your church, they’ll need direction, so the final step is making sure that you have a process in place that grow believers into mature disciples.
It’s essential to have great training that helps people grow in their faith walk. You’ll need to teach them doctrine as well as how to live and love like Jesus Christ. When you grow people in their faith, it acts like glue, keeping them connected to God as well as to your church. Once they’re cemented in their faith, you can unleash them back into the world to reach new people, bringing in fresh new faces to your service every week.
That’s the process! When your church adopts and masters this process, your ministry will grow. Now, these are only steps in a process. They’re not meant to substitute or be placed in a hierarchy to fasting and prayer. No ministry thrives in the absence of daily and fervent prayer with God – so please don’t mistake for a minute that I believe that process trumps prayer – because it doesn’t. What I am saying is that “faith – without works, is dead alone.” You need a process with your prayer, and these steps will provide a system and culture that will help grow your church so that you can reach our world for Jesus Christ.