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Top 10 Church Growth Strategies

Posted July 24, 2009

I’m flying back from the Anderson Campus of Newspring Church from my coaching network with Tony Morgan and eleven other church leaders (very much digging in flight wifi that’s becoming more readily available on domestic flights). I really look forward to these sessions as we encourage one another and round table the issues we’re facing in our respective roles. It’s a pretty ecclectic group representing churches who just started a few weeks ago to mega-churches who have been around for decades.

One thing that I enjoy the most, outside of the new relationships we’re all forming is Tony’s heart. A self-professed “non-communicator”, Tony delivers insight and wisdom with humility and passion for growing others that both encourages and challenges me. As much as I enjoy my conversations with Tony, the adage stands with him as it does with me too, that behind every great leader is a wife who supports him. As great as Tony is I think his wife Emily ought to think about a coaching tandem with our wives to lend her perspective and wisdom as well. OK, enough of that.

We discussed a number of topics today, one of which is Tony’s “Top 10 Growth Strategies”

Top 10 Growth Strategies via a day with Tony Morgan

1. Listen to God and do what he says

Sounds so elementary, but never a bad idea to remind us of our foundation.

2. Learn how to be missionaries to our culture

Understand the local context you and your church has and be focused on an outward audience.

3. Build from the outside-in

Many churches begin with the idea of empowering a core group and sending them out in to the community. A challenge of this is that through this equipping season, community happens within that group that tends to draw them closer to one another rather than sending out to the community. Rather than starting from the inside out, start from the outside in. Create a system that encourages people to get in community once they’ve entered your doors.

4. Prioritize the weekend

In the United States (and this is key for cultural context), the most effective outreach is still the weekend worship experience. Prioritize it.

5. Focus on who you are trying to reach rather than who you are trying to keep

It becomes too easy to let our mission drift to be internally focused on satisfying our own needs. Remember the calling God placed on us through the local church. Filter your decisions on reaching those who are not in your church now (no, I don’t mean to the exclusion of caring for those in the church now. It’s about focus).

6. Leverage word of mouth

Help those in your church understand what’s going to happen in coming experiences and empower them to bring their circle. Focus resources in empowering word of mouth rather than traditional mass marketing.

7. Act twice your size when approaching ministry decisions, communication, vision, etc.

Nelson Searcy stated, aptly I think, that God will bring you what you’re prepared to handle. When making ministry plans and decisions make them as if your church is twice the size it is now. Another way of stating this is simply to act as if then is now.

8. Keep it simple

9. Empower other leaders

Create a defined framework and empower leaders with the freedom to play in their strengths to accomplish the what through their own how.

10. Monitor the numbers

Know what’s important and keep your eye on it. There’s wisdom in undersanding numerical performance of your staff, trending, analysis, data mining, etc.

Can’t wait till our next session!

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