Showing posts from November, 2011

Bible Belt Small Groups

There is a place in every church where numerical and spiritual growth level off and/or decline. This barrier can exists for many reasons, but one of the biggest reasons is when churches reach a certain point in their numerical growth without a strong small group model. When our church started with thirty-three people, we were a small group. Everyone knew one another well; everyone knew each other's needs; and we were easily able to hold one another accountable. Once a church passes the 120ish mark (everyone has a number, this one is mine) something changes. The personal relationship and accountability only exist within certain circles (usually those who have been there for years); and seldom are others invited in. The presence and needs of those outside these established circles become invisible. In essence, your church loses the “community” foundation. When a church loses it’s “community,” you will see these problems surface. If your church is attractional, you will

Surviving Church Growth Obstacles

If there's one thing I have learned from both attending and speaking at conferences, it's this; when it comes to conversations about our churches with other pastors, the first thing that's brought to the table is, "How many attend?" And we pastors, in our holy humility, usually utter a number, and then wait to see if the other person is impressed or not. This number is usually the attendance from the Easter or Christmas service; or it's the "pastor math" number. Why are we like this? Well, the answer is simple; and really it is two-fold. First, we live in a society where success is always measured by "more." And secondly, our egos (especially us guys) are normally at stake because we define ourselves by what we are instead of who we are. And for pastors, the success of "what we are" is measured by how many people are in the seats each weekend. While it's a fact that counting heads is a measurement for church growth, it