What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear “church growth?”
You’re probably thinking about growing the number of guests, members, volunteers, staff, or financials in your church. Numerical growth is a blessing in the church! It gives you the opportunity to reach more people with the love and message of Jesus.
But should the concept of church growth itself encompass more than numerical measures?
Our team at For Ministry Resources has been learning from 3 churches that emphasize growth beyond numbers.
They prioritize the personal growth of their people. Relentless Church of Las Vegas, Nevada; Oasis Church of Round Rock, Texas; and Connect Church of Alberta, Canada have developed incredible growth tracks that they shared with us–and now we are excited to share them with you!
THESE ARE THREE THINGS WE LEARNED FROM THREE DIFFERENT CHURCH GROWTH TRACKS
Relentless Church: Las Vegas, Nevada
Pastor Joe and Danielle Pena
Growth Track: “Engage”
1. Clarify your culture.
“I am a big fan of their mission statement being up-front and brilliantly presented. It reflects a key principle, you aren’t just talking about a church — you’re inviting people into a culture. This organization’s culture is evident in this simple handbook.”
People can’t completely contribute to your ministry without sharing in your mission. Your church has a unique calling in your community — make sure everyone who walks through the door feels, sees, and hears what that is.
2. Represent yourself well.
“I love the design. It is very fresh and modern.”
Beautiful handouts, like this, reveal that your church has great attention to detail. This shows that they will also put great effort and care into their people and their growing relationships with Christ. Take the time to design a growth track handout that ascetically represents your identity.
3. Encourage engagement.
“The fill-in-the-blank style of the Engage booklet is fantastic. It encourages engagement and makes the class personal to every person’s unique place in their spiritual lives.”
Of course this “Engage” course is engaging! Follow their example and give people the opportunity to interact with your course curriculum. This material will encourage people to contextualize your content to their own personal development — strengthening their relationship with Christ.
Oasis Church: Round Rock, Texas
Pastor Jonathan Suber
Growth Track: “Next Steps”
1. Make it personal.
“I love the use of DISC [personality] assessments as a tool to plugging people into the place they belong. The visual, simple presentation of DISC is brilliant. It surely helps people connect to the material, as it starts with personality then moves into programs.”
God has given each of us unique personalities and gifts that will lead us to worship and serve Him in unique ways. Celebrate people’s God-given talents and encourage them to use those special gifts to serve Jesus in the church.
2. Make it unique.
“I love that they use real photos of their church in the document and not stock photos.”
Most churches will implement some type of growth track. What makes your growth track unique to your ministry? Personalizing even the smallest details, like church photos in the workbooks, can help exemplify who you are as a church. Oasis church goes above and beyond to make their growth track unique by describing every Next Step opportunity in the context of their own ministries, serving opportunities, core values, and mission.
3. Make it relatable.
“I appreciate how this Next Steps guide offered a ‘Simplified Beliefs’ section and a ‘Full Beliefs’ section–making it relatable for anyone from a new follower of Jesus to a mature believer.”
Oasis Church says “We create an atmosphere where anyone and everyone is welcome to experience Jesus,” and that is clear in their approach to wording and simplicity. Make sure your audience will be able to understand and relate to your message.
Connect Church: Alberta, Canada
Pastor Dan Sweaza
Growth Track: “Next Steps” and “Dream Team Opportunities”
1. Explain the Purpose.
“Each of their next steps highlights the benefit of taking that step. For instance, they don’t merely say ‘serve,’ they say “make a difference.” We often turn these classes into lists of features, but Connect Church turned theirs into a list of benefits — answering “why should I even do this” up front.”
If you want committed people, you should speak to the purpose behind the process. Connect Church explains the purpose behind each Next Step of engagement that inspires anyone who is seeking to grow closer to the Lord and a Christian community. Always incorporate the “why” behind the “what.”
2. Clarify and Simplify
“I love that it is clear and concise. Next Steps is short and to the point.”
Connect Church’s Next Steps booklet is 8 beautifully laid-out pages that are simple to read and understand. Don’t let its length fool you, this booklet is packed full of photos and heart-felt messages that brilliantly exemplify who they are and what they believe in as a church. Clarify and simplify.
3. Encourage Commitment
“The Dream Team Opportunities booklet can take people from recognizing how they can make a difference as a follower of Jesus, to learning every serving opportunity at connect church to signing up to serve all in one place! This is not only efficient, but builds a momentum that will encourage more people to follow Jesus’ example and begin serving.”
Growth track classes go beyond educating peeople on how they can grow in their walks with God at your church — they encourage action. Ensure your education leads to motivation. Give people clear call to actions and help them commit to their next step in their spiritual growth.
As you develop or revise your church’s growth plan, take the time to read through these content examples provided by Relentless Church, Oasis Church, and Connect Church.
If we can begin to associate the term “church growth” with people’s growing relationships with God, in addition to growing the church’s numbers, imagine the impact we would see! Take personal growth seriously, because the body of Christ will become stronger — full of people ready to build the Kingdom and pursue God’s purpose for their lives.