If you want your church to slowly but steadily lose ground, then your resolution is simple: don’t change a thing. Resist anything new and hope that Jesus comes back while there’s still people left in your church. If you want your church to grow, to advance, to take new ground and push back the darkness, here are five great resolutions for you to consider:
1. We will find meaningful places for a majority of our people to serve. In growing churches, more people serve than don’t serve. This accomplishes many things, from allowing you to do the things you do at a higher level, it cements bonds between people and a church, and it creates an incredible catalyst for spiritual growth in your people. People want to feel needed. People want to do something. A growing church creates meaningful places of service for their people.
2. We will provide multiple opportunities for community to happen in small groups. As advanced as we may be as a society, we’ll never outgrow our basic human need for community. In fact, in today’s community-starved society the church can step in and fill a gaping hole for many people today. But it can’t be a one-size-fits-all model. Not with the complexity of today’s schedule. If you give your church one opportunity, at one time, at one location for small group/Sunday School, you’re going to miss out on a sizable chunk of people. A growing church finds multiple ways, multiple times, and multiple locations to provide opportunities for small groups.
3. We will make sure that our children’s ministry is the best funded and best staffed ministry in our church. Parents can put up with a lot of things. They may not like the music, but they’ll still come. The preaching may be a little off for them, but they’ll still come. But if their kids hate church, if every Sunday is a screaming match because the kids are bored to death and hate church, then you’ve just lost the family. You show me a growing, thriving church and I’ll show you an outstanding children’s ministry, an environment where kids are dragging their parents to go because they can’t wait to get there. Whatever it costs, make sure your children’s ministry rocks. Plain and simple.4. We will create a team of volunteers whose sole job is to ensure guests’ expectations are exceeded on Sunday mornings. When guests come to your church (and they will come), they don’t expect much. They expect to have to find their own way, they expect not to be greeted because nobody knows them, they expect to come in and go out with minimal human contact. Growing churches grow because they exceed guest expectations and guests turn into regular attenders and members (hence the growth). Growing churches have some type of Host Team made up of volunteers that do the little things for guests like hold open doors, greet in the parking lot, man coffee stations, help people find seats and give directions. These volunteers exceed guest expectations and help growing churches become growing churches.
5. We will embrace the messes. All the easy families, the put-together-people, the Hallmark families with a perfect resume are probably already attending church somewhere else. If you want to grow as a church, you’ve got to be willing to roll up your sleeves and embrace the messes that God will bring you. From how your members interact with guests to the religious jargon you use from the stage to your willingness to meet people where they are and not flinch when they bring their mess into the church house, growing churches know that messy grace is part and parcel of a growing and thriving churches. The more successful of a hospital you are, the more sick people seek you out. You’ve got to be willing to embrace the messes.
QUESTION: What other resolutions would you add for a growing church?