In a discussion group I am a part of, a small church pastor asked the group for advise on how to grow a small church.
Well meaning Christians threw out all sorts of cliches that lack substance, even if they are true:
- Follow God
- Get back to the Bible
- Don’t follow man’s ways
- Just glorify Jesus and people will come
- Let your light shine so the whole world will want what you have.
Most of the answers centered on prayer for guidance and then obeying that guidance to grow the small church.
While these sayings are true, these answers to this small church pastor lack direction and clarity to help focus this pastor in the areas of evangelism to grow the small church.
Growing a church is prayer and work
I’m all for prayer. I teach how prayer
- gets us connected to the heart of God for the lost,
- helps us learn God’s voice, and
- sensitizes us to prompting of the Holy Spirit.
- positions us to listen to the direction of God into His plan.
I give space in my workshops for prayer. We pray for God to give us
- a heart of the those who don’t know him.
- a passion to reach the community around the church
- a willingness to serve in the kingdom
- a confidence to share our faith while serving the community.
But growing the small church to make a difference is also work.
As Moses stood up on the mountain praying for the people of God, Joshua was on the ground doing the work.
We get to actively work in cooperation with God’s work of bringing people to faith.
3 areas of focus to grow the small church
Without denying or minimizing the value of prayer, let me share three directions for your small church to consider as you pray and plan.
1. Equip your members in personal evangelism.
Evangelism training is more than just reading a book and doing nothing about it. Start with a group of people in your small church and lead them into growth in their personal evangelism efforts. This includes helping your members
- grow comfortable inviting friends to your small church,
- sharing their own testimony of coming to faith in Christ,
- sharing the gospel of Christ in clear and simple terms, and
- inviting people to surrender to the Lord.
2. Improve your hospitality.
Since the small church is a partner in the work of evangelism, improve your hospitality system. Help your members be proud to invite people to your small church and into your network of relationships and service, knowing that their guests will receive a good welcome and find a healthy place to grow spiritually.
3. Engage your community.
Find out where your community hurts and lead your small church to something about it. Get on a mission to be an agent of transformation in the community. While serving, help your small church members to have those life changing conversations as the Lord opens those doors. Listen to this podcast episode here on how one small country church engages its community.
With God’s guidance in your focused prayer for these three areas, you can grow your small church by taking actions. Use these areas to focus your prayers and your work.
In the comment field below, answer this question:
What area do you want help in to grow your church?
Write your answer below, and I’ll get an email and we’ll start a free email discussion.