It seems like everyone I know that is a pastor or church leader is interested in church growth. We study the methods of popular preachers like Steven Furtick and the methods of Elevation Church. We hurry to purchase the latest denominational program that is guaranteed to take us from 50 to 500 in 5 weeks. We spend money to go to conferences led by experts (those who have been defined as people from out of town carrying a briefcase), and we are promised success.
Well I have a church growth strategy that has a 100 percent success rate. It has been tried for centuries and found true. I believe that I could promise you that you did not find this in any of the church growth books, conferences, or methodology of the church growth “gurus”. It isn’t music, charismatic personalities, programs, evangelism, preaching, or anything else that you have been taught through the years. “How can that be?” you may ask. It’s pretty simple.
In 2008, I was serving a church as a worship leader and the choir was not growing. I consulted every megachurch guy who would return my calls or emails (and those who were too important to reply). I followed their advice for 5 years leading up to that with little to no success. The pastor was telling me what a failure I was, and I was about to leave ministry. I had sent my résumé to multiple churches and had been recommended to others, but God never opened any doors. I could not understand why God would leave me in a place where I was not thriving, and it seemed as though few people appreciated what I was doing.
In December 2008, I sat at my desk and surrendered to the principle I am about to share. After reinventing the wheel multiple times, I began to pray. I said, “Lord, I have done everything I know to do. I have done everything I was told in order to supposedly build a successful music ministry but to no avail. I give up. Lord, what will it take?” The Spirit of God brought a verse to my mind: “Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it” (Psalm 127:1). It hit me – God grows a ministry. You and I can do all the things that we are taught through “experts”, conferences, and programs, but it is all theory unless the Lord moves. Church growth is supernatural not manufactured. The early church grew without all these things. Why do we think we need them?
If you are concerned about the growth of your church today, just do what the Bible requires to be a New Testament church. I didn’t say follow tradition. I said to go back to the Bible and study what the early church did and obey the Bible. God honors that. You may or may not grow in number, but I promise you will grow in spiritual maturity. If God could use 12 disciples to change the world, He can use 12 followers of Christ to impact a community. Now that’s a church growth strategy you can take to the bank!