Help, we’re growing! Start planning now to support your growing church
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
It's an awesome "problem" to have with your church. Each week your sanctuary feels a bit smaller and you're running out of room. The congregation hasn't doubled or anything quite that dramatic, but you're noticing a steady increase. You've been praying for this moment, and now that it’s here your joy is combined with a moment of panic. What do we do now?
First, breathe and savor the moment. Celebrate with your team and with your congregation. Growth is a sign of health and new life — enjoy!
Second, pull your team together and plan. A larger church — whether you’re going from 100 to 150 or from 800 to 1,200 — requires a different support structure. Consider the work required to support a building. The foundation for a sports arena requires much more work than the foundation for the average-sized home. The same principle applies for your church.
As you plan to support a growing church, consider the following:
Why are we growing?
Before you get excited and start planning for a massive church, look back and identify what you're doing that’s working. Why are more people coming to your church? How are they hearing about you? What do they love about your church? If you don’t know what’s working, you may change something and mess it up.
Do we have the right facility?
Is where you’re meeting large enough to handle a church twice its current size? Do you need to consider adding a service? Should you start looking for a larger building? Start considering this now before you actually need to make a change.
Do we need to add to our team?
Is the workload starting to become too much for your current team? If you’re all volunteers, does it make sense to hire 1-2 people (even part-time)? If so, what roles should you fill first?
Do we have the right technology?
Do you have a church database or church-management software? A spreadsheet will only work for so long. You need an effective tool to help you quickly communicate with your congregation, confirm serving times with volunteers and maintain members’ contact information.
Are we handling our finances with excellence?
Do you have an up-to-date accounting system, or has it been years since you upgraded your software? Do you have proper controls in place to protect your team from even the appearance of impropriety? As you have more people, you’ll have more expenses and more donations. Make sure your system and processes are setup well so you can be an excellent steward of those funds.
Are we offering the right programs?
Does your current slate of ministry programs still make sense for your congregation? Are you attracting more young families and need to improve your children’s area? Do you have a lot of new Christians and need a discipleship class to help them learn how to live out their new faith? Examine what you’re doing versus what your congregation needs and adjust accordingly.
This isn’t an exhaustive list, but it should give you a great place to start as you prepare for additional growth. However, before you start these discussions, please pray. Thank God for the souls He's entrusting to your team. Thank Him for a healthy, growing church and ask Him for wisdom as you move into a new phase as a congregation.
He wants your church, as a part of His Body, to be healthy and growing. He’ll guide your team through these discussions. Trust Him first and use the wisdom He provides to plan for incredible growth.
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