As we wrap up this series, let me begin by restating that I like pastors of small churches and pastors of large churches. I coach pastors of small churches and larger churches (mostly small churches). I like small churches and I like large churches. We’re all on the same team. We’re in this together. God loves our churches all the same regardless of their size. This series was not intended to bash certain large church pastors and the advice they give to smaller churches or be a put down of big churches. In fact, if they had changed a few words of their advice-giving posts from ‘Ways to grow your church” to “Ways to have a healthy church”, I probably would be fine. I often find these articles to be helpful in the sense that the advice they give are, in my opinion, signs you would hope to find in a healthy church but not necessarily something guaranteed to make your church grow.
One big church pastor advised:
- Plan big days. I actually like this. Regardless of the size of your church you can plan a special service for your church members to invite their friends to. But…before you can expect your members to be inviters, you might have to train them to be inviters. I wrote on this here.
- Multiply small groups. And you’re saying, multiply small groups? We are a small group. And to show how out of touch the author is with the reality of the majority of pastors in our country he says, “People will often complain about not being cared for when the real issue is that they’re losing control. “There are so many people here, I don’t feel like anybody cares for me anymore” is a common complaint.” Maybe in a big church, but seldom in a small church. Now your church might only have 50 people in it and there still be some who feel neglected. But this is a topic for another time. And let me go on the record by saying that I really, really do believe in small groups…even if you have a small church, but this is a topic for another time.
- Expand your facility. Most of you reading this find it difficult enough to fill the facility you have, let alone expand your facility. The writer points out,”…we had over 10,000 members before we ever built our first building.” This is pretty good advice if your church is a larger one that is experiencing consistent growth, but most of us pastor small churches that have either plateaued or are in decline. Which is not to suggest that there is anything necessarily wrong with you as a pastor or with your church…it can…but not guaranteed.
In regards to the points above I would say: plan big days, incorporate small groups into your overall strategy for church health, and wait to expand your facility until your busting out at the seams.
Let me wrap things up by saying that you don’t need to skip over articles on “How to grow your church”
but instead, change the points given to be advice on how to have a ‘healthy church’ and then see if you find the writer more helpful and an encouragement. And let’s remember, church health is not just a new way to grow your church. Church health stands on it’s own as the goal we all should have while leaving the numerical growth up to the Lord.