This week I’m excited to be speaking at the Orange Conference in Atlanta Georgia.
As a way of serving those who attend my talks (and couldn’t be there but want to track with what’s happening) I’ll be posting the outline to each talk I give here on the blog.
Even if you don’t attend the conference, I hope you can glean a few insights from them that might help you lead better now. And if you’re in the session, you won’t have to guess what that pesky blank you forgot to fill in was all about.
Here’s my talk outline for my 5 Reason Churches Stop Growing session.
It may not be wise to measure your church’s health by exactly how many people showed up on Sunday or attended your new member class last month. But stalled growth can be a sign of deeper problems. Whether your church is stuck or has momentum, take a look at the 5 big reasons churches stop growing, and figure out how you can get – or keep – moving again.
- Church growth is not as mysterious as we think.
2. In one way or another, healthy things grow.
II. 5 Reasons Church Stop Growing
1. You are more in love with the method than you are with the mission.
a. Your church’s passion for the past or present is more compelling than your vision for the future.
b. You’re afraid to risk what is for the sake of what could be.
2. Your structure is designed to keep you small.
a. The clergy-based model is designed to keep a church under 200 attenders.
b. If you want the impact of a supermarket, you can’t run things like a mom and pop store.
Church governance is often more of a hindrance than a help to growth.
3. You don’t understand the people you’re trying to reach.
a. 48% of millennials are classified as post–Christian.
b. Family has changed significantly.
c. Culture is undergoing a massive shift.
4. You’ve bet too much on being cool.
a. What you define as contemporarymay not be contemporary.
b. Authentic is more powerful than cool.
5. You’re really not willing to change.
a. The gap between what you say and what you actually do is too large.
b. You are unwilling to plot trajectory.
c. You’re afraid (and the team hasn’t realized you can’t follow fear)
III. Moving Forward
- Create a white hot sense of mission.
- Structure for growth.
- Understand and love the people you’re trying to reach.
- Be authentic.
- Commit to change.
Here are some related posts that can help you dig deeper on this subject.
For further resources, access the free archive of thought-provoking, practical interviews with today’s top church leaders like Andy Stanley, Perry Noble, Jon Acuff, Kara Powell, Ron Edmondson, Derwin Gray, Mark Batterson and more on The Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast.