CNLP 179: Rich Birch on the Church Growth Flywheel – The 5 Things Growing Churches Do That Most Others Don’t

Rich Birch has interviewed over 200 leaders from the fastest growing churches in the US, and he’s taken good notes. He’s boiled down their best practices to 5 common strategies almost every growing church uses and shows you how you can implement them in your church, too.

Welcome to Episode 179 of the podcastListen and access the show notes below or search for the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts and listen for free.

Guest Links

Rich on Instagram | Twitter | |

 Church Growth Fly Wheel Download the first chapter for free!

CNLP 003: Leadership Trends with Rich Birch

CNLP 008: Are Contemporary Churches Losing Their Edge In A Changing Culture? – An Interview With Rich Birch

CNLP 113: UnSeminary’s Rich Birch On Why Some Churches Beat The Odds And Grow

CCLP Bonus 005: Rich Birch, Jeff Brodie And Carey Nieuwhof On Caring For The Leader’s Soul

Links Mentioned

Register now for Carey’s FREE Webinar: The 3 Little-Known Secrets High Capacity Leaders Use to Take Back Their Calendars, Crush Their To-Do Lists, and Spend More Time With Their Families. February 20th, 11amPST/2pmEST. Spots are limited. Learn more at

TrainedUp Use coupon code FIRST50 and receive 50% off of your first month of service!

CNLP 173: Craig Groeschel Deconstructs His Approach to Preaching, Leadership, Success, the Future and More

3 Insights from This Episode

1. A church should be growing at the same rate as its community

The majority of the churches who are growing aren’t growing faster than the communities they are in. 94% of all churches in North America are losing ground and if a church is growing by 3% that’s considered breaking even. So, that means only 6% of churches are actually growing faster than their communities.  

Take time to think about how your growth compares to the growth going on around your church.  Are you matching that growth, exceeding it or falling short? 

2. Growth should be a priority for leaders

Often, stalled churches push back on the idea that growth should be a priority for leaders. Obviously, growth isn’t the only sign of a healthy church – there can be fast growing churches that aren’t healthy. The challenge for smaller churches – or any size church whose numbers are at a standstill – is to refrain from criticizing the growing churches around you. Don’t write off the fact that there are some practical, simple things you could do that would allow you to share the gospel with more people.

Sunday priorities can’t only be about increasing weekly attendance, but leaders should absolutely be thinking about that growth. We have the most amazing story to share with as many people as we can. At the end of the day, churches who are passionate about spreading the message of Christ should want to proactively do more to reach people.

3. Big serving opportunities can grow your church while doing good at the same time

Most churches find it’s easier to get people to volunteer for big service projects than to serve regularly on Sunday mornings. Why? Because service projects typically require less time and create those “feel good”, “give back” moments people want to be a part of.

A church grows when its people talk about it. On average, 2% of attenders will promote their church to others over the course of a year. 2%! But events that make a difference in the community are the kinds of things you want to tell your friends about – and share on social channels. They also offer ways to reach out to those friends who may feel more comfortable being a part of a good thing rather than a God thing.

Quotes from This Episode

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Next Episode: William Vanderbloemen  

Every church and workplace has a culture. Unfortunately, often it’s a bad one. The Vanderbloemen Search Group has been named by Entrepreneur magazine and other organizations as one of America’s top workplace cultures. William Vanderbloemen explains the keys to creating an amazing workplace culture and why it will help you gain a competitive edge in an increasingly scarce labor market.

Subscribe for free now and you won’t miss Episode 180.

CNLP 179: Rich Birch on the Church Growth Flywheel – The 5 Things Growing Churches Do That Most Others Don’t


  1. Bill Cramsie on April 28, 2018 at 2:53 pm

    Opps Sorry, just got an email with the download link … sorry for the impatience. Peace!

  2. Bill Cramsie on April 28, 2018 at 2:45 pm

    Hello … I am coming to this late but the does not allow a free chapter download at this point. It asks for name and email and just responds thanks. Still would like to look at the first chapter if possible. Peace!

  3. Kelvin Box on February 26, 2018 at 9:41 am

    Great podcast, great book. Practical, doable, and simple points that any church regardless of size can do. Thanks Carey for providing us with endless tools on how to walk in excellence and keep our passion for the cause of Christ.

  4. Rev. William Webster on February 13, 2018 at 2:08 pm

    My community, the only city in Belmont County, Ohio, has lost nearly 1/2 of it population in the past 30 years. It is projected to lose another 5 % in the next five years. Despite the area’s declining population we continue to move in the opposite direction, growing.

    • Brian Jones on February 14, 2018 at 7:14 am

      Hi William. I’m from Ohio and know how tough it can be. All I can say is well done, friend. If you’re growing in Belmont County, it’s a testimony to our incredible God and to your incredible leadership. Well done.

  5. Richard H on February 13, 2018 at 9:28 am

    I look forward to listening to the episode!

    “A church should be growing at the same rate as its community”

    I’m wondering how that works in a small & shrinking community. Our town of 3000 (not close to any metro area) just had its largest employer & tax payer shut down (a power plant with 200 jobs), so we’ll see how that affects things. The church is currently holding on, though attendance is down from last year. I can’t tell yet how much of that is the weather (colder than usual for central TX) and sickness (lots of flu & fear of flu).

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