Pastor Pedro Suarez, DEM & Assistant to the Bishop
Have you ever wondered why you are doing so many good things as a congregational leader in your church, yet the church is still not growing? Well, you’re not alone. Many pastors find themselves from time to time asking her or himself “What am I doing wrong?”
Reading this article, “Five Things You’re Doing that Won’t Grow Your Church” from 21st Century Strategies, I found some key points which I had seen over the years that someone had finally put into writing. Bill Tenny-Brittian writes about Five Things You’re Doing that Won’t Grow Your Church, and I believe they are worth looking into.
Here in the Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod, we are committed to helping congregations focus outwardly. However, when some leaders think about evangelism or growth, they think about doing more great stuff “in” the church. Tenny-Brittian says that leaders spend lots of hours preparing a beautiful user-friendly bulletin. Nothing wrong with that, except that it won’t grow your church; that time you could have spent out in the community meeting new people.
Same thing with PowerPoint presentations. I have been to churches where I can see the pastor and a team have spent hours to present a great audio visual show. Again, so what? I have heard preachers that are so inspiring that, with or without visual help, have caught my attention and left me wanting to hear more. If you have a congregation over 400 in worship, then perhaps you should spend some time on a good presentation. However, when you’re in a congregation that you know you need to grow, it might be wasting good, precious time that could be better utilized building relationships out there.
Getting out of the office, out of the church building, and out of meetings is what will help build relationships that make a difference and help get the congregation’s name out within the community.
In some cases church teams flirt with the idea of going out when thinking about evangelism, whereas others have been rather selfish by going out only to see what the community NEEDS that WE can provide. This is still thinking inwardly. The truth is that what the church is NEEDING is to BE in the community. They need the community, or they’ll die as a Christian club for themselves.
I hope you too get inspired by reading this article.