By Tim Massengale
To see growth next year you must start now.
Church growth is not difficult. But it does require a plan. Like a farmer that expects a harvest in nine months, a pastor must say in his heart, “I am going to do whatever is necessary now to see a great harvest of souls next year. I am going to make a plan and follow through with it.” Here is a plan that you might consider:
- Assemble a team. This was the first thing Jesus did. He called the disciples and instilled in them a vision of what needed to be done. Assemble your ministry leaders, whose who will share your vision.
- Assign duties and train. List the ministries and leaders you currently have. Choose new leaders to oversee any new ministries. Write a good job description for each and make sure evangelism is a part of every program and department. Use the job description as a training tool to show them what to do and how to do it.
- Schedule an all-day planning retreat with these leaders to plan the rest of this year and the following year. Share your vision. Brainstorm ideas. Plan events. Improve current programs. Build soul winning into every department.
- Ask each leader to hand in a written plan and goals for the rest of this year and the following year. Their plans should reflect what is in their job description as well as what was discussed at the planning retreat. You will most likely need to assist them in doing this for the first time.
- Meet with your leaders each month for an hour or more to implement these plans. Your meeting agenda should come right off their one-year plans. Ask each leader to hand in a simple report of their progress. To fail to plan is to plan to fail.
- Briefly pray with your leaders as a group once a week and ask if they need any help with upcoming plans. Exemplify servant leadership. Help them without doing it for them. Encourage them. Support them. Inspire them.
- Set realistic goals for growth and evangelism. Don’t set hope-so, pie-in-the-sky goals. Set goals for what you absolutely know you can do. Then watch as God gives you ‘exceeding abundantly above…’ (Eph. 3:20) God delights in doing this.
- Implement key evangelism ministries. Some methods do work better then others. The most successful outreach ministries in Apostolic churches has been: home Bible study, visitor follow-up, bus or van ministry, door knocking, personal evangelism, revivals, and various social activities.
- Plan special events and activities. 100% of your new converts will come from your visitors. Plan as many events as you can afford and promote them well. Make attracting new and return guests your top priority. Be sure to follow-up on each guest effectively.
- Disciple your new converts. Insure that every convert receives instruction (first week counseling, new life class, home Bible study), fellowship (assign a care partner and involve them in assigned dinner ministries), and involvement (becomes actively involved in at least two ministries within six months of conversion.
If you would like more details on any of these steps, feel free to email me. Make this coming year your best year ever! But for this to happen, you must start now!