Ask the average Christian what makes a small church grow and you’ll hear clichés like:
- “Prayer grows the church”
- “We need to follow God’s leading”
- “We need to get back to the Bible”
- “If we just lift Jesus up the people will come”
- “Shine your light so bright the world will want what you have”
Most of these answers focus on praying to God for guidance and then being obedient in following that guidance.
While these sayings are true, they are also too spiritually ethereal and lack clarity for the struggling pastor of a small church.
What the pastor needs is direction in knowing which areas to focus his efforts on to grow the small local church in the 21st century.
Work Hard, Pray Hard
Prayer is always the starting point.
Everything we do comes out of our connection with God.
- Prayer gets us connected to the heart of God for the lost
- Prayer helps us to hear and recognise God’s voice
- Prayer sensitises us to the prompting of the Holy Spirit
It’s good to pray for:
- A heart for those that don’t know God
- A willingness to serve in the kingdom
- Boldness to share the Gospel outside the four walls of the church
But faith without works is dead and praying is just the starting point – not the be-all and end-all.
Remember, as Moses stood up on the mountain praying for the people of God, Joshua was on the ground doing the work.
We get to work in partnership with God to bring people to the saving knowledge of Christ.
3 Areas Of Focus To Grow Your Small Church
As you pray and connect with God, let me share with you three focus areas I believe the small church pastor should prioritise to help his small church grow:
1. Train Your Members to Evangelise
Your job as a pastor is to equip the saints for the work of the ministry.
Evangelism training is more than just reading a book and doing nothing about it.
Get a committed core group together and teach them how to share their faith in friendship and personal evangelism
This could include helping your members:
- Write a prayer list of their unsaved friends
- Pray for their unchurched loved ones
- Share the Gospel of Christ in a simple and memorable way
- ‘Do’ friendship evangelism effectively
- Talk to their friends about Jesus
- Share their personal testimony because their story matters
2. Train Your Welcome Team
Your welcome team gives people their first impression of the church.
You don’t get a second chance at that.
People decide within the first eight minutes whether or not they are going to return to your church.
Treat your guests well, train your hospitality team and don’t just let anyone be a greeter.
If your existing members can be proud of their church, they will confidently invite their friends, family, and coworkers knowing that their guests will receive a good welcome and find a healthy place to grow spiritually.
- 5 Common-Sense Church Greeting Tips
- 10 Church Welcome Speeches You Can Use
- 36 Church Welcome Poems To Connect & Inspire
- How To Make Church Visitors Feel Welcome [10-Step Guide]
- 7 Crazy Ways to Make Visitors Feel Unwelcome in Your Church
3. Promote Your Church
Do people even know your church exists?
There are so many fun, free, and interactive ways to get your church on the map.
80% of under 40-year-olds check out your website before deciding whether or not to visit.
Does your church have a website? It’s easy to make one.
Here’s my full step-by-step guide on how to make a church website.
Do you have good signage?
Is it easy to get to where you meet?
Your first step is getting people to know where you are.
Here are 3 simple church advertising ideas.
Take Your Church To The Next Level 📈
What have you done that has helped your church grow?
What ideas or suggestions do you have to share?
Please share your comments below.