Where to Start

If you are reading this, chances are that you are wondering why there aren’t as many children in your church as there used to be. Chances are you’re wondering why visitors never come back. Chances are your budget has been shrinking and there’s no more fat to trim. Chances are more time is spent discussing what should be done than actually doing it. Chances are something happened recently and a lot of the congregation left. Chances are you’re having a hard time finding enough volunteers for the existing ministries, and the long-timers are starting to burn out. Chances are people are blaming the minister, the music, the signage, technology, Sunday morning football, the coffee, the youth, society, and even YOU. If you’re reading this, chances are you have real concerns about the future of your church.

Chances are, you don’t know where to start.

When I have worked with and in churches, people often want to start with everything all at once, and find themselves so overwhelmed that they are paralyzed, and do nothing…for years.

Also, good people with energy, ideas, and the desire to act (like you and me), feel like they have to get the church boards and leadership all to come to consensus before they can take action. We can spend years going to meetings and being poo-pooed, and hearing, “not now” and “I don’t think that will work,” or, “in 1965 we had a method and it worked great! We should get that going again!”

My personal favorite is when they fold their hands, look me right in the eye, and with a condescending nod explain, “What we really need to do is attract some young families with children”…as though this simple statement fixes everything. Trust me, I’ve been there. I’ve sat in those meetings month after month waiting for someone to give me permission to do something, anything, besides sitting in meetings month after month. Meanwhile, the church slowly slips away.

If you are in a declining church, or simply a church that is stagnating and aging, you may be wondering what to tackle first. Youth programming? Music? Budget? Ministries that need more volunteers? The repairs on the building? Outreach? The disconnect with the community? Yes, you may need to deal with these issues. But first, take a breath.

Take a big, deep breath. Here is the reality of the situation:

You may have to start doing this all by yourself, but you are absolutely not alone.

You can do this. I will show you how. I will walk with you every step of the way.

If you are reading this, then you are already taking steps to actively seek solutions for your church. You are a go-getter. You are a mover and a shaker. You have all the resources you need to be able to take meaningful, effective, time-tested steps to make a difference in your church. You are quite capable of doing this. So breathe deeply and really understand what I am about to tell you.

You can do this yourself. You don’t need the board’s permission. You don’t need to add this to the budget. If you are not the minister you will need to talk with your minister, but I will help you do that. Your church will be thrilled that you took the initiative when they see how well it works. You will stop feeling dread every time you walk into a meeting and you will be able to gleefully report how many people have said they love your church and want to come back, get involved, and join. You will be excited as you watch your Sanctuary steadily fill over the next few months. You will be excited to get to church early so that you can greet newcomers, confident and enthusiastic about watching them get excited about your church. Right now all you have to do is two things: Read this one article from my blog and join my newsletter list.

My weekly newsletter tackles one simple step you can take each week to grow your church. It costs nothing. It connects you with a community of people all working on the same issues you are! I promise I won’t spam you. I will break down basic church growth strategies into simple, bite-sized steps that you can take each Sunday. If you join today, I will send you a free copy of 14 tried and true steps you can take to revitalize your stewardship program.

Here are some of my blog articles covering the basics, in the order to apply them. Start with the first one. Try it this Sunday. Let me know how it works. You can reach me any time at pastortracy@howtogrowmychurch.com.

I’ll look forward to hearing from you!

Pastor Tracy