If we’re honest, it’s pretty easy to see the functional Great Commission in North America: Go into all the world and make more worship attenders, baptizing them in the name of small groups, and[...]
In the Future Church book, I share seven universal principles of real church growth. These principles were sparked when I woke up at 2am in early 2016. Underlying all of these laws is the belief that what most “church growth” tools aim at is NOT real church growth.
REAL church growth is not defined by adding in-person attenders or increasing weekly giving. Real church growth targets the transformation of individuals—the actual making of disciples. This requires a completely different approach to being the church on a week-to-week basis as well as a different set of key metrics. Real church growth will ultimately RESULT in the addition of in-person attenders, but it is not the immediate objective.
The Law of Mission
Real church growth starts with a culture of mission, not worship.
The Law of Power
Real church growth is powered by the gospel, not relevance.
The Law of Love
Real church growth is validated by unity, not numbers.
The Law of Context
Real church growth is local, not imported.
The Law of Development
Real church growth is about growing people, not managing programs.
The Law of Leadership
Real church growth is led by calling, not celebrity.
The Law of Vision
Real church growth is energized by shared imagination, not shared preference.
You are probably beginning to see how these principles fly in the face of the current model for local church growth in North America. Not only that, but you can start to see how the church growth industry has placed the emphasis in the wrong place.
Growth of in-person attendance and giving are the natural RESULTS of a robust and effective disciple making system, but we’ve made attendance and giving the focus of what we do rather than the by-product.
To really dive into these laws and how I believe we can shift the paradigm to real church growth, order Future Church here.