5 Things That Cause Church Growth
There are special moments in ministry where you get to witness the evidence of true salvation unfold. You see the changes that happen outwardly as a result of the inward decision to follow Christ.
Nothing is more powerful or rewarding for a follower of Jesus than witnessing the life-changing power of God at work in someone’s life. It is the salvation of souls that God truly desires. People can still go to heaven after never having received their miracle, but they cannot go to heaven never having received Christ.
Shift Your Mindset
God loves the community that you are in.
But when He looks at it, He does not think of it in percentages. He does not look and say, “Well, 10% of people went to church, that’s a win.” No.
Imagine if a parent thought of their children in terms of percentages. Let’s use my parents as an example. My parents have a total of 5 kids. Let’s say they go on a vacation, and on their way back home they realize they are missing a child and the dad says, “Oh no big deal, 80% success rate.”
That is ridiculous, right? Parents don’t look at their kids in terms of percentages. They see value in each child.
In the same way, our heavenly Father sees value in every individual life, not just humanity as a whole. He sent His Son to die on the cross and paid the price for every single person’s salvation.
For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.1 Timothy 2:3-4
Even though He’s paid that price for all, the sad reality is that those who do not choose to follow Christ and recognize His gift of salvation will go to hell. It is through this lens that God sees the churches.
God loves those outside the church walls and He hears their desperate cries.
I dare to say that the reason God called you is to answer their cry. If you’re trying to see your ministry grow but you feel like you’re hitting a wall, make sure you have these 5 keys as your foundation.
5 Tips For Ministry Growth
Prayer prepares us for revival and prepares revival for us. The church is not called the house of preaching, it is called the house of prayer.
And He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer’…Matthew 21:13
The most important thing the church has to do before seeing the salvation of people is prayer, not evangelism.
Prayer shifts things in the spiritual realm. The regions we live in have demons and principalities. Some of which may be stronger than others. However, prayer clears the airways, so when we evangelize there is little to no resistance because we can overcome resistance with the power God has given us.
For example, when Joshua and the Israelites fought against the Amalekites, Moses, Aaron, and Hur stood at the top of the hill so Israel could prevail. When Moses’ arms were lifted with the rod of God in his hand, Israel triumphed (Exodus 17:8-13). In the same manner, when we notice that there is no victory with the salvation of souls and people do not respond to altar calls, it may be because the altar has no more fire. Many times, churches are empty because the altars are empty. There have to be people who are raising their voices in the secret place so there can be victory in the spiritual realm.
A prayerless church cannot birth salvations.
Before we go out to evangelize, we must first get believers praying.
Do not get caught up in figuring out how long or what method of prayer to use, simply pray! Open up your mouth and pray. Whether you pray in the morning, afternoon, or nighttime, prayer must be a culture that the whole church is engaged in.
The culture in the church is built by design or by default.
Culture by default is prayerlessness because human nature does not want to pray. We want to do anything else in the church, except pray. Therefore, in order to break the default culture of prayerlessness, we must design the culture. That means making the decision to pray––starting with the pastor.
Decide to make prayer a significant part of your church.
Churches have to be praying churches. Regardless of the time in which you decide to pray, make it available to your church.
I remember when the Lord began working with us to introduce corporate prayer back in our church. We would usually gather together a week before a big conference to prepare spiritually. The conference would go well and we’d feel happy. On one occasion after our conference, my pastor suggested we continue praying every morning.
I remember telling him, “But we don’t have another conference coming up.”
He responded, “Well, if we prayed like that continually, maybe every Sunday would be like the conference.”
I thought that was a brilliant idea! But when my pastor told me to start coming at 5 a.m every morning, my heart skipped a beat.
The idea that a church would open its doors very early for prayer seems weird to so many. But it’s wild, not weird.
What’s weird, is when a house of prayer does not pray! We need to make it normal again. I want to challenge you to pray if you want to see momentum.
To see a greater measure of salvations, after incorporating prayer, you must evangelize. Many people think that if miracles and healings occur, people will automatically be saved; they believe that if there is a great demonstration of power, then people will run to Jesus for salvation. However, that is not the rule, it is the exception.
The Bible tells us that Jesus came to seek and save that which was lost. Jesus did not roam the earth solely to heal and deliver in hopes that people would get saved as a consequence. No.
In the same way, the salvation of people should always be intentional. It should be the goal of the church.
We have to redefine what a win for the church is, it is the salvation of souls.
If people are not getting saved, we are losing.
Many churches are guilty of the Walmart syndrome. They fall into the lie that the church is growing because people are church hopping from smaller churches to their bigger churches.
But that is not real growth.
Real growth is when people are being plucked away from the kingdom of darkness, not from another church.
The challenge we have with evangelism is that it gets reduced to a department, where only one or a few people do it. Evangelism is not meant to be a department; it should be a direction. You cannot simply assign it to certain people, it is an assignment from God for the whole church.
We must get passionate and aggressive about evangelism. We can create special services and events to help people come to the Lord, but ultimately, without the spiritual component, people will not be saved.
God wants us to see salvations in our churches. In order for that to happen, evangelism must be the direction of the church, not a department.
Focus on leading a person to salvation. I truly believe that this is the key to seeing many salvations. I know it sounds weird, but when someone is saved, you will see more salvations. The worst thing you can do if you are not seeing salvations is to beat the people in church into evangelizing more. Typically, the longer you are in church, the harder it is for that individual to be effective in evangelism and have lasting fruit.
The most effective evangelists are the new believers. Therefore, in order to see more salvations, we need more new believers. Once God radically changes the life of someone, they will tell their friends, family, and coworkers. So, when one person is truly saved, there is a snowball effect. They tell others and bring them to church, then those people who are saved tell others and bring more people to church. We have to be intentional about evangelizing.
3. Building a team
In Matthew 5:4, Jesus instructs the disciples to go into the deep and use a net for their catch.
When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.”Luke 5:4
In this passage, the boat represents our service, while the net symbolizes a team. If we go fishing without a net, meaning without a team, we will be catching everything with our hands. That is not enough. Evangelism has to lead us to raise and equip a team.
In order to build a team, one must be delivered from “the man of God syndrome.”
As a pastor, it does not matter how much anointing you have or how you have demonstrated the power of God––you are not the center of the universe or the church.
You are not the head of the church, Jesus Christ is.
And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.Colossians 1:18
Now, I am not against titles, as long as you live out what those positions entitle. Keep in mind that the moment we see ourselves as “thee man of God”, meaning that you believe you’re the only means in your church that God uses to help others, you are using your hands to catch when you should be using a net.
Learn to entrust a team and use the net, then you will be able to catch and sustain a revival. It will not be because of your anointing, but because of your team.
There is power in having a team.
Jesus Christ reached the masses, but in the process, He built a team. It took three-and-a-half years, after which He entrusted the church to them.
Tips for Building a Team:
A. Overcome fears and insecurities
Building a team is not easy. As a pastor or leader, you must first overcome the insecurity of people on your team growing to be greater than you.
The real purpose of a pastor is not to do ministry, but to equip others to do ministry.
Instead of building the man of God, build a team where everyone can do the work of God.
B. Work toward a mission, not unity.
When we started, it was difficult because we were young and immature. I remember it was a disaster because the differences in culture, race, gender, and age affected the team. You may think that in moments of disagreement or chaos the best solution is to have “unity meetings”. People often say, “If we don’t stand united, we will be divided.” However, the goal is not unity.
I once heard someone say,
When we build the team around unity instead of the mission, we’ll never achieve unity because everyone is different, and their life experiences differ too. Unity will always be a byproduct of working for a common goal. For example, a football team works together to win a game, not to become friends. Their goal is to win, and as a result of spending time together in preparation for the games, they build friendships and relationships. In the same manner, your team should work toward the goal of saving souls because that matters more than making friends.
Unity will be the byproduct of working together toward a common goal.
4. Invest in the younger generation.
When our pastor started the church, he had the vision to reach the community in Tri-Cities, but he did not speak English. So, his brilliant strategy was to help the young generation grow, instead of focusing on having the church grow. He believed God would use us, we were 13-14 years old, so he put us to sing and preach, even though we barely knew English. The older generation wanted the services to be in Russian with in-ear English translation provided.
If my pastor would’ve decided that, I honestly don’t think I would be in ministry right now. The pastor knew that if the services were not in English, people who spoke English would not come.
When we decided to keep the service as an English service, many people left and our church got smaller. But our pastor was not growing the church, he was growing the people that would one day grow the church––the young generation.
Many times, people do not want to invest in teenagers because they have flaws, struggles, and are immature.
An important thing to remember is that you cannot raise a young generation if you are controlling. If you try to control them, you will stifle their fire; you have to coach them.
And, you cannot raise them if you have an affair with punishment. Youth will make mistakes, terrible moral mistakes. But understand that the Lord will convict them, and they will grow out of it and repent.
I remember when I fell into pornography as a teenager and ran to confess to my pastor, all he did was pray for me. He said, “The sin happens in five minutes, the guilt lasts five days. The devil is not after you falling into sin, he uses sin to keep you in guilt because guilt does more damage than the actual sin. Jesus Christ has forgiven you and I am just helping you to get out of the guilt. The faster you get up next time, the less you’ll fall into sin, and God will set you free.”
I am not saying we have a license to sin, but the young generation is prone to falling into sin and making mistakes. Let’s allow room for their mistakes, but also for them to repent and be restored. The goal is not to punish, it is to discipline; the goal is not to protect the rules, it is to restore the relationship. The goal is not to provide control, but for them to develop self-control in their life.
I want to encourage you to invest in the young people because if you don’t, your church will not have revival, it will be a retirement center in the next 10 years. The devil is after the young generation, so if we do not invest in them, Hollywood will.
In order to have a young generation in the church, we must invest in them.
The church has to become more strategic about reaching the young generation, and we have to be intentional and provide opportunities for them.
- Let the young eagles fly by platforming them with titles and roles that usually only senior leaders get to have. Give them responsibilities in order for them to grow and learn; they will develop a sense of ownership for it and the Lord will move in their lives.
- Make sure that young leaders are not just in the loop, but in the meeting and part of the leadership table. Many will not like this and may leave the church, but that is okay because you are protecting the future, not the past.
- Give the youth freedom to learn, and trust them. God wants to bless your ministry, but that blessing is in the hands of the lads. The Lord says, “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy…” (Joel 2:28).
God does not want the youth to simply sit in the chairs of the church, He wants them to be at the forefront of what He is doing in the last days.
5. Supernatural Demonstrations of God’s Power
The world does not need a new explanation, but a fresh demonstration of God’s power. God is not just somebody that can be explained, but He needs to be experienced. Psalm says,
“Taste and see that the Lord is good.”Psalm 34:8
There is often a fear of the supernatural, “What will people think?”
Have you ever thought about the fact that we believe in the virgin birth?
If you are not a believer, the idea that a woman got pregnant through the Holy Spirit, and not by having sex, is ridiculous. Even more absurd is the fact that the Child was perfect because He was the incarnation of God, and not only did He die for your sins, but He rose from the dead. That is the weirdest thing anybody can say they believe. Yet that is the core of what we believe. Everything that we believe is foolish to a carnal mind. So, if you think that speaking in tongues or casting out demons will offend the unbeliever, realize that what you believe, alone, offends the unbeliever.
When the Holy Spirit wants to move, He is going to do things that will not make sense to some.
If we have a fear of people, we will quench the Holy Spirit. However, if we do not quench Him, the fear of God will fall on people. Oftentimes, the reason why miracles don’t take place is that the fear of people has fallen upon pastors.
The fear of men will always lead us to sin; it will lead us to be balanced, instead of bold.
The fear of men will lead us to be calculated, instead of courageous.
The fear of men will always compel us to play it safe instead of stepping out into the unknown and seeing the supernatural.
In Acts, we see a great example of how boldness in Christ leads to mighty demonstrations of the power of God that people will recognize you are a follower of Jesus.
“Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus. And seeing the man who had been healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it.”Acts 4:13-14
In order to see the supernatural:
- You need to feed yourself with the supernatural.
You must consume podcasts, books, videos, and teachings about the supernatural power of God. If you only feed yourself with Baptist preachers, do not expect to experience the supernatural. I do not mean to offend; I love my Baptist brothers. However, if you feast on what cessationist preachers teach, you will become so wise that you actually will not see any power. Don’t become so learned in theology, that you don’t actually see any of the power that you read about.
In order to be bold and see the supernatural, you must change your diet. I challenge you to do this for six months: consume and subscribe to ministers who see the supernatural in their ministry and I promise you that your life will change.
What you consume will determine what you experience in your life.
- Cry out in private and take risks in public.
If you go deep into the secret place, but you never take a stance to try something in public, you will never see the supernatural. The anointing of God comes through impartation, association, and desperation. But the anointing only flows one way, from activation. You can have so much anointing, but none of it will be released unless you actually pray for the sick, cast out demons, and be bold in public. When you receive the impartation, you have to do something with it, use it! As you use it, God will supply more anointing.
- Have expectations for miracles, not explanations.
There is nothing wrong with having a sermon on why you do not receive healing. Nonetheless, if all that people hear about is why they are not experiencing healing, do not expect to see miracles in your church. If you are stuck on Paul’s thorn as your theology for healing, remember that by Jesus’ stripes we are healed (Isaiah 53:5).
- Confront the demonic.
Do not simply preach and expect the supernatural, but take action during the services. Where there is fire, snakes will come out.
- Prioritize testimonies.
Testimonies are seeds for miracles. If people share their experiences and see the supernatural, others will see and experience the supernatural.
We need to understand that we live among a wicked generation. We have to combat the enemy with a wild anointing. We live in a time of witch-tok, people summoning mother earth, and using energy and crystals. Do not be ashamed of the gospel, do not be ashamed of the supernatural power of God, and God’s power will not be ashamed of you.
Once you do these steps, leave the growth to God. You supply the natural, He’ll supply the “super.”
I pray this was a blessing. Please share this blog and let me know what you think!