Five ways to know whether or not your plan is working:
First let me establish what growth is; Growth takes place when a sinner is converted into God’s Kingdom. Transferring members is recycled growth. Growth takes place when the church goes out into the harvest field (world/community) to gather the harvest (sinners).
The church is not of the world but we are the “‘light of the world.” We have been placed here to do the work of the Kingdom. Jesus called us a city set on a hill and the salt of the earth. We have been placed in this world to let Jesus Christ shine through us;
5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.
14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
14 I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.
16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
18 As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.
19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.
Jesus is interested in Kingdom growth (converted sinners). His plan is that all would come to repentance, this is the will of God. True growth is not budgets and buildings, but it is souls added to the kingdom. Every church must have a plan to add souls to the kingdom. If you do not plan for this to happen then it is not going to happen. Some plans succeed, others fail. The question is, do you have a plan, and is your plan working?
1. The first and most obvious way to know whether or not your plan for growth is working is if there are souls being added to the kingdom.
- Are people being born into the Kingdom?
- How many were baptized in the last year?
- How many received the Holy Ghost?
- For example, a healthy growing church of 50, should have seven to ten people receive the Holy Ghost in a year’s time.
- A church of two hundred should have thirty to forty people receive the Holy Ghost in a year’s time.
- This translates to fifteen to twenty percent of your attendance.
- Anything less than this indicates that your plan is not working to its full potential.
2. Is everybody involved in ministry?
- A healthy growing church will have a much higher percentage of people involved in ministry than the average church.
- Are twenty percent of the people doing eighty percent of the work? If so your plan for growth is not working.
- There is a place of ministry for each person in your church. While that is not always realistic, that should be your goal.
- God has a place and a purpose for each person in your church, it is up to you to help them find it.
- A church that has seventy percent of its adult members in ministry is more than likely a growing church.
3. Are new converts becoming mature Christians?
- It is common for churches to see attrition, but how much attrition are you seeing?
- If you had ten people receive the Holy Ghost a year ago, how many are still with you? Ten percent, twenty, fifty percent?
- I believe it really hurts God to see his children fall away after receiving His Spirit.
- Your goal for retention should be one hundred percent, that is what God desires. In reality that is not always attainable, but why not try?
- Is Discipleship part of your plan?
- Do you have a new convert care ministry?
- If your church is not retaining at least forty percent of its new converts then your plan is not working.
4. Does your congregation want to invite their friends and family?
- A church that is growing is a church that everybody wants to be a part of.
- There is a lot happening.
- Programs and activities for all ages.
- Services where lives are changed every week.
- You can see the excitement in the people’s faces.
- They hang around a long time after service is over, they don’t want to leave.
- This is the kind of church that your people will invite their family and friends to.
- They are so into what is happening they want those closest to be a part of it.
- You won’t have to ‘pull teeth’ to get people to invite their friends, it will naturally happen.
- If your people are not inviting their family and friends to church, then your plan is not working.
5. Do your leaders feel appreciated?
- A very high percentage of churches do not have staff and ministry leaders on a full time salary.
- Almost one hundred percent of your people are volunteers (servants).
- They are giving their time to grow God’s church.
- They are spending time away from family, friends, and their own interests to give to the church.
- t is up to you to make sure they feel appreciated!
- Make sure you always give thanks.
- They need the recognition.
- When they feel appreciated it fuels them for their next task.
- Recognize them in public settings where everybody knows what their sacrifice was.
- Send them cards or notes of appreciation.
- Give them gifts at the appropriate times.
- The Bible says to give honor to whom honor is due, and that a laborer is worthy of his reward. Though they will receive their reward in heaven, they need a little something while working here on earth.
- Your leaders are the ones on the front lines of battle, you must give them honor.If your leaders do not feel appreciated, then your plan is not working and will not ever work.