One question I hear a lot from pastors and church planters is, “How can we get our church growing again?” And yet, theologically, this is not the right question, because Jesus said, “I will build my church.” (Matthew 16: 18) Jesus says that he has come to seek and to save the lost. He says the Father is drawing people to himself. (John 6:44) He says the Holy Spirit is convicting mankind. (John 16: 8-11) God is at work all around us and because of this the best question to be asking is, “How are we hindering God’s redemptive power throughout our church?” or “How do we get into the flow of God’s redemptive work?” or “Why would God trust our church with 500 new converts?”
I believe that in taking a close look at your churches health and growth systems is key for it to be missionally engaged in God's redemptive work in the world. I am convinced that if every church big or small would once a year take survey of the 30 key players and influencers in it is church it would help them make the necessary adjustments, tweeks and changes to be missionally engaged.
Inlight of this conviction I am declaring May for our 200 churches in Converge MidAmerica along with our other strategic partners and friends Church Health Month.
One of the eight systems for leading a missional church is a church health system. This system measures not only the quantiative growth of a church but also the qualitative health of a local church. The quantiative growth is build around key numbers and there percentages.
- New visitor ratio: How many new visitors do you need in an average month to grow your church?
- Baptism Ratio: What is the a healthy percentage between average worship attendance and number of baptisms annually?
- Giving Ratio: What is the healthy dollar amount given per person on a average Sunday?
- Serving Ratio: What is a healthy percentage of average attenders and those engage in a ministry
- Small Group Ratio: What is a healthy percentage of those attending on an average weekend and those engaged in a small group?
- Membership Ratio: What is a health percentage of those attending on an average weekend and those who are committed members
- Leadership Ratio: How many new leaders are added to your leadership community annually?
In future posts we will be providing answers for these questions.
The qualitative health of a local church is measured through the attitudes, feelings and perspectives towards people, programs and the progress of the church. The Natural Church Development Survey is one of the best ways to get to bottom of these issues in a productive manner.
- Empowering Leadership
- Gift-based Ministry
- Passionate Spirituality
- Effective Structures
- Holistic Small Groups
- Need-oriented Evangelism
- Loving Relationships
- Inspiring Worship
We are encouraging all of our churches to establish an annual church health rhythm. The more churches we can get involved in looking at qualitative and quantitative growth issues that more focus we can be in providing resources, coaching groups, seminars and workshops.
What does a church health rhythm cycle look like?
Phase 1- Prepare & Take Surveys (Sometime during the months of May-June).
Phase 2 – Analyze Results (During the months of June-July)
Phase 3 – Develop Ministry Plan (During the months of July-August)
Phase 4 – Kick off, implement and monitor (Kick off in September and push hard to April)
Phase 5 – Evaluate with through surveys and repeat process (During May – June)
All the research has reveal that establishing a church health rhythm is critical for both the qualitative and quantitative growth of a local church. Christian Schwarz researched over 50,000 churches and has discovered that churches who repeated this cycle for three years experience these four realities.
- Each quality characteristic averaged a 6% increase.
- They have increased their worship attendance by 51%.
- Transfer growth decreased and conversion growth increased.
- The work-load of the pastor decreased because they learn how to delegate and empower others.
What do you want your church to look like in the next three years? Join us on the journey towards health and missional impact by contact the Converge MidAmerica Church Health Team