One question that is common among church leaders is, “how does one grow a church?”
The words in this question might change, but the desire is the same, “improving church growth.” Despite being so interested in growing the church, it is no secret that many churches are struggling with growth.
This struggle brings us to the question, “what are the challenges of church growth?” If we can figure out these challenges, then dealing with the issue of church growth becomes easier. We will discuss 5 major barriers to church growth in this post.
5 barriers to church growth
Just before Jesus Christ’s ascension, He gave the great commission (Matthew 28:16–20), to make disciples of all nations. This instruction means that He has a major interest in church growth. The challenge is that church growth is not easy to achieve. In this section, we discuss a few barriers to church growth.
Not being ready for growth
Many times, we think that we are ready for growth when we aren’t. A church might be longing and praying for new members, yet they don’t have the necessary resources. There are several resources that you need but don’t have at the moment including:
- Several unoccupied leadership positions.
- Fewer staff members and workers than you need.
Before you deal with the issue of growth, you must first address these needs. You cannot jump the gun while trying to grow your church. Without staff, growing your church is almost impossible. You need to draft new volunteers to help out and train some of them to become leaders.
Raising funds is another very important need you must deal with. You can invest in donor management software or a church app that allows digital donation. This makes giving easier for congregants and other people who want to sow seeds to your church. When you have the resources you need, then you are ready for the next step.
Small worship space
Which pastor wouldn’t want everyone in their community attending their church? That would be the height of church growth, wouldn’t it? The challenge is that we don’t always have sufficient worship space for the crowd we desire.
Finding a sufficient worship space is one of the biggest hurdles to cross when addressing church growth. Solving this problem requires a lot of discipline, time, and effort. You must first consider your current space and see if you have what it takes to re-purpose it. If you can’t, then you may need to get a new space altogether.
Either of these options requires you to seek help from your congregation. Three things that you can do to ensure proper congregation management while trying to improve your worship space include:
- Launch unique and engaging fundraisers.
- Seek more affordable alternatives.
- Try using a capital campaign.
Improving your worship space is a process that you should take one step at a time. Save and plan towards it. Don’t bite more than you can chew so that you don’t hamper the whole church growth process.
Church communication can affect the growth of your church in more ways than you can imagine. Get it right and things will run smoothly, fail at it and you could crash your congregation. There must be proper communication among all stakeholders (leaders, volunteers, staff, and congregants) at all times.
If you haven’t developed expert communication techniques before now, start now. Don’t make the mistake of relying on a single form of communication. The good news is that technology has provided us with several means of communication. From websites to emails, text messages to social media, the options are numerous. One way to reach out to different stakeholders with ease is through a church management software like ChurchPad.
Some other things that you can do to solve your church communication problems include:
- Improve your church website. Ensure that navigation is easy, the website is responsive, and it carries all the necessary information.
- Send emails frequently but don’t spam.
- Use multimedia as much as you can.
- Combine several methods of communication.
When your stakeholders understand your motives, it is easier for them to move with the flow. You wouldn’t be expending so much energy trying to pull them along anymore.
It is one thing to be great at publicizing your services, retaining people who attend is a different ball game. The guests that visit your church for the first time are potential members. A large part of whether they become members or not depends on how you treat them.
Many churches have people come in and don’t return after their first visit. If you fall into this category, you need to start asking why this is happening. Check your services to see where you are failing. What is wrong with your first impression or your follow-up process?
Answering these questions could be the key to unlocking the growth of your church. Here are a few things that you can do to solve this problem:
- Welcome first-timers with a smile.
- Invest in welcome packages for first-timers.
- Encourage church members to sit with first-timers and develop connections with them.
- Ask your music team to write a special song to welcome first-timers.
- Church leaders should meet with first-timers after the service.
Taking these steps makes the first-timers feel welcome and makes them want to come back.
Sticking to the status quo
This is probably the biggest barrier to church growth across the board. Even if the pastor is open to change, some leaders and members of the congregation may not be. If you want things to change, you cannot stick to old techniques.
It is your responsibility to carry your stakeholders along on this journey. Here are some strategies that you can employ:
- Be transparent about your motives and plans.
- Give stakeholders ample time to take in your suggestions.
- Allow stakeholders to make suggestions.
- Ask for help.
Which of these barriers to church growth are you experiencing at the moment? We hope our suggestions will help you overcome them. Check out ChurchPad and its features to help you on this journey.