The Healthy Church Staff Podcast

What to Do When Your Church Isn't Growing

February 20, 2024 Todd Rhoades Season 1 Episode 32
The Healthy Church Staff Podcast
What to Do When Your Church Isn't Growing
Show Notes Transcript

Is your church experiencing growth, or does it just feel like you're treading water? Join Todd Rhodes, your guide to understanding the true markers of church vitality, as he reveals the overlooked dimensions of growth that go beyond the headcount. This episode isn't just about numbers; it's an eye-opener for anyone invested in the health of their church community, whether you're a pastor, a church leader, or a dedicated staff member.

Prepare to shift your perspective as we navigate through the intricacies of spiritual maturity and financial stewardship. Todd breaks down why a crowded sanctuary doesn't guarantee a thriving congregation and how investing in the spiritual and financial wellbeing of your community can lead to profound, sustainable growth. If you've ever felt the pressure of attendance metrics or puzzled over how to measure the real success of your ministry, this conversation promises to equip you with a more balanced and meaningful approach.

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Speaker 1:

Hey there, welcome to the Healthy Church Staff Podcast. My name is Todd Rhodes. I'm one of the co-founders over at chemistrystaffingcom and I don't know how you found us, but I'm glad you did. We're here every day, every weekday, monday through Friday, with podcasts a short five to ten minute podcast Specifically for church staff people just like you, so I hope you'll join us every day. Today we're going to be talking about what to do when your church isn't growing.

Speaker 1:

I talk to pastors all the time and I think this has changed a little bit since the pandemic to where there's maybe not quite as much focus on numbers as what there were, because everybody's numbers tanked and didn't come back necessarily not everybody's, but a lot of people didn't come back as much after COVID. But still, it's a frustrating thing when you're a pastor in your church. You just feel like you're stuck. You feel like your church isn't growing because there's always this pressure whether it's real or whether it's perceived, that your church should be growing numerically, that you should have more people there next Sunday than you do this Sunday, and the cycle just continues and it's really hard. It's a really hard thing to consider when your church isn't growing. So let's talk about that a little bit today, and what I would like to talk about is really when we're talking about growth.

Speaker 1:

I think that there are three different dimensions that we need to look at when it comes to growth and if your church is growing. The first is obviously numerical growth, the second is spiritual growth and the third is financial growth. So let's unpack each one of those. Spiritual growth is the first one, and you know what? A crowded church isn't always a growing one. True growth is more about depth than it is about width, and a crowded church or a church with large numbers isn't necessarily synonymous with a growing church. Sure, they might be growing numerically, but, as you'll see as we continue our conversation here, depth is equally, if not more, important than width Sometimes, and numbers don't always equal maturity or health. Now they can.

Speaker 1:

A lot of times, healthy churches are growing, but sometimes not, and there's a difference between gathering crowds and making disciples, and that's really how we get to the second area of growth that I want to talk about, and that's spiritual growth, and you can't put a number on spiritual growth. You can't put a number on it, but you can definitely observe it when you, as a church pastor and a church leader, focus on members' spiritual health. When you ensure that biblical understanding and application is taking place and that people are nurturing their own faith development, both personally and in small groups and as a church. In the whole, they're very well. Maybe some really great spiritual growth going on. Maybe not numerical growth, but maybe some great spiritual growth going on. It's that whole depth and width thing again, right.

Speaker 1:

So numerical growth, spiritual growth, and then there's financial growth. Now money can start things, especially when it comes to serving others, and increased resources enable a lot more things that you can do in your community and in your church. But it's really money's. The financial growth is not about prosperity, it's really about investing in people and when there's financial growth, you can take those resources and invest them in your church and in your community and in the spiritual growth and even some things that can help the numerical growth, numerical spiritual and financial growth.

Speaker 1:

I doubt if you're feeling bad that your church isn't growing. My guess is that you're looking just at the attendance numbers. But if you widen your view a little bit and look not only at numerical growth but also spiritual growth, maybe even financial growth, you may find that your church actually is growing. Bottom line is that you gauge success by depth, not just by numbers, and there really needs to be a balance here. I'm not saying that numerical growth is not important, it is so spiritual growth, so is financial growth, but there needs to be a balance there. You need to balance the numerical and the spiritual and the financial growth. True success in ministry is not gauged by numbers, I don't care what conference you go to. True success in ministry is engaged by numbers alone, but by the depth of the spiritual maturity and how finances are leveraged for each of service.

Speaker 1:

Acts 241 kind of sets the gauntlet for us. Back in the early church, right it said about 3,000 people were added to the number of believers. That day, man, that church, the early church, was running on all cylinders. They not only had the numerical growth, they had the spiritual growth. I'm sure they had some financial stuff going on there as well.

Speaker 1:

But remember, as you look at growth, don't get fooled by only looking at the numbers. Look at other things other than how many people are there. Look at the spiritual growth, look at the financial growth as well and leverage those resources you have, whether it's people, whether it's finances, whether it's facilities. Leverage those resources so that you can have a really meaningful impact in your community. That's really what it's all about, okay, so I hope that's encouraging for you today, if you've been done in the dubs because things aren't going up to the right fast enough. Be faithful and look for areas that you can build in, not just numerically, but spiritually as well. That's the word for today. I'm Todd Rhodes. This is the Healthy Church Staff Podcast. If you have any input, any thoughts, any ideas, any topics you'd like to hear us talk about here on the Healthy Church Staff Podcast, reach out to me anytime. The email is podcastatchemistrystaffingcom.