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20 Things Growing Churches Understand (that dying churches do not)

September 12, 2017

I like Social Media. I really do.  It is a huge wave.  We do well to learn to surf it.  Over the course of a day I can keep up with huge numbers of people in the time it would take to complete a single phone call.  I also like the fact that people read my stuff and listen to my sermons while I am doing other things. Facebook Live has been an exponential game changer.  We can reach twice as many people simply by broadcasting.  I had a blog last year go well over 2.8 million reads.  This is all crazy cool.

There is a lot of stuff about church growth on Social Media.  A whole lot.  Some of it is really good.  So, rather than respond individually to a hundred articles that I think are spot on, I am going to toss them all into a blender, add some ice and pour out an ecclesiastical frappe.

Here are 20 Things Growing Churches Understand:

  1. Churches don’t turn around on their own 
  2. Sr. Pastors must also be strategic leaders 
  3. People no longer have name brand (denominational) loyalty
  4. Denominational dysfunctions affect congregations 
  5. Guilt, duty and obligation are not effective motivation tools 
  6. Believing the “right” stuff does not make a church grow 
  7. Music style has everything to do with reaching new people 
  8. Bulletin driven worship, well dressed parishioners and organ music are not making a comeback 
  9. It is your own fault if your church is dying 
  10. Doing good deeds does not grow churches
  11. People want solid Biblical teaching and preaching 
  12. Church must be high energy 
  13. People are looking for community 
  14. People are seeking a sense of purpose 
  15. We have to reach young people 
  16. Your mission statement is your best friend
  17. People visit a church because they are invited
  18. Giving is too important to not talk about 
  19. You can’t be everything to everybody 
  20. There has never been a more exciting time to be the church 

Christ Church has  grown from just over 200 to 2,400 in the past twenty-one years. Growth involves risk.  We launched eight new faith communities last fall.  Some have already failed.  Others were game changers.

I believe the greatest risk any church can take in 2018 is hoping that 1958 is going to suddenly return. Norman Rockwell’s America is gone. You may have liked that America better but it simply doesn’t matter. We have to reach this world for Jesus today.

Getting our head’s around some solid understandings is a great place to start.

Shane 2017 Head


Rev. Shane L. Bishop has been the Sr. Pastor of Christ Church in Fairview Heights, Illinois since 1997.

  1. Charles permalink

    Very true. Especially am drawn to 13 and totally am pumped about 15.

  2. Reblogged this on Kingdom Pastor and commented:
    Some great insights. Which one or ones speak to you the loudest? Please share in Comments. For me it’s #4, 13, and 14

  3. gospelfireblog permalink

    Rev. Shane, this is an absolute wisdom for our contemporary churches. I am blessed by it, God bless u Sir

  4. Joyce permalink

    I like #3 and #15 , actually I can relate to them all without hesitation! God Bless ! When you preach from your heart people realize and want to be part of your church!

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