Struggling to get momentum in your church?
For many years, the common idea of evangelical church growth was centered around growing bigger – that is, envisioning more people coming through their doors. Churches began to start new ones, and we can consider them the pioneers of the multisite movement. But, this model has been rapidly changing over the last few years with more churches planting new and smaller offshoots.
Their dream of growth might be seen as local. These churches are carefully choosing where they start a new campus and intentionally training people within their existing congregation to eventually lead elsewhere.
Many pastors are leading the charge, but where is it heading? What are the results being seen in congregations?
Portable Church Industries and Leadership Network recently published a new eBook showing faster annual growth comes with younger pastors (22% higher) and founding pastors (24% higher) than any other group.
Whether a young or seasoned pastor, if one of your goals is growth, there could be useful lessons to be learned from the pastors who are experiencing greater conversions and higher attendance in their church plants and multisites.
Whether you’re experiencing plateau or have yet to plan, here are some key things to know about kick-starting momentum:
1. Think Multiplication Over Mega.
Along with a vision to plant more churches/sites, these pastors are growing smaller churches into slightly larger small churches, and the rate of growth is greater.
- “Research affirms that starting new congregations – through either independent church plants or new multisite campuses – is a highly effective way to extend God’s kingdom work”
2. Send Out Your Best Leaders to Start a New Campus.
God will bless your offering of “first fruits.” You’ll be fine without them, and the new campus will be so much better for having their gifts and energy.
- “Some leaders with theological or pragmatic biases against multisite models do invest heavily in church-planting residencies to send out leaders. But our research shows that multisite churches are much more likely to do so.”
3. As in Any Vital Relationship, Trust Between a Pastor and Congregation is Critical to Growth.
This may be why founding pastors enjoy a higher growth rate. New pastors to older congregations may need time to build trust.
- “Church planters and campus pastors in their first 5 years at a church are 2.3 times more likely to have a vision to plant/launch than pastors who have been at the same church more than 10 years.”
One more important statistic to note is that 83% of pastors under age 40 “have a future vision to plant/launch.”
You can’t change the age of your pastor or whether or not that person is a founder. But it does help a leader understand why the other church in town appears to be growing faster.
Regardless of where you fall in the age bracket, it might just be time to dive in and begin learning more about what younger churches and pastors are doing to create growth opportunities.