I do believe God wants the church to grow. We are to make disciples and part of discipleship is make more disciples. We know that the church can and should be reaching more people for Christ. Unfortunately, however, we are currently facing obstacles that keep our church from growing.
Healthy people grow. Healthy trees grow. And the body of Christ, (the local church) is a living thing. So, when a church is not growing, you ask yourself: Why not? And lately I asked myself: what is keeping today’s church from growing?
There are many obstacles to church growth. Examples include a poor sound system, out-dated decor, poor preaching poor music, an unfriendly atmosphere, very poor website, people in the wrong places, the lack of a vision and so on. Most of these kinds of problems are easy for church leaders to mark and can be solved with enough will. But I would like to point only 3 extremely important obstacles that keep the church from growing.
- Self Growth – The greatest obstacle in growth is when either the leader or the leadership team is empty of spiritual growth. It is important for the church leaders to realize the valuable role that they have in the church growth. Every church is growing when they are led by growing leaders. If the leaders stopped progressing personally, the church will follow. That is why it is necessary for the people, especially the leaders, to focus on leadership maturity as well as spiritual maturity. Personal growth is the key to ministry growth. To grow others, you must grow first.
- Wrong focus – People are becoming very busy with other things and have no time to share their faith with others. Churches stop growing when they become inwardly focused. The Church is to do the work of Christ in this world. Instead of focusing outward, the church becomes focused on keeping its current members happy. The question is: would anybody outside your church miss your church if you ceased to exist? Revival is a sovereign move of God, but evangelism, sharing the faith with others is the duty and responsibility of the Church. As Christopher Wright, biblical scholar and international ministries director of the Langham Partnership, has written: “God does not have a mission for his Church; He has a Church for His mission.“
- The lack of faith – God desires more than numerical growth for His church. God expects us to grow in faith, and He tells us in the book of Hebrews chapter 11 verse 6 that it is impossible to please God without faith. It is impossible to have a relationship with God without faith. Those whose examples of faith are recorded for us in Hebrews 11 were “commended for their faith” in God. Because they had faith they received the approval of God. A life of faith may require that we, at times, step into uncomfortable situations. The people of faith whose stories the Bible preserves for us took their stand on the Word of God. They believed God. We need to believe that God wants to grow the church. It is God’s unchanging desire and purpose that His church grow, winning more and more of the lost.
Church growth is not about what we can do in our own power; it’s about God’s power. God desires to work through us. Our job as leaders in the church is not to focus on church growth – that is God’s job. Our job is to remove the obstacle of growing and believe God for the growth! I am sure there are many other reasons why churches don’t grow. God wants and He created the church to grow. Sometimes it’s just a matter of finding out why it’s not growing, and removing those obstacles.
Please take a seat and make a list of your own obstacles that keep your church from growing!!!
Let me know about your list!!!