Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Driscoll on Growing Your Church

Here's a good reminder for existing churches on how to grow your churches influence in the lives of more people by Mark Driscoll, Lead Pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle. In it he is referring to "new branches" as people who are new converts or visitors and "old branches" as existing or seasoned members and attenders. The illustration breaks down if you take it too far, but as usual, his thoughts are helpful, especially for pastors who tend to get distracted by managing existing people and problems. One main take away is that it's important to give a portion of our ministry time to build relationships with people who don't know Christ or are newly growing in Him. 
Leave room in your schedule to meet with new people and new converts. When you meet folks ask them where they live and if they are at another church just visiting or considering your church. Don’t meet with folks who live elsewhere or are in another church. Do meet with folks in your area who are new to your church. Don’t hand off the visitor assimilation so far down the food chain that you don’t know the new branches and fruit. If you want, tell folks from the front where you will be after church and that you want to meet the new people and give them a gift of a free book. Tell everyone else where to go for prayer and to connect with the old branches. You go somewhere else. Welcome new folks joyfully, have a gift, and get their information then so you can follow up. Even if you close 1 family a Sunday you grow by a few hundred in a year. And, new people bring new people. if you are feeling real crazy, do a monthly new people dessert meet the pastor and his wife in your home. Larry Osborne still does this at 8000 and gets to scout new leaders and people firsthand so he keeps doing it.

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