It is hard to reduce church growth down to one thing. In fact it probably should almost never be done; but in this post I am going to do just that…
I want to give y’all just one method to grow your church.
Yes it will grow MORE with many other things involved.
It will of course grow MORE if prayer is the driving force behind all the things you do.
Your church will grow MORE if it is a healthy church…
If the music is inspiring…
The Preaching is alive and Biblical…
If there are friendly greeters…
But I am not talking about MORE growth…
just SOME growth!
And so for that I want to give the ONE thing that you can do, that every church member can do to grow their church.
Maybe the saddest reality about the lack of church growth in North America is that every church could grow but most aren’t and the primary reason…
NO ONE is inviting folk to come visit their church.
This is truth!
Thom Rainer reports that in their research of the unchurched 45% of all unchurched would say “NO” if someone they knew invited them to church. 5% said they would probably be hostile in their rejection of the invitation.
Wait a second…
Do you see what that means?
It means, 55% of all unchurched people would respond positively to an invitation to church by someone they knew…and guess what? They don’t even have to know the invitee well!
55% indicated they would still respond positively even if the invitee was just an acquaintance! WOW!
We spend time focusing on the 45% that would say, “NO” and more than likely we’re scared to run into one of the 5% percent that have a burr in their saddle…yep I just used that idiom like the old man I’m becoming…
But we should be spending time focusing on the 55% that would say “yes!”
Picture a church of 100 members.
If each of those members invited one person per week that would be 5,200 invitations in a year.
Now applying Thom Rainer’s research we would surmise that 55% of those invitees would accept the invitation and attend church at least once.
That means a church of 100 members inviting 100 people each week by the end of a given year would have 2,860 guests pass through the doors of their church. Not only that but 55 new people would be in church every single week! Can you imagine how exciting that would be to have 55 NEW people worshiping with you each and every week? That would be awesome in a church of 200 or 300, much less 100!
Now I want y’all to pause and think about a couple other statistics very quickly. These statistics come from Pastor Nelson Searcy.
The average church loses 3 members per 100 members each year due to death, a move, apostasy, or just becoming inactive.
So let us go back up to our church of 100 members; in order for that church to maintain it’s membership of 100 people all they would have to do to not decline is win the hearts of 3 of those 2,860 guests that attended their church in a given year.
I didn’t say 300 or 30 or even 13…just 3! (Contact me on Twitter @chadnstuart and I’ll share with you just a couple things that you can try at your church to turn three guests into members).
But this blog post isn’t about maintaining, although that would be a huge step for many of our churches since 80% of all our churches are plateaued or declining, no this blog is about growth.
So let me share with you how many guests you need to retain in order to grow your church at a steady pace.
Are you ready for this huge number?
5 per 100 members.
So in a church of 100 members, if every member is inviting 1 person per week, roughly 2,860 of those invitees would become a guest at that church, and if that church retained FIVE individuals per year they would grow at a steady pace.
Because the next year 102 people would be inviting 1 person per week (remember there is an average of 3 members lost per 100 a year) and that means 2,917 people would attend the church as a guest (based on Rainer’s 55% percent rule of thumb) and with more guests there would be more chances of guests becoming members…and so the next year if 5 more joined, the membership would now be up to 104 and 2,974 guests would attend…
And maybe within a few years, because everyone wants to be a part of a growing church your church would start retaining 7 guests or more a year and then your church, believe it or not, with just the retention of 7 guests a year would be considered a rapidly growing church in North America.
So will you make a commitment right now? Will you commit to help grow your church? It takes just ONE thing…
The ONE thing: Love Jesus enough to invite someone to come hear about Him at your church just one time per week!