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9 Church Growth tips from Adam Magana

With 400,000 churches a year closing, you are not alone if you are feeling stuck or as though your church has growth limiters.

Active Church’s Adam Magana gave us 9 tips for church growth. Here they are:

1. Stop manufacturing energy for things that aren’t helping you move the dial

What are you doing right now that you don’t even like doing? You don’t need to do things just because someone said it would be a good thing to do or because you’ve always done it. If you’re having to manufacture energy things in your ministry calendar that you’re not even excited for – cut them out.

2. Start asking young people to have a voice

There’s a saying that goes “the squeaky wheel gets the oil” but that shouldn’t be how it is with church growth. If you just wait for the loudest voice, you’ll just be hit up by that same old guy saying “you know what pastor, we’re not growing because we’re not doing the men’s breakfasts anymore”. If you really care about reaching people, then stop doing things that are just appealing to people who are already saved. Start looking at your budget and time and researching and investing in young people. Ask them for their opinion – hit them with the hard ones like “Why do you think young people don’t come to our church anymore?”. This will give you insights into things you can do to be relevant, extend your reach and nurture the next generation.

3. Your online presence is often your first impression –  make it a good one!

Before even walking into your church, people will have often already formed an impression based on your online presence. If you don’t have a clean “front door” with your online presence, you’ll be less successful in reaching new people. If you’re the best church in town but the church next door has a better looking Instagram feed, people will go to their church first and they might even get plugged in. It’s not about faking it until you make it but if you clean up your website and social feeds, you’ll be on your way to getting more people connected into your church.

4. Engage with your community online

As well as having a beautiful online presence, it’s important to actually be engaging with people in your community online. If someone follows you or your church account, why not send them a direct message telling them who you are and what your church is all about. With Instagram in particular, you want to be creating a targeted and organic following – people who are in your area and could actually come to your church. You could even connect with key influencers in your city with the hit of a follow button or a short message. Go after real people and not the numbers. Instagram bots can boost your follower and like count but are guaranteed to never show up at one of your services or get saved.

5. Meet people where they’re at

As Christians, it is so easy to become comfortable with just “doing church” that we can forget the bigger call of spreading God’s word and love to the people outside of our church walls. We can become so caught up in the way we do things. We love four songs, a video, a message, and a closing prayer so much that sometimes it can seem daunting to sit with real people, who we don’t know, over dinner and an authentic conversation. If you want to see exponential church growth, why not try meeting people where they are at? People don’t need to care about your church building or even necessarily about your story- you need to care about theirs. It is a good idea to step outside of the church setting and meet them where they feel comfortable, on neutral ground, even if that means meeting over some craft beers. As well as meeting people where they’re at, we need to be speaking their language too. People don’t want to be bombarded with church jargon or spoken to in “Christianese”. Instead of saying “Come to our church launch party where we will engage in fellowship and build community”, why not just invite people to a dinner party? This is automatically so much more engaging and exciting for people who aren’t used to the whole church thing yet.

6. Relationship and responsibility

People walk into our churches for a bunch of different reasons but often, people are after two things – relationship and responsibility. Give people something to do, and people to do life with them, and God will find a way to work. When you give people responsibility, you’ll be able to identify leaders pretty quickly. Nurture these leaders and let them run hard and fast with responsibilities.

7. Ditch the cliques

Whether they are aware of it or not, a church planter carries a certain culture with them. When bringing launch team members, it’s important not to create “us” and “them” mentality when it comes to people who are newer to the launch team. People need to sense that they are a part of this thing and not just looking at it from the outside.

8. Good relationships go beyond just the congregation

Establishing good relationships applies to literally everyone you encounter. This includes, for example, venue owners. When you don’t have a church venue, there needs to be a lot of give and take. Things will probably frustrate you but it’s important to not to tick people off. People know people and your reputation precedes you. Love on everyone and go out of the way to form good relationships with everyone you and your church deal with.

9. Fundraise

Fundraising is not easy but it is necessary. It is essentially equals freeze-dried work and helps get you up and running faster. When it comes to fundraising, your network is your net worth so you’ve got to reach into your network and reach out to everyone you know. You have to look at funding a church from a business perspective and look at where money is being spent logically.