Monday, November 16, 2009

November & December: Bring A Friend To Church

by Rev. James Wong

The following report gives us a good understanding about ‘How to make a church grow.’

HARTFORD, CT (December 11, 2006) – Contemporary worship, geographic location, a website and the absence of conflict are key factors in why some congregations in America are growing, according to the latest national survey of U.S. faith communities, written by C. Kirk Hadaway, Director of Research at the Episcopal Church Center in New York.

The survey, sponsored by the Cooperative Congregational Studies Partnership, found that wanting to grow is not enough. Congregations that grow must plan for growth: “Congregations that developed a plan to recruit members in the last year were much more likely to grow than congregations that had not.” (Full report can be found in this site:

Here are two truths about growing our church today.

(1) Growth must be intentional. This means, we must intentionally plan to make our church grow in terms of numbers. “Go and make disciples of all nations” must be understood in numbers. Without the numbers, which is the quantity, you don’t have the chance of making people into disciples. The rational is simple. If you don’t have the people, you cannot have disciples. The shepherd left the 99 sheep and look for the one lost sheep! Both quantity and quality are equally important. Growth must be intentional. Therefore, we must get into actions, programs, systems, procedures, events, planning, connections and etc. that can bring people to church. We must have intentional action to make it happen. The harvest is plentiful, but the problem is with the shortage of workers; people who work in the field to take in the harvest.

(2) Growth through personal invitation. Most churches rely primarily on people inviting other people. There are still many empty seats in our church today. Imagine, if everyone of us invite a friend, very soon all the empty seats will be taken up. We all have the responsibility to make our church grow, which is, to bring others to Christ for this is our life mission. We must intentionally plan this in our lives and then send out the invitation. I invite you to invite your friend. The naked truth is that people will not come to church without being invited. Matthew invited his friends to meet Jesus after he followed Christ. What about you and me?

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