Breaking the 1000 Barrier

Since leaving my role as Executive Pastor of a fast growing church, here is some of the things I’m discovering about those churches who have the greatest potential to break 1000 in weekend attendance.

They are usually under ten years old.

They are usually running over 400 in attendance. Churches that break through 200 to 300 in attendance early in the start up phase are most likely to have the DNA of continual growth and impact.

The leader has a vision for large impact.  It most often goes beyond the weekend and if it doesn’t it should.

They have experienced steady to rapid growth.  Many times steady is better.  Rapid growth comes with a rapid demand for leadership growth.

They may have reached a recent plateau in terms of growth.  Most churches grow this way.  Most leaders grow this way.  Grow the leader.  Grow the church.

They are often facing space and financial challenges.  In today’s economy these are huge issues that often take outside help to resolve and sustain growth.  The goal should always be to spend as little money as possible on space and free it up for ministry and staffing that facilitate ministry.

They are understaffed.  I’m yet to work with a church that is growing fast that doesn’t feel the pressure of being overworked.  These guys have a relentless commitment and work ethic.

The pastor often feels overwhelmed.  Chances are they haven’t been here before.  Going to the next level of ministry impact requires a new set of skills. As your church grows larger and larger it will require more and more leadership horsepower.

Churches that are growing rapidly often have a deep centered spirituality.  They love Jesus.  They love to see people experience life change.

They often need outside help.  Outside help brings an outside perspective that is often needed in order to grow.

Wherever you are enjoy your current sweet spot of growth.  One of the warning signs for growing churches is when it becomes all about growth.  We become obsessed and driven by the numbers.  A subtle form of idolatry creeps in.  Jesus is left in the dust.


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