Baptist Church Growth

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Berean, Feb 25, 2006.

  1. Berean

    Berean
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    My church has a 6000 membership with a Sunday Worship attendance of about 1200 to 1300 (8:30 500 and 11:00 800) sanctuary 50% to 75% filled.The question posed is this; Do we need to expand? Attendance in the last three (3) years have declined. Pastor wants to embark on an extensive program.
    We are strictly middle of the road, Blended music, mostly "Milk and Toast" preaching and little or no outreach.
    In my opinion there are two ways to grow a church.
    (Baptist definition of growth "BBB" buildings, budget and baptisms)
    You can go Charismatic with your music program consisting of a brass band complete with drums and percussion with a praise team performing nothing but Seven Eleven music along with the pastor teaching the seven spirtual laws for financial freedom and how to enhance your relationship with both your wife and fellowman. We already have several of these in our area,
    OR
    You can have a solid music progam consisting of traditional hymns along with contemporary music that is sound doctrinal and the pastor preaching the word as it is written and teaching the flock to share their faith and equiping them to go out into the world and tell the "Good News"
    The latter will be a much slower growth.
     
  2. rsr

    rsr
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    Expand what?
     
  3. Joseph_Botwinick

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    Berean,

    If you want your Church to grow, look to the Bible for the very best Church Growth plan in history...and it is fairly simple to implement:

    Acts 2:42-47

    The style of Music is a very secondary issue, IMO. What is important is whether or not the above is being done in the Church...you will notice what event led to this kind of committment on the Church's part and this revival and Church Growth:

    Acts 2:1-4

    The important part is not necessarily the speaking in tongues. That is secondary. The primary importance of the passage is that the people of God were waiting for the Holy Spirit. They were waiting for God to initiate the revival which brought about the growth of the Church. And, so it was, that God is the one who initiated it, not man. Methodology is secondary...the work of God is primary so that God will recieve all the glory and man none of the glory (Sola Deo Gloria). Pray for more of the work of God and less of the work of man and you will see less and less argument over what kind of music we should sing, what kind of sermon should be preached, what color the carpet should be, and how big our building ought to be. Then you will see the power of God and a revival like what you have never seen before.

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  4. Revmitchell

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    What is the vision behind growth? What are you growing for? Are all the aspects of worship being currently fulfilled?

    Two things missing in our churches today. 1.)Prayer, real prayer meetings dont happen. We show up cast some requests for the sick and hurting, have one person pray on our behalves and thats it. That is not prayer and it isnt a prayer meeting. Its a request meeting. Prayer is about seeking Gods' face not making a wish list.
    2.) Preach the word. We need Christ centered , Holy Ghost filled, preaching of the cross, sin, satan, hell, heaven, The Father, The Son,and The Holy Ghost. We need church members who will walk the isle every service to repent, to pray, to encourage. Repent of our sins, pray for our pastors, and encourage the brokenhearted.

    Our churches have to depend on what kind of music is played, what kind of social activities, and how we can dress to attract the goats. We should be careful not to let the goats in and diligent to get rid of a few of the ones we got.

    You can have 2 million people in your church and have the best music in the world and stil have a spiritually dead church. We are afraid to preach on sin and satan and hell because we might offend the goats.

    Acts 2:1-4
    And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

    2 Timothy 4:1-8
    I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
     
  5. Berean

    Berean
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    Joseph,

    Good reply, appreciate it.

    Thanks
     
  6. Joseph_Botwinick

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    Berean,

    No problem. BTW, it is good to have you here on the Baptist Board. May we do everything for the glory of God alone.

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  7. blackbird

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    Acts 2:47

    Acts 2:47

    Acts 2:47

    "And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved"

    I think thats the key!!

    See!! What I see is folks that are interested in "numbers" that we---we----we want to help God out---and start filling our churches with folks who have never repented of their sins and received Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior---they come in with their OLD nature---not having a NEW nature---and we keep letting them in---and some of them get to be deacon and SS teacher and DT teacher---we let them teach our missions classes---so forth and so on----and we count the numbers----and as soon as the preacher attempts to do something SPIRITUAL----or if the Youth Minister starts wanting to do something that will REQUIRE the NEW Nature----those who do not HAVE the NEW but THINK they do now that they're members-----will see it as a threat---or they won't like the "rules" or the "Legalism" stuff that the preacher preaches---and then you wind up with some sorry folks tryin' to "DO" church----some will leave---and then those who stay will begin to notice that-----"OUR NUMBERS are down!" and they panic and start pointing fingers at the preacher----must be his preaching---cause it sure ain't the Potluck dinners on Wednesdays---then the preacher "panics" because some of the "sheep" want to stampede----then we get in the specialist to "get our numbers up"---and then it starts all over again!!

    We fill our churches with unsaved----then the preacher has to

    Burp 'um

    Change their diapers

    Wipe their noses

    Numbers would look a whole lot better if we let the Lord do the addin' and subtractin'----don't you think???
     
  8. Joseph_Botwinick

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    Bro. Dave,

    Amen.

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  9. Tom Butler

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    blackbird said:
    Boy, did you nail it. It was the Lord who added to the church.
    We're too busy trying to add to the church, when that's the Lord's job. Our job is to be diligent to study, pray, witness and preach the gospel. See Joseph Botwinick's earlier post.

    Tom B.
     
  10. DeadMan

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    I've had some experience in this area and it did not turn out good at all. Our former home church was a small (100-200 attendance) church. Everyone knew/loved each other and it showed. Our attendance in about 3 years TRIPLED! Naturally, we needed a bigger facility. So the pastor embarked on a building funding campaign, which was primarily focussed on giving beyond the tithe, that fell short. After receiving roughly $120k, about 33% of what was needed, the pastor decided it wasn't God's will for that church to expand and the money was kept in the bank. I know over 5 people who donated over $5k each (myself included) and I know of a few more who went way beyond that. Meanwhile, at a financial meeting about 6 months later, the board recommended to the congregation that a new retirement fund be created with the funds to 'ensure we don't lose our wonderful pastoral staff'. Protests started up immediately but the financial board was set on it and they're argument had convinced those non-confrontational types which easily out-numbered us. So, along with several other couples, we got up and have never returned.

    Sorry for venting. You just struck a nerve that still stings to this day. Fortunately, this happened back in California several years back and we now belong to a wonderful church family here in Alabama.
     
  11. Joseph M. Smith

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    Church growth to fill a building, refloat old statistics, or earn bragging rights is not only not New Testament. It is demonic! This probably won't fly with a church whose building seats 6000, an architectural statement that will always suggest "glory days" of the past -- but what ever happened to the idea that when a church reaches a given point, it deliberately divides and starts another congregation, knowing that new units reach new people.

    Trouble is, I sometimes think I live in Megachurch Heaven. There are a dozen or more churches with thousands in attendance in the county adjacent to where I live. Maybe that's better, however, than the attitude I am hearing in the church of which I am now a part -- that small churches need to merge so that they can "afford" their buildings, staffs, etc. The argument that more preaching points reach more people is not going over in that context either.
     
  12. gb93433

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    Start praying, sharing your faith and making disciples then the church will grow.

    God will not be mocked by man's methods to gain nickels and noses.
     
  13. MikeinGhana

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    Big is not bad. Bad is bad. There are large churches which still experience "community." Granted, it is much harder and takes far more work than should be. I do like the concept of growing a church until you need to start another, then those churches can come together for fellowship and other activities as they desire. First Baptist Church of Hammond has been criticized greatly for not doing this. Can you imagine how many churches in the greater Chicagoland area cold have been started had this been the philosophy?

    Most, not all by a long stretch, of the megachurches have compromised in some areas in order to maintain the growth rate they enjoy. But we do have a Biblical example of a megachurch that held to sound doctrine and still managed to grow rapidly, Jerusalem!
     
  14. PastorSBC1303

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    Dead, your issue has more to do with leadership than it does church growth.

    I agree with gb on the issue. I think too often we all go looking for methods and programs instead of doing as God's Word instructs. Praying, preaching, sharing, discipling.
     
  15. PJ

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    Berean, is your church considering a church plant? "Growth" happens in a variety of ways ...
     
  16. 4His_glory

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    I would love for every church that reaches 500 to 600 members to go as start another church.
     
  17. PASTOR MHG

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    I have done some fairly thorough research about this issue and have come to some eye-opening conclusions. Smaller churches (100-200) are more effective at making real impact in the lives of the members on a wide spectrum of spiritual growth issues.

    An example is the Pastors personal involvement in the spiritual lives of the members.

    Another example is the effectivenes of discipleship, which requires a great amount of accountability.

    Another example is missions involvement...One study that was shocking to me was that of missions giving ($$$). On average the smaller churches were giving 3-4 times as much to missions (per capita).

    There are other examples...

    With these in mind, what would be more effective...one church of 1000 or 5 churches of 200 that are working together with the same heart and the same goals.

    Some of these conclusions have really shaped my opinion about church growth...at a certain point (size) a church becomes less effective. I guess this has to do with your definition of effectivness. My definition is changed lives for the Glory of God!

    Max
     
  18. PJ

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    This is my take also, PASTOR MHG.
     

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