Obviously, God is ultimately in charge of a church’s growth. There are times when God is giving a season of rest and preparation for a church for something to come. In some situations, God may have even taken His hand from the church. God is into church growth, however. I’m convinced He likes it when a church grows.
It’s our mission as believers to produce disciples, and our model example of the first-century church was a growing church, so outside the God factor, there are usually reasons for stagnation in a church. Because the church is an organization made up of people, these reasons are often similar to those you may find true as to why growth stalls in the life of an organization also. In my experience, there are some common variables when growth stalls. Here are five of them:
- You get comfortable. It’s okay to be comfortable, but when you hang out there too long, it can be dangerous because you stop trying new things to spur growth and excitement.
- You quit dreaming. Dreams inspire, challenge and grow people and organizations. What could the church accomplish to reach its community? You’ll never dream bigger than the dreams God has for you or your church.
- You stop taking risks. You can’t succeed at anything without a measure of risk. Playing it safe never grows anything. The call of God always involves risk-taking.
- You start maintaining. When you fall into the mode of protecting what you have, you’ll be less likely to encourage growth for fear of losing ground.
- You fail to walk by faith. Especially for the church—we are a faith-based organization. If you aren’t walking by faith in what you are doing, it is impossible to please God.