by Bill Easum
When I restarted the church I pastured for 24 years, I wish I had known that only four ministries grow a church and its people. That’s right – only four things. If our churches have all four of these ministries hitting on all four cylinders, it can’t help but grow. Want to know what they are?
- We have reach people where they are and bring them into the church circle.
- We have to retain them once they show up.
- We have to disciple them so that their lives imitate that of Jesus.
- We have to send them back out to start the process all over again.
As you can see in the diagram to the right, all four of these ministries are shaped by the overall mission of the church. In order for them to reach their potential growth quotient, the church needs an agreed upon mission on which to build these four ministries.
Over the years, we developed the following list of questions we learned to ask every time we evaluated our ministry. I hope this list helps you as you start your new church.
- What does our church do to invite people to worship? What do our people do to invite people to worship?
- How much time do we spend in the community to establish relationships and discover the key to the community?
- Do we have more people commissioned to work in the community than work in the church?
- Do we know where God is working in our city? And if so, what are we doing to connect with it?
- Do we know how many of our first time visitors return? How many are with us a year later?
- How long does it take us to respond to the first time visitor? Is it a personal response?
- Is our worship indigenous to the community? Indigenous means worship is in the language, technology, and culture of the surrounding community.
- Do we have enough small groups to retain and disciple people? Are they bible studies or life sharing, missional communities?
- Do we have a discipling process in place? Does it resemble a farm system?
- Is our church a “sent church?”
- Do we train our people that ministry is sharing their faith with their networks rather than sitting on a committee?
- Which of the four core processes is weak in our church and what might be some things we can do to improve them?