Today’s interest in the growth of the Church is attributed primarily to the pioneering work of Donald A. McGavran. The Church Growth School of Thought that grew out of his ideas, was rooted in several streams from his life and ministry. The Passion of Donald A. McGavran traces these streams that contributed to his developing church growth school.Read More
The Church Growth Network, founded in 1987, provides a wide range of professional consulting services for churches. Our firm is particularly well-versed in church analysis, strategic planning, staffing, breaking size barriers, coaching of church planters, and generational change issues.
Filtering by Category: Freebies
This article investigates the history of famine in India, and the ministry opportunities such tragedies provide. With particular focus on the mission efforts of the McGavran family, insights for making disciples during calamity are enumerated.Read More
This article examines the information explosion taking place in our modern age. Dr. McIntosh considers some of the negative implications of information overload.Read More
The first flickering images hit the airwaves on April 30, 1939. President Franklin D. Roosevelt gave a short speech declaring open the New York World’s Fair. It was the first public broadcast of an electronic medium called television.
The Radio Corporation of America (RCA) aired Roosevelt’s speech. Fewer than 100 sets of the new “picture radio,” had been sold. The screens ranged from five to 12 inches.
The Early Years
The first daily broadcast was from Radio City in Manhattan. The first portable back and white TV was introduced in 1956. The first battery-powered set in 1960. NBC became the first network to televise all programs in color in 1966. Here are few other interesting “firsts.”
• First televised sporting event – a college baseball game between Columbia and Princeton on May 17, 1939.
• First televised major league baseball game – the Cincinnati Reds and Brooklyn Dodgers on August 26, 1939.
• First televised newscast – December 7, 1941 as the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) reported the events of Pearl Harbor.Read More
I just finished a consulting assignment with a small Presbyterian Church. One of the interesting things discovered in the consulting process was that the church kept an average of 15% of its first-time guests. Actually this is just barely below the national average of 16%.
Further research found that this church only attracted about two guests each month. With an average of 24 visitors per year and a 15% retention rate, the church is able to add only four new people a year!
This church illustrates a common pattern among churches. It does a fairly good job of keeping people once they come but just doesn’t attract enough guests to see much growth.
If this church could only attract one guest per week, it would add eight new people each year. If it could attract two per week, it would add 16 people per year.
Preparing for Guests
When you know that guests will be coming to your home for a visit, you spend time cleaning the house, fixing a meal, and generally making the atmosphere as delightful as possible. In a similar way, before you even begin to ask guests to your church, do some house cleaning.
1. Develop your church’s concern.
Is your church good at welcoming new people? It not, then it is doubtful if many new people will be attracted to your church.Read More
Just as Jesus modeled prayer to his disciples, we must lead the way in implementing prayer in our church ministries. I suggest you implement some of the following ideas:
Prayer must support all we do. It should be a natural thing for us to pray about everything –decisions, problems, giving thanks, prayer for each other, asking His blessing and guidance before each ministry activity, etc.
Implementation: Renew your commitment to a life of prayer. Set a new goal for length of prayer time. Take time to pray with all people who enter your office. Be sensitive to statements of need from your staff, family, friends and church members. Don’t just say “I’ll pray for you.” Take the time right then to offer a word of prayer.
2. Encourage significant staff and leadership prayer.
When church leaders and staff pray, it lets the congregation know they are cared for and provides a model for them to follow.
Implementation: Require staff to set aside time each day for personal prayer. Once each week, bring the staff together to pray for each other, your church and the needs of the congregation.Read More
We live in one of the greatest prayer revivals of modern history. However, prayer ministry isn’t always done in the same way.
That was then . . .This is now . . .
- Mid-week prayer
- Early morning prayer
- Prayer warriors
- Prayer intercessors
- Cottage prayer
- Small group prayer
- Little prayer education
- Much prayer education
- Pastoral prayer time
Looking for a doctor? Need a home loan? Buying a new car? Selecting a college?Where do you go for advice? Do you look in the paper? Watch T.V? Or, “Let your fingers do the walking?”
If you are like most people, you ask a family member, associate or friend. Advertisers call this “Word of Mouth.” It is the most effective way of advertising any product — even a church!
Word of mouth advertising is referred to in Scripture as a story, a report, a tiding, a reputation and a rumor. Rumors are characterized as either good-speaking or evilspeaking (2 Cor. 6:8). Believers are encouraged to think and spread good rumors (Phil. 4:8).
The ministry of Jesus was predominantly communicated by word of mouth. After raising a dead man, Luke records that “…this report (rumor, story) concerning Him went out all over Judea, and in all the surrounding district.” (Luke 7:17)
A classic example of word of mouth advertising is found in 1 Thessalonians 1:8. Writing about the church in Thessalonica, Paul says, “For the word of the Lord has sounded forth from you, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith toward God has gone forth …”
People were telling how the Thessalonians had turned from idols to serve a living and true God. They were spreading the story by word of mouth. It was so effective that Paul confesses “…we have no need to say anything.”Read More
A recent joke tells of a college freshman stopping a young lady hurrying to class. “What’s the rush?” he asks. “I’ve got to get to class before the textbook goes out of date,” she replies. While this joke is overstated, we must admit change is taking place at a faster pace than in years past. What follows are a few examples of how change has occurred with greater and greater frequency.
- New models of computers are often out of date within 120 days and discontinued within one year.
- In 1971 the average American was targeted by at least 560 daily advertising messages. Today the number has changed to 3,000+ messages per day.
- In the early 1990s it took 7.5 days to manufacture a computer which now only requires a few hours.
- Since 1987 the number of fax machines in U.S. offices has increased +10,000,000.
- Since 1983 the number of computers in U.S. offices has increased +25,000,000.
- Since 1987 the number of registered e-mail addresses has changed +26,250,000 and increasing daily.
What are we going to do about it?Read More
I was visiting a church in Indiana. As I walked into the church lobby, the person who was walking with me commented, “You’ll like our church. It’s a very friendly place.” Once inside the building, we were immediately met by a man carrying an arm full of papers. Introductions were polite and we shook hands. However, it was what followed that surprised me. Upon completing our handshake, the man turned to my friend and began to talk about some church business which, in truth, should not have been discussed in my presence. As they talked, the man moved nervously back-n-forth on his feet gradually changing his position so that his back was actually pointed toward me. I remember thinking to myself, “Hey! I’m the guest here. Quit ignoring me!” But, I did not say anything to him. Once he was done discussing his bit of church business, he seemed to catch a glimpse of me out of the side of his eye. In an embarrassed and hasty attempt to make me feel welcome, he said, “It was nice to meet you. You’ll like our church. It’s a very friendly place.”
Encounters of the Right Kind
When a person talks to a member of your church, or calls on the telephone, or receives a brochure in the mail, or drives into your parking lot, or whatever, it is a moment of truth.Read More