Despite the good news brought by the Gospel, growing a church in the United States can be tough. It is one of the only two areas in the whole world (the other is Europe) where church goers are on a steady decline. So if you are an emerging church, brace yourself for tough challenges ahead. It will not be easy.
But despair not. Building an emerging church has always been historically tough. Remember that even Jesus Christ, despite He being the Son of God, had a tough time building Christianity then. He even had to die for it. But Christianity eventually grew and even changed the course of history. But on a lesser scale, what can you do to build your emerging church? There are few simple steps which other well established churches has done and been successful which you can replicate and implement.
First, begin your church as a community where everybody not only knows each other but can relate as well. Small also has its advantages and make the most out of it. Build a solid core out of it. Make your members more than church goers and transcend them to being friends and mutual support system. Take time to attend to each other’s activities, visit homes, organize gatherings and know each family member. Because when each has already had an emotional investment with the other, it will be like a solid Rock upon which your church is built that is stronger than any brick and mortar any church is built.
Second, as a minister, know the present milieu of where you operate. Know the issues that beset your flock, their daily concern and worries. Make them feel that you understand their world, their struggles and aspirations that you are with them. And that you can relate; that the church is there where they can take refuge and shelter from the ravages of daily life when things go south. Because when your church is already viewed as a home where they can go to when things go bad in their lives, your church will become a part of their lives.
Third, it pays to know your church member’s family as you can invite them to be a part of the church. It’s a win-win situation. It is good for your church to increase your flock’s number but better for the family members. As attendees are now in family, they now have a mutual activity where they can nurture their families and each other. Above all, a family that is God centered is blessed. And on a practical note, each family member will become a support system for each other to attend church. Such that when one family member becomes unmotivated to attend church, the others can still bring them along to attend church and vice versa.
Hone your skill as a minister and a church leader. Take ministry and self-improvement classes. Grow with your church as its Minister and Leader. Make yourself ready for the responsibility that when your church eventually grows, the demands to take care of it will also grow and that you are ready for it.