A successful and dynamic church will only be achieved with the right strategy. Although one strategy may not be applicable to all churches, there are common approaches that make for a healthy growing church.
Before thinking of strategies, it is wise to be reminded of basic truths about church and church management. First, only people can attract other people. Programs can only be supports but the warmth of the fellowship of caring people makes the church attractive. The next element is order. The right strategy can bring about order in the church. Order does not mean a strict structure and extreme legalism but a clear and transparent system. In addition, the church should have a clear mission and vision. These will guide the church to the right direction. Moreover, a growing church will lead other people to grow. There should be spiritual transformation not only membership or attendance growth.
Churches need strategy in order to activate its mission and vision. The more focused the church is, the better it becomes. In this way, the principle of less is more is most applicable. The more focused the programs, the less clutter there will be. Avoid doing all things or activities at the same time. The Bible admonishes to do all things decently and in order.
It is often neglected that most people are hindered from getting involved in the church because they do not know how and that nobody invited them to join the ministry or program.
How then can one create church strategy? The following are suggestions from experts and scholars in church planting and organization. These are: rediscover your purpose; start new ministries; develop evangelism; praise God for successes and strengths; create new groups and classes; and make people get involved.
Rediscover your purpose
A wise church will always take time for retreats and revival meetings. In this way, the people are reminded of the basic truth that Jesus came to seek and save the lost. It is always proper to be reminded that the church and its members have a purpose to fill and that is to take part in the expansion of God’s kingdom on earth.
Start new ministries
A second step to take is to avoid monotony and complacency. By starting new ministries, there will be renewed excitement and motivation. It can come as a form of a second service instead of the usual one service per Sunday activity. Outreaches can also be way of challenging the members to get involved.
The Greatest Commission should be the center stage of the church’s programs. Lay leaders and mature members should be trained to help in the evangelization of the church. Since it is everybody’s responsibility to share the gospel to other people, then there is no excuse for anyone not to do evangelism. The church can be creative in its evangelism approach since people have differing views about being invited to church and being part of a local church.
Praise God for successes and strengths
The sense of confidence is often anchored on past victories. Take time to conduct praise and worship and thanksgiving services regularly. This will lead the people to look at the positive side of life and their strengths rather than on their weaknesses and failures. This positive attitude will surely bring growth and health to the church.
Create new groups and classes
The main reason why people go to church is that they need belongingness and acceptance. Once a church grows to be bigger, the church goers will tend to be detached from each other. There would be a lack of intimacy and personal significance. Once this happens, it is time to create smaller groups and classes so that the atmosphere of belongingness and acceptance will be maintained.
Make people get involved
Finally, as much as possible, get people especially the new ones involved in the church activities, programs and structure. This is one of the ways that make newcomers return the next Sunday and eventually become a regular member of the church. Let the newcomers discover their gifts and talents and use them for the glory of God.