Principles of Church Growth

Human factors that can cause a Church to grow.

When it comes to church growth, there are four factors primary factors that determine the growth of your church. By church, I am referring to the gathered church, or in other words you weekend attendance. These are the factors that influence the growth of your church gathering. Keep in mind these are s

  1. Attraction – Getting new people to attend.
    • 80% of all people who attend a church and join were invited by a church member.
    • Only 5% of people who regularly attend a church invited someone last year.
    • Many times we try to make up for the lack of invites by financially investing in marketing campaigns, but the return is FAR less and the cost is FAR higher. It is inefficient.
    • Advertising and marketing can be helpful in that it give credibility to our personal invitations – but Marketing is NOT a substitute for personal invites.
  1. Assimilation – Getting those that have attended to return and join.
    • According to Outreach Magazine, 1/10 people who visit your church will end up joining the membership.
    • If you had 100 guest families (avg. 2/week) you will have a net gain of 10 families.
    • You can greatly increase the assimilation rate if you have a system in place.
      • If you can get the families to visit a 2nd time, your attrition rate goes from 1 in 10 to 1 in 4 who join.
      • If you can get them to visit a 3rd time almost half will join.
  1. Attendance Frequency – Getting those who attend you church to come more often.
    • What would happen if everyone who calls FBC home all showed up in one Sunday?
    • When do we see all of them show up at one time? Easter! Easter isn’t so large because of a TON of guests, but rather because the folks who come sporadically all show up at one time.
  1. Attrition – Getting less people leaving your Church.
    • People leave via death, transfer, conflict, etc.
    • We must make sure we guard the backdoor – make it TINY but still existent.

Ahab’s Advice as you Start Your Day

Something to Remember when Strapping on Your Armor

Linwes_armorJ. Vernon Mcgee once told the story of a young seminary student who was about to preach his first real sermon. The young man was quite accomplished in his studies, and he felt more than equipped to communicate God’s Word. As a matter of fact, he was overly confident. When the time came for him to deliver the sermon – he walked boldly, even arrogantly, to the sacred desk. He arranged his notes before him, then gazed over the congregation. As he began to preach, his memory and his tongue betrayed him. He couldn’t remember his illustrations, his words shaky and weak. What he thought would be a 30-minute sermon was over in 10 minutes. Sheepishly he descended the stage after the concluding prayer.

The Senior Pastor of the church was an experienced minister who had seen this sort of thing many times before. He placed his arm around the young seminarian and said, “Son, if you had walked onto the stage the way you came down, you would have come down the way you went up”.

King Ahab of Israel gave similar advice to Ben-Hadad in 1 Kings 20:11 (ESV), “Let not him who straps on his armor boast himself as he who takes it off.” No matter what you are attempting to accomplish today – remember that victory belongs to the Lord. He gives you a mind to think and arms to work. As Jesus said, “apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). May this thought sober you and humble you as you strap on your armor. 

Big Changes

We are relocating to North East Florida

2017 will be a very busy summer for our family. I have recently accepted a position as the Senior Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Fernandina Beach, FL. The church is situated on Amelia Island and serves families from Jacksonville, FL to the Southern tip of Georgia. I have been extremely impressed at the sincere heart for prayer that the church has demonstrated. The kindness they have shown to our family is remarkable. We will never forget the time we spent at Capshaw and the friends we’ve made throughout our time in North Alabama. Thankfully, through social media we will be able to stay in touch.

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Unique Users by Nation

Early in ministry, relocating was relatively easy. The kids were too young to have a strong opinion, Julie was a stay-at-home mom, and we just didn’t have very much to move. Today we have two teenagers, a nine year old, Julie owns a small business that is growing at amazing speeds, and we are homeowners. It was essential that we identify a place that would uniquely fit each of us, as well as serve the callings on each of our lives.

I’ve received several messages from people asking about how this move will impact the Maximum Life Podcast, YouTube Channel, etc. By God’s grace, our media ministry has become the largest audience that we serve on a daily basis. Around 2,000 unique users download our podcast monthly from all over the world.

 

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Unique Users of the Maximum Life Podcast

Thankfully, First Baptist Church has state of the art A/V capabilities and we should be able to continue unhindered. If you are not already subscribed, make sure to do so from your favorite podcast provider – http://zachterry.libsyn.com/rss

 

COMING SOON – the Maximum Life Podcast will include new, “in-between episodes” that will be in addition to the regular sermons. These episodes will provide commentary, interviews, and truth directed at the issues facing Christian families.

Please be praying for us during this busy season!

 

The Seed in the Stump

The King on the throne is the seed in the stump

Isaiah 6 tells the story of one of the most remarkable revelations of God ever experienced by a man. It was in the year of Uzziah’s death that the event occurred. Uzziah ascended to the throne in the midst of a collapsing economy, a weakened military, and growing threat of an Assyrian invasion. But under Uzziah’s godly leadership, things seemed to be turning around. The economy soared, the military grew strong and hope was alive in Judah. Uzziah was making Israel great again (I couldn’t resist.)

rememberFrom Genesis onward, humanity has waited and watched for the “Seed” that God would provide that would ultimately crush the head of the enemy. Throughout the Old Testament, we see hopeful prospects- Seth, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Samuel, David… and now Uzziah. Could this be the one? Could it be Uzziah?

Then, at the height of power, Uzziah made a fatal mistake – he allowed the power and strength to go to his head, and he became filled with pride. God punished him by striking him with leprosy, and ultimately he died. Can you imagine how this felt for the average Israelite? Hope was deferred and their hearts were sick (Proverbs 13:12).

It was at this time that Isaiah has a vision of the eternal King sitting upon an eternal throne. In the midst of this revelation, Isaiah’s sin is magnified, then atoned for, and a question is raised. It seems God has a plan to radically change the world, and he desires a human instrument to accomplish his purpose. God asks, “Whom shall I send?” Isaiah volunteers. The mission to which Isaiah is called is bleak. He would see no fruit from his service to God, but earthly success didn’t matter – Isaiah had seen God and lived.

Isaiah 6 ends with a faint whisper of hope. In the midst of a tragic loss, that promises only to get worse, God says,

“And though a tenth remain in it, it will be burned again, like a terebinth or an oak, whose stump remains when it is felled.” The holy seed is its stump.”

God’s answer to all of man’s problems wasn’t the forest, it was the Seed. And the Seed remained. The Seed in the stump was also the King on the throne, Jesus Himself. The glorious mystery of the nativity is when the God of glory will become the seed of Mary. He is the Seed that Israel and all of humanity had longed for.