Church growth is not an accident—it’s deliberate. Churches that do not have plans or goals for growth usually do not grow. Having goals are nice, but every member must do their part to achieve these goals. Here are some suggestions for helping the church achieve its goals in attendance and conversions.
Identify people. New Christians do not magically appear, they are made from existing people. We can help the church grow by identifying people in our lives that need the gospel. The best candidates are friends and family members. Other prospects could be coworkers and acquaintances that we see often. Paul identified those on Mars Hill as ones needing the gospel (Acts 17:16-31).
Pray for people. Those we identify as needing the gospel deserve every effort we can give them. Prayer is a small but powerful effort that could be the difference between winning someone to Christ or missing that opportunity. Certainly Cornelius is an example of a sinner aided by prayer (Acts 10:1-8).
Prepare for people. Before we approach those we identify as having a need, we ought to prepare ourselves. We should know what we are going to say and how we might answer some objections. It all goes back to planning. Jesus spent over three years preparing the apostles to change the world (Luke 24:44-49).
Approach people. We often leave this undone. Searching for the perfect time to approach someone with the gospel usually means it never gets done. Once we have prepared, we must approach them and bring up God. Philip was told by the Spirit to go to the eunuch, and he ran to approach him in the chariot (Acts 8:29-30).
Invite people. Once the subject of God is brought up, do not forget to invite them to study the Bible or come to worship with you. Sometimes we may feel like it is overbearing to invite people to study. However, without an invitation to do something, approaching some one about God becomes little more than an opinion swapping session. Here again, Philip serves as an example by asking him about his understanding (Acts 8:30).
Invite them again. If someone accepts our invitation be joyous, but do not be duped. Just because they came once, does not mean they are planning to come again. So, invite them again. Of course, if they reject our invitation that does not mean we stop inviting them. Persistence often pays off in time. On the day of Pentecost, many people heard Peter, but only 3,000 obeyed. However, by the fourth chapter the number was over 5,000 because many received another invitation (Acts 2:41;4:4).
University church of Christ
San Marcos, TX