Dan Reiland The Pastor's Coach – Developing Church Leaders

Category / Church

The number one topic in the local church over the last 30 plus years addresses the question, “How do I grow my church?” How can we break through to reach more people for Jesus?

The words change, but the issue remains the same. Years ago, we called them growth barriers, and now the question sounds more like “How do I get unstuck? How can we get unstuck to reach more people?

There was about a decade when we switched from church growth to church health, but it always comes back to growth. The reason for that is that healthy things grow!

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Attendance is one of the most talked about subjects in the church today.

What do changing attendance patterns mean? Where is the church headed? What’s the best Kingdom strategy?

Is the church in trouble? No. Not if we are willing to continue to change. In fact, I genuinely believe our best days are ahead.

However, the changes we make should not be reactionary. Defense alone never wins the game. We must take risks to stay on the offense to take new territory.

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My call to ministry was not a flash of light, an audible voice, or a burning bush.

It was a process over time. In fact, after sensing God’s call I “ran” from it for a little over a year. Instead of pursuing full-time ministry, I followed my college degree program in Criminal Justice and worked as a Private Investigator.

Over the course of that year God’s voice became clear and my call inescapable. God’s loving and patient hand wrestled me down to a lifetime call in full-time ministry.

I have loved God and His church in full-time ministry now for over 35 years. I could not then or now imagine doing anything else.

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Some of your visitors are looking for reasons not to return.

These guests are difficult to please. If they look for the flaws in your church, they will find them. There are no perfect churches, and pleasing everyone is impossible.  Do your best to love everyone, but the prospect of chasing people who are intent to run is usually a futile process.

Some of your visitors are looking for reasons to stay.

These guests are looking for a few things that are important to them, such as friendship, spiritual growth, help in a crisis, or a healthy environment for their kids. If they find a few things they care most about, they will overlook a few less than ideal aspects of your church.

In fact, it’s amazing how forgiving people can be if you treat them well as a person.

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