I came across an article by Bill Tenny-Brittian - a church leader who is often called in to help churches in the USA that are stuck, plateau-ed and declining. From his experience he maintains that the failure of a church to grow arises from one of six issues. Although the article has ‘five’ in the title, he states,
‘..you can major on ‘fixing’ the top five for the rest of eternity, but if you don’t take care of this one single issue, it will be for naught. I’ve said it before, and I suspect I’ll say it again, and again, and again. The most heinous church growth killer is unresolved conflict. Period.’
Having given this foundational issue at the outset, he lists the top five growth-killers in reverse order:
5. Ineffective Attendance Tracking:
Few churches do this well but growing churches tend to do this exceptionally well. If you want your church to grow, you have to know who’s there and who’s not. If you don’t get contact information from visitors – how can you follow them up? And if you don’t know who’s not there then you can’t do effective pastoral care. Bill T-B has debriefed hundreds of church drop-outs and found that one of the top reasons that they no longer attended was that they missed a Sunday or two (for all sorts of reasons) and no-one bothered to contact them and ask if they were OK.