Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Growing a church - Behind every 1, another 10...

We have at King’s a good friend in Steve Nicholson, a leader in the Vineyard movement in the US.  Years ago he said to me, “Behind every 1 person there are another 10” and that would be our testimony.  Time and time again we find that one person comes through and gets saved.  One person comes in and gets restored in God and recommits to Christ.  One person moves into the area.  One person is worshipping God in another part of London and then starts coming here instead.  Behind each of them are another 10 people – family, friends, work colleagues. 

Each Sunday we look for new people to step towards us – that’s what I pray for every Sunday morning. At the end of each Sunday I know how many ‘Like to Know More’ forms have been given in that day.   And I know that my church will grow by 10% in a year if I have five people step towards us in this way every week - because we’ve done it so long now we know that’s the trend.  That in turn becomes 250 people through the year. Nine forms given in – a very good Sunday,  so if the following week there are only two, it’s OK because there were nine last week. 

We have a process behind the ‘Like To Know More’ forms because of the current size of our church. In a smaller church you can spot any new people there.  In that situation I would strongly encourage you – engage with them as soon as you can! Talk to them before the beginning of the meeting! 

At King’s we have a break in the middle of our meeting so we can talk to new people and then at the end of the meeting we talk to new people again.  I never talk to established attenders in the church on Sundays.  In fact, after about 10 minutes normally I feel a bit lonely and lost because the church is so well educated not to talk to me because they know I don’t want to talk to them – I’m looking for the new people.  Most of you are pastors, so your tendency can be to be immersed in the existing people and talk to them.  Fight that tendency!