Throughout the month of May, MinistryTodayMag.com will highlight Ministry Today magazine's 21 ministries and churches influencing the 21st-century church. Today it's the Association of Related Churches (ARC), which is influencing the 21st-century church through church planting. read more
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Why ‘New’ Works So Well
Find out why a fresh start—whether it be new groups, new Sunday school classes or new worship services—can help reach more people for the gospel. read more
Celebrating an Amazing Easter: Now What?
Now that Resurrection Sunday has come and gone, what are you doing to bring back your first-time guests or semiannual attenders on a regular basis? read more
An Easter Reminder: 8 Reasons People Aren’t Coming Back
Author and former worship pastor Greg Atkinson says if churches would do these eight things, they should see a greater return and higher percentage of second- and third-time guests. read more
7 Practices of Growing Churches
While your church may have grown numerically, is Jesus happy with the church that has been built? If not, what changes do you need to make? read more
Why Millennials Shouldn't Leave Church
If there's a problem with the church, there's a problem with us—and standing on the sidelines won't help. So, are you in or are you out? read more
Why You Should Treat Your Guests Like Cancer Patients
Find out why guests at your church will most likely come back if they receive same love and care some cancer patients receive at a hospital. read more
How to Handle Growing Pains in Your Church
There is no growth without change. And there is no change without loss. And there is no loss without pain. read more
10 Signs Your Small-Group Ministry Is Gaining Ground
There are always quantitative indications of growth that are easy to point out. But what about the qualitative results? read more
7 Things to Avoid When Your Church is in Decline
Find out why sometimes knowing what not to do is much better than trying to figure out how to grow your congregation. read more
4 Steps to a Healthy Church Culture
Find out what ingredients are paramount to moving our churches toward health and reproduction. read more
Church Leadership Transitions: How to Do it Right
Charisma News recently sat down with Pastor Benny Perez to talk about his church in Las Vegas and lessons other leaders could learn from its growth. read more
Are Church Leaders Responsible for Church Members?
If your church is not all about the body of Christ, find out why some attitudes might need adjustment. read more
Rick Warren: 8 Acts of a Healthy, Growing Church
Pastor Rick Warren says that if we echo the actions of the early church, we can expect God's blessing on our church. Find out what characteristics of the early church we must mimic. read more
6 Keys to Accelerating Small Group Ministry Growth
Once you make the decision that small groups will be your primary (or only) delivery system for connection and discipleship, it only makes sense to look for ways to accelerate small group ministry growth and impact.
Here are what I’ve found to be 6 keys:
1. Your senior pastor must become the primary spokesperson and champion. Although I’ve not ranked these 6 keys in order of importance, there is no question that this a very important key. If you want to build a thriving small group ministry, there is no workaround for the absence of this key. See also "Your Senior Pastor as Small Group Champion Leads to a Church of Groups." read more
10 Lessons Learned in Urban Church Planting
When pastors Paul and Andi Andrew made the decision to move with their kids from Sydney to New York City to plant Liberty Church, they only knew two people in the city.
That was 2010, and just a few short years later, what started as a dream has flourished into a dynamic, growing community that is making a difference in NYC and beyond. Here are 10 lessons they learned in urban church planting while starting Liberty Church in New York City.
10 Lessons in Urban Church Planting
1. Churn. Although people tell you to expect turnover as a church plant, we discovered in New York City that it was multiplied, since millions of people move to the city just for a season of their lives. It was our biggest surprise, and as many as 30 percent of our core members left last year not because they didn’t love Liberty Church but because they were moving to another city. read more
6 Commitments for Growing a Church With Unity
One of the reasons why Saddleback Church has grown over the years is because we have maintained a harmonious atmosphere. When there is a church that loves, it attracts people like a magnet.
When a church really loves, really offers love to each other and those who are welcomed into it, you’d have to lock the doors to keep people out. Because Saddleback is a loving church, we continue to reach out and we continue to grow.
Growth is automatic. All living things grow, and if a church is alive and living, it will grow naturally. The question, if a church isn’t growing, is, “What is keeping it from growing?” If you remove the barriers to growth in your ministry or in the church as a whole, it will automatically grow. read more
4 Ways Churches Break Attendance Barriers
Almost any time I mention numbers related to church life, I anticipate some responses about the value of numbers and congregations. In the 1980s, this type of discussion came primarily from more liberal churches that weren’t growing.
Some of these leaders felt that declining membership and attendance were likely a sign of health. The members who really cared about the church were the ones who remained. They could make the biggest difference without the more nominal members remaining as obstacles. read more
How to Make Newcomers Feel Welcome
How much time does it take for a visitor to decide whether or not they will return to your church? Experts pose differing numbers on this.
Some say as quickly as 90 seconds. Others say three minutes. Still others say they take as long as 12 minutes to decide. Whoever is right, making a good first impression is imperative if you are going to retain first-time visitors. Doing this well will change as your church grows.
Churches with attendance under 150 can make a friendly first impression by stationing two or three outgoing volunteers at their front doors. In this size church, newcomers are able to look around the crowd and find the “people like me” pretty quickly. “People like me” is key to assimilating newcomers in smaller churches. read more
Forget Church Growth; Aim for Church Health
When I wrote The Purpose Driven Church, I predicted that church health—not church growth—would be the primary concern of the 21st Century church. I believe that prediction is proving itself true.
The New Testament says a lot about the health of the church. Consider just a few verses:
“As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing. …” (Ephesians 4:16b, NLT)
“The focus of my letter wasn’t on punishing the offender but on getting you to take responsibility for the health of the church.” (2 Corinthians 2:9, Msg) read more