Summary: Model your new church after the first century model found in Acts 2:41-47: "Those who accepted his message were baptized and about 3,000 were added to their number that day. They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the b
Jesus said, "I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it." (Matthew 16:18)
1. Begin by assembling together local people who are committed to Christ, to the growth of His church and the great commission. Once you have a group of people who are committed to carrying out God’s three priorities, you have half of the battle won.
2. Schedule regular meetings for prayer and study of the scriptures with people who are committed to making applications to their three key commitments. Most church fellowships grow out of group of seed families that are consecrated to the Lord for the completion of His purposes.
3. Model your new church after the first century model found in Acts 2:41-47: "Those who accepted his message were baptized and about 3,000 were added to their number that day. They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and good they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved." (Acts 2:41-47)
4. Balance your efforts toward the qualitative and quantitative growth of your fellowship. Helping people grow in spirituality should precede efforts to grow numerically.
5. Study the lives, methods and results of great church planters throughout history. Ask the Spirit of God to teach you whatever is necessary to develop a movement not just a ministry. Seek fellowship with other like minded church planters, missionaries and mission leaders for stimulus.
6. Avoid the temptation of trying to plant and grow your church with human wisdom, strength and methods. Instead, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not rely on your own insights. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths. (Proverbs 3:5,6)
7. Seek Godly counsel about the best ways to go about starting a church in your target area.Ask help from people who are experts in researching the demographics and spiritually ripeness of an area.
8. Prepare yourself for the ministry by cognitively studying the aspects of church planting and growth that you may be deficient in. Affectively prepare yourself through prayer and the solidification of your gifts, callings and convictions about planting and growing churches. Behaviorally, prepare yourself by serving internship training under successful church planters. Spiritually prepare yourself through a study of the scriptures, discipleship ministries and an effective cross cultural evangelism ministries.
9. Plan your strategies for planting and growing a church in your target area by setting out practical short, medium and long range goals for the new congregation.
10. Survey the area by doing field, library and inter-personal research of the people group you hope to start the church with. Be a learner and student of the culture, history and world views of the people. Approach them on their basis on their felt, perceived, real and spiritual needs.Prov.24:3,4
11. Find helpers who can assist you in planting the new church - especially seed family members. Screen them well as the quality of your co-laborers will greatly affect the quality of the new fellowship. Local insiders who are indigenous to the area are the best lay ministers.
12. Work through the assumption that the church will be planted and grown through local ownership. Give the founding members the sense that they are all on equal ground when it comes to cooperating together in a great work for Jesus Christ. Follow the motto of William Carey, the father of modern missions who said, "Expect great things from God, attempt great things for God."
13. Cooperate as much as possible with local authorities. Yet, remember as far as it is possible be at peace with all men. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Rom. 12:21)
The following tips are from Rick Warren and he solely deserves the credit for the ten points:
Ten common barriers to growing your church.
by Rick Warren
This article is adapted from the Purpose Driven Church Seminar, available through Pastors.com.
For over twenty years I’ve been a student of church growth, and I’ve noticed there are ten common obstacles to growing a healthy, vibrant church.
1. Not bringing friends to church
We pray, we ask, we pressure, we motivate, we emphasize, but members still don’t bring friends to church. Why? Often, the truth is they’re embarrassed. They instinctively know that the services are not designed for unbelievers, for seekers, for the people they know from work. They’re thinking, The weekend service meets my needs, but it doesn’t meet my neighbor’s needs, and so I won’t ask them to come.