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TITLE:  How Churches Grow
TEXT:  1 Peter 4:7-11
PROPOSITION:  There are several factors involved in church growth.
KEY WORD:  Factors


  1. We want to see the church grow.
  2. But, we don’t know how (or why) some grow while others decline.
  3. This sermon is a practical one – in three parts
    1. Factors that help in evangelism
    2. Factors that help in congregational growth
    3. Factors that affect both evangelism and growth


Factors that help in Evangelism

  1. Spiritual Health of the Congregation
    1. Percentage of Sunday AM – attending SS, PM and Wednesday nights
    2. How many study the Bible, pray
  2. Focus on the Bible
    1. Are the sermons Bible based?
    2. Is there an emphasis on doing things with Bible authority?
  3. Active spiritual conversations
    1. Is God a part of the program, work, and talk in the church?
    2. How important is prayer in the lives of the members, leaders?
    3. Is God a part of the conversation in the foyer and hallways?
  4. Use of spiritual / individual gifts (talents, abilities, opportunities)
    1. Study 1 Peter 4:7-11
    2. Verse 10 – As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards
    3. Ephesians 4:7 – “Grace was given according to measure of Christ’s gift”


Factors that help in congregational growth

  1. Enthusiasm / Excitement
    1. Elders, members – excited about who we are and where we are going
    2. Preacher – If there are icicles in the pew, there is a polar bear in the pulpit
  2. Community growth
    1. Is the city growing or shrinking?
    2. Not a factor by itself – but indication of a trend
  3. Congregational Age
    1. Dying churches are older
    2. Growing churches have children, youth work, young adults


Factors that affect both evangelism and congregational growth

  1. Identity
    1. Know who we are, why we are here
    2. Know what our purpose is
  2. Vision
    1. Where will this church be in 5, 10, 25 years?
    2. What will this church look like 10 years from now?
  3. Meeting needs
    1. Physical needs – benevolence, children, families, grief support, hospital visitation
    2. Spiritual needs – classes,
  4. Outward focus
    1. Is most of what we do – inward or outward in focus?
    2. Do others know what we are doing?
  5. Children / Youth ministry
    1. Children and youth programs are the future of the church
    2. Are we training young people to be preachers, elders, youth workers?

NOTE: This material was gleaned from a study by Philip R. Taber; “Evangelism Project Report”; April 11, 2000

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