During my time as a pastor, I’ve witnessed too many congregations that are inwardly focused. People were focused on their own preferences. I heard about one church years ago where the older members threatened to withhold their giving unless they were catered to. They wanted a bus so they could be taken on trips.
To grow a congregation an outward focus is needed. The Great Commission is Jesus command to the church: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” (Matt. 28:19). And it starts with the congregation’s local area. Acts 1:8 tells the early church, which was based in Jerusalem, to begin there.
It starts with the neighborhood and local community. So church leaders should ask themselves, “What are we doing to connect with, reach and disciple the people who live closest to our facility?”
Some questions to ask: Who lives in our community? What are their needs? What can we do to connect with them?
Accurate demographic information is important. Members getting into the neighborhood to meet people is another plus. After that, start or target a current ministry to reach people with the good news of Christ and disciple them.
Keep the process as simple as possible. If your plan is complicated you will hinder your chances of success.
I’m available to help. Feel free to contact me.
Ashton C. Smith, Certified Church Consultant