8 WAYS TO MAKE CHURCHES BETTER

By Brandon Cox • July 12, 2018

The story is told of Truett Cathy, founder of Chick-fil-A, that he once sat quietly through a board meeting listening to his executives brainstorm about how to get bigger. He suddenly interrupted the chatter with a declaration: “If we get better, we won’t have to worry about getting bigger.” Talk about an aha moment!

We can make the church grow, or we can watch the church grow, and the difference boils down to bettering instead of biggering.

In their story is a big answer to what should be next for our church, and probably for yours too. We must focus on bettering and we won’t have to worry about biggering. So how do we get better? These are the principles forming in my own heart and mind about how I want to see the church at large improve:

  • We need to depend upon the Spirit’s influence and empowering, and to unashamedly confess that dependence in our prayer and worship.
  • We need to learn to tell God’s redemptive story, the good news, in a way that relates to our surrounding culture. We need to make the gospel central to our message and mission.
  • We need to focus on people—connecting with people, connecting people to other people, and meeting the needs people experience on a daily basis.
  • We need to make disciples and develop leaders rather than simply attracting more fans. Attracting isn’t bad, but failing to challenge those we attract to take the next step is a severe flaw.
  • We need to get bold about our vision for a world touched and changed by a God-sized movement. It’s time to stop apologizing for an intense desire to influence and impact the culture with truth and grace.
  • We need to sacrifice our comfort, our preferences, and our personal agendas and embrace change—radical, catalytic, movement-shaking change.
  • We need to be strategic, pragmatic, and effective. These are curse words in some pockets of evangelicalism, but they are absolutely NOT at odds with biblical Christianity. We can be both faithful and fruitful.
  • We need to work together, in unity, as a team. Structural and institutional unity isn’t necessary, but working hand-in-hand for Kingdom-sized causes is.

The world doesn’t necessarily need bigger churches. But it definitely needs better churches, and better churches usually wind up bigger, and bigger isn’t bad.

 

Success lies in making others feel they Belong……

1 Samuel 22:2 (NLT2)
Then others began coming—men who were in trouble or in debt or who were just discontented—until David was the captain of about 400 men.

So often churches fail just because their church has become a social club for certain individuals who feel they belong and shut the door on others.

Having a sense of belonging is a common experience. Belonging means acceptance as a member or part. Such a simple word for huge concept. A sense of belonging is a human need, just like the need for food and shelter. Feeling that you belong  is most important in seeing value in life and in coping with intensely painful emotions.

Some seek belonging through excluding others. That reflects the idea that there must be those who don’t belong in order for there to be those who do. Yet a single instance of being excluded can undermine self-control and well being and often creates pain and conflict.

A sense of belonging to a greater community improves your motivationhealth, and happiness.  When you see your connection to others, you know that all people struggle and have difficult times. You are not alone. There is comfort in that knowledge.

There is a simple approach to make visitors feel they belong. In my 47 years of ministry I have yet to meet a stranger……..

How do I know that your faith is Growing?

Our faith will grow when we learn to take advantage of growth opportunities. The soil of growth is planted in the pains of the past and presence.

James 1:2-4 (NLT2)
2  Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.
3  For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.
4  So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

You must not be too quick to rise up when you are hurt remembering that those in the bible rose up when the enemy attacked the name of the Lord their God. The hurts and pains are an opportunity for you to grow in faith.

1 Peter 4:19 (NLT2)
19  So if you are suffering in a manner that pleases God, keep on doing what is right, and trust your lives to the God who created you, for he will never fail you.

Are you passing the test that God is sending your way?