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Pathways of Growth

These books, articles and organizations can help congregations identify pathways of growth.


11 Resources
From the Staff From the Staff
Resilient Congregations
On my way to work, I drive by two church buildings. One building used to be the home of a...
McIntosh Church Growth Network
This organization provides consulting and online resources focused on a variety of topics,...
Church Growth from an African American Perspective
This book analyzes the ingredients for growth, providing congregations with the tools to build...
MultiChurch: Exploring the Future of Multisite
This book explains that the multi-site church model is biblically and theologically faithful,...
Are Your Church Facilities an Obstacle to Growth?
This brief article urges congregations to look at their facilities with the eye of a first...
Living Stones Associates
There's Hope for Your Church: First Steps to Restoring Health and Growth
This book uses hope as the key component to a healthy renewal of the church and offers a...
4D Impact: Smash Barriers Like a Smart Church
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Church Growth Services
Latino Protestants in America: Growing and Diverse
Based on a study of various congregations and Latino Protestants, this resource details an...
Managing Transitions: Making the Most of Change
Written by an organizational consultant, this book contains examples and strategies for...


Abby Miller

Abby Miller consults with congregations in northeast Indiana. She has experience resource consulting with congregations from her year as a Center intern in 2018. Abby received her undergraduate degree in ministry leadership from International House of Prayer University in Kansas City and her master’s degree in ministry at Indiana Wesleyan University-Wesley Seminary. She enjoys design and creativity in her free time. 

Church Growth Strategies

There may be a lot of religious communities out there that are looking for ways to grow effectively. In the past, religious communities would oftentimes grow mostly by word of mouth. In order for congregations to grow, religious organizations might benefit from embracing modern technology. This can lead to a variety of types of logistic growth. In order for religious organizations to set themselves up for success in the future, it could be critical to learn more about church growth strategies.

It’s worth defining, “what is church growth?” This is something that can take many shapes and forms, and when people discuss congregation growth, they are usually referring to the size of the congregation growing. There are several ways that this can be interpreted. Religious leaders often take a look at the number of people who show up to services; however, there are also other ways that churches can grow. For example, some religious organizations may be trying to reach out to members of different generations in order to diversify the congregation. Some religious groups may be looking to open a second location somewhere else. There are also religious leaders who might be looking for ways to grow by hiring more people to work in church administration.

Even though a lot of people might be looking for the secret of a fast growing church, there is no hidden secret to it. In order for religious communities to grow, religious leaders should take a look at strategies for growing their church. Depending on the nature of the congregation, this strategy may look different in different settings. What do religious leaders have to keep in mind, if they are looking for ways to grow their communities? There are several key points that all religious leaders may want to keep in mind.

Church Growth Principles

There are numerous church growth principles that will likely play a role in the success of a religious organization. Before diving into church leadership roles and responsibilities, it can be good to answer the question, "what is church growth and development?”

Church growth and development refers to the process of growing the size of a congregation, the diversity of the congregation, and the nature of the services offered by the religious organization. For instance, some religious organizations may want to expand by offering members of the congregation access to more services. In addition to regular services on Sundays, this could also include things such as outreach events, small group opportunities, and ministry programs. Furthermore, in order for religious communities to survive, they might do well to diversify members of the congregation. As an example, this could include reaching out to members of the younger generation and recruiting them to become members of the church.

There are several principles that religious leaders might want to follow if they would like to grow the church. Perhaps the most important of these factors is leadership. If religious leaders are able to display strong leadership skills, with a higher power focus at the center, they may be able to place the religious organization in the best position possible to succeed. Even though worship, diversity, and numerous other principles will typically play a role, leadership can be the main factor.

Religious leaders might need to think about how they can put these principles into practice and their own religious organizations. There are numerous resources available out there for this. Religious leaders may go to Seminary School, read a few books, or even take a look at articles; however, there also exist other resources. For instance, there are numerous resources available on, which provides religious leaders with access to a diverse array of resources that they may be able to apply to their own congregations. Every church is different. Every congregation is different. With this in mind, it may benefit all religious leaders to take a look at all the resources at their disposal and figure out how they can apply them to meet their needs.

Factors for Church Growth

In the current environment, the importance of church growth can perhaps not be overstated. There are lots of religious leaders who are wondering about growing a church from 50 to 100, and there can be numerous factors for church growth that religious leaders have to keep in mind. If they are able to tailor their strategies to meet these factors, though, they may be able to grow their congregations moving forward.

First, religious leaders might need to have a singular, united vision for the church, and know where their church is going in the future. What is the church going to look like down the road? What role is the church going to play in a community? If religious leaders are not able to share that vision with potential members of the congregation, they are likely going to have difficulty in growing the church. Therefore, religious leaders may have to share the identity of the church with members of the community first, in order to grow it.

Next, religious leaders can also work to create an inviting atmosphere. People need to feel welcomed when they enter the church, after all. What can religious leaders do in order to help make new members feel welcome? A lot of religious leaders will actually offer a class for new members of the congregation. That way, new members can feel like they have an opportunity to really feel like a member of the community.

Naturally, a church that will grow successfully is also likely going to have excellent leadership skills. Even though it can be good to get leadership skills from the person standing behind the pulpit, there are numerous other leaders who will play a role, as well. For example, this often includes small group leaders, youth group leaders, and even outreach leaders. All religious leaders may perhaps want to do everything they can to incorporate these factors into their church growth strategies, which can place them in the best position possible to be successful.

Fresh Ideas for Church Growth

There are a lot of religious leaders who may be looking for fresh ideas for church growth. Ultimately, there are many church improvement ideas; however, religious leaders might also need to think about how these ideas are going to play a role in the future of their congregation. It could even be helpful to refer to a small church growth strategies handbook.

First, it may be helpful for religious leaders to take a closer look at offering a new class for people who are just trying out the congregation for the first time. This new class can be helpful because it helps new attendees learn about the inner workings of the church. That way, they can better figure out if this church is right for them.

Second, it might be a good idea to take advantage of social media, as there are hundreds of millions of people who use social media on a daily basis. If church groups are able to take advantage of social media, they can perhaps exponentially improve the size and scope of their reach.

Finally, religious leaders should also take a closer look at, a platform that hosts plenty of new ideas they can take advantage of. That way, religious leaders can be sure not to leave any stone unturned when they are trying to set their congregation up for success.

Types of Church Growth

There are countless types of church growth out there, and so, before developing a strategy, religious leaders might need to figure out which strategy is right for them. Some may be asking, “how can a church grow spiritually?” Spiritual growth can be critical for the success of a church. It may be helpful for religious leaders to take a closer look at their worship services. It might also be a good idea to incorporate music, video, or other creative elements in order to encourage churches to grow.

Other religious leaders may be wondering how to grow a church in a small town. In this location, word of mouth can be everything, because everyone knows everybody. It might then be helpful to recruit current members of the congregation to act as evangelists on behalf of the church. This can go a long way toward spreading the word about the church in the town.

Finally, others could even be asking, “what is numerical church growth?” This is the practice of growing the number of people who come to services on a regular basis and can be a positive aspect of growing a church because it provides evidence that the church is evangelizing correctly. Numerical church growth can be vital for the success of religious communities.

Role of Members in Church Growth

Finally, religious leaders might also have to focus on the role of members and church growth. It can be good to set the expectations of church members upfront, as there are numerous responsibilities that church members can hold to their pastor. Members of the congregation are often expected to spread the religious message wherever they go, for instance. No matter what this may look like for them, this can be important because it will likely help recruit other members to come and join the church as well.

If religious leaders would like members of the congregation to evangelize, it could be that they need to teach them how to do exactly that. How should church members go out and discuss the church in the community? What can they do to recruit more people to join the church? This is likely going to look different, from congregation to congregation. It might even be helpful for religious leaders to offer classes on how they can do exactly that. If members of the church are able to recruit other people to join the congregation, they can potentially go a long way toward helping the religious organization grow in the community.

These are just a few of the most important points that religious leaders might need to keep in mind if they are trying to grow their congregations. A diverse strategy can help set them up for success.

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