So you want to grow your church?

You’re certainly not alone.

In fact, to date I have worked with nearly 2,200 churches and pastors on the subject of church growth.

And there are 9 distinct lessons that I’ve learned that are true of pastors who have succeeding in growing their churches.

For a complete rundown, watch the video above.

Below is a “quick hits” list in case you want to post them somewhere prominent for quick reference.

1. Aware of the Ministry Gap
This references the gap between the ministry you were called to, and the ministry you are currently experiencing. Pastors who are successful at growing their churches are aware of this gap.

Now, obviously, there will (and should) always be a gap between ministry vision, or what God has called you to, and what your ministry has accomplished.

The gap I’m referencing is the one where you really aren’t sure if you were called into ministry. It is a critical element to creating change in your church to knowing that a) the gap exists and b) that the gap can only be bridged by your hearing God’s voice and moving forward.

If you are reading this today, I am confident that God is not done with you yet in ministry!

If God put the ministry desire inside of you, then God is not done yet, and He is getting ready to do something!

2. Strong Leaders Leverage Calls to Action.
Too many pastors take the stage every weekend with no idea of what actions they want their audience to take. It’s one of the biggest challenges I see inside of churches today. Pastors will prepare and deliver incredible messages than end with no clear step of what to do next.

The confused mind always says no. And if your people are not taking action, it may be because the action you want them to take has not been clearly defined.

3. They Realize There is No Shortage
And when I say that strong leaders who are growing their churches realize there is no shortage.

Yes, I am referring to money or funding. I am also referring to volunteers. And people who are willing to go out and invite their friends to church.

There is no shortage except for the one that you allow to be created.

Everything you need to reach people far from God, but right outside the doors of your church, is currently located inside your church.

He’s waiting for you to partner with him to reach people far from God. And he’s equipped you with everything you need now to do that.

4. They Understand the Why Inside Their Call
For what purpose and time has God placed you in ministry? Who has you called you to reach? Where? And why are you the one to do it? Being in touch with the why, or the reason, for ministry can get you through the hard days.

5. Pastors of Growing Churches Say “No” to Good Ideas
They do this so that they can say “yes” to great ideas. Understanding your why is a critical element of this. You will have good ministry ideas thrown at you all day long. The key is knowing when to pass on those good ideas so that you are available to be fully committed to the ministry that God has called you to.

If you’re frustrated with your results? Are you saying “yes” to too many things?

6. They leverage influence wisely.
John Maxwell said, “Leadership is influence–nothing more and nothing less.”

Pastor, every day, you are either making deposits into, or withdrawals from, influence with people at your church.

Remember that the ministry you’re called to is not for you.

7. They Don’t Reinvent Wheels (that Don’t Need to be Reinvented)
Everything doesn’t have to be reinvented. The key is finding systems that work. Small tweaks (and a lot of prayer) will help you accomplish your vision for ministry.

8. They Put Ministry In the Hands of People that were Created for It
Pastor, if you hear nothing else, hear this:

Your doing everything is stealing somebody else’s ability to do ministry.

A healthy church grows from the inside out, from putting volunteers in the right places.

And when people get burned out at church, they don’t go back to pew, they go away. So putting the right people in the right spots (the spots they were created for) is key to powering ministry the way it was meant to be.

9. Pastors that are Successful–They Reach Out
The church down the street is not your competitor. They’re your brothers and sisters in Christ. Reaching out means two things. You reach out for help, and then reach out to help.

Invest in yourself, and then invest in the people around you.

(P.S. One way that you can invest in yourself, and ultimately, the people around you, is to take a look at how you can leverage the resources at to do grow your church, and your leadership.)