Over the last 10-15 years, my partner in 24toDouble, Pastor Jerry Lawson, has learned a TON about the ins and outs of growing a church.
One thing I learned from Jerry is that healthy things grow.
Now before we get started, let’s get one thing out of the way…
The concept of “church growth” at times connotes comparison. And I don’t think that a goal of growth, with comparison at its heart, is the right approach here.
When we begin to think about growth, and in order to start on the right foot, let’s think instead of church health.
Because healthy things… grow.
In order to have a healthy church, you have to have a healthy culture. Including…
A Healthy Staff –
Whether paid or volunteer, the people who do ministry at your church must be healthy.
When Jerry started out at Daystar Church, he had ONE employee. Now Daystar employs 50 staff over multiple campuses. And they still have way more volunteers than employees.
A healthy church requires a healthy core as well as healthy systems. It isn’t enough to rely on big events to grow your church… Events aren’t necessarily scalable and can be easily done by other churches in your area or even the mall down the street.
Church Health = High Standards for Your Team –
Jerry recalls that when he started out at Daystar he was the senior (teaching) pastor as well as the worship pastor. Before long, he was just looking for someone with a pulse to run the worship on Sundays.
He says that his first band member–a drummer–played at a night club on Saturday nights, and then at their worship service on Sunday mornings!
“We have much higher standards now!” Jerry points out.
“At one point we had, at what was then our 3 campuses (which included satellite campuses) zero full-time paid staff and incredibly high quality worship at all 3 campuses.”
Because of high standards and systems, Daystar was able to maintain church health.
BUILD the Staff –
Soon thereafter, Jerry heard a call from God to institute a “Best Staff Ever” campaign. He says that God told him…
“If you BUILD the staff–not steal them from other churches–I’ll make sure they are the best church staff ever.”
This meant that Jerry’s primary responsibility to the staff was to see that each staff member was BUILT up in 8 key areas of their walk with God (and their role in the church).
- Freedom (including freedom from any bondages)
- Focus (ministry area)
In other words, Daystar took a holistic approach to staff development.
Intimate Moments with God –
To the senior leader, Jerry has this word of advice…
“You must plan intimate moments with God.”
He says he hears from pastors all the time who complain that they do not have the time for intimacy with God. To them he responds…
“You do have enough time. The problem is, you’re spending it on something else.”
Prioritizing intimate moments with God, Senior Leader, is vital for your health, without which you cannot expect your church to be healthy.
Work ON your Church, Not Just IN Your Church –
We can all get caught up in the everyday demands of ministry. But no church can achieve or sustain health without its leaders looking for ways to educate themselves first.
Take a moment and watch this free training, called the 6 Unbreakable Laws of Church Growth. In it, Jerry shares even more nuggets of wisdom on his experience of growing a healthy church.